How to sleep with a woman
Being good in bed has nothing to do with your skills as a lover. Here's how to sleep - and we mean sleep - with your partner.
According to new research, what you do in bed can seriously undermine your relationship.
And on this occasion, the experts aren't talking about sex. Hotel chain Premier Inn surveyed 2,000 adults and found that bedroom battles caused by cold feet, snoring and late night loo trips are putting more and more relationships under stress.
In all, these bedroom bothers led to 167 arguments a year, the survey found.
So how do you successfully sleep - and we mean sleep - with a woman. Here's our handy guide.
Don't hog the duvet
According to the study, hogging the duvet is the number one cause of arguments among couples in the bedroom, leading to lost sleep and serious resentment. So don't be a duvet hogger if you can help it.
Admittedly, it can be pretty hard to help it, given that many of us wrap the warm cosy things around ourselves - pulling them off our partners in the process - when we're fast asleep. The answer? Think of investing in two single quilts rather than one double.
"Our research shows that most of the arguments couples have in the bedroom are down to habits that are easy to resolve as a relationship develops," said spokeswoman Claire Haigh.
Get help for your snoring
Snoring was the next most hated bedroom baddie, with 20% of respondents claiming that a snoring spouse cost them up to two hours of sleep a night. More women than men complained of a snoring partner.
"People suffer from snoring to varying degrees and the research shows it can impact on our day-to-day lives, especially if one person in the relationship is missing out on much needed sleep," said Haigh.
So what's the answer? The British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association has a handy guide to help you determine what sort of snorer you are and what you can do about it.
It's also worth knowing that lifestyle factors such as being overweight and drinking alcohol before bed can make your snoring worse. Similarly, overwork or a poor sleep routine can mean that when you do finally hit the sack you're seriously overtired, another risk factor for snoring.
Be a gentleman in bed
When it comes to bedroom etiquette, it can be the simple things that matter most.
According to the study, one irritation is a partner who leaves the lights on to read. Another is a partner who comes home late and doesn't get undressed in another room. Yet another is a man who comes home a little the worse for wear and stumbles around the bedroom trying to remove his socks. And then there are those of us who just have to get up to go to the loo in the night.
It's no wonder the research found that one in 10 partners had considered ending their relationship because of disturbed nights and bedroom annoyances.
Much of this is easily remedied, of course. If you want to read when your partner wants to sleep, do it in another room. And when you do come to bed get ready elsewhere and slip silently between the sheets undetected.
And if all else fails, there is one more radical option that may improve your relationship no end...
Think about the spare room or sofa bed
Many couples are now choosing to sleep separately, at least every now and then, for the good of their physical health and the health of their relationships. In fact, a study published earlier this year found that one in 10 couples that live together regularly spend nights in separate rooms or at least separate beds.
That might go right against your grain. Conventional wisdom says that couples that sleep apart do so because they can't stand each other. But Dr Neil Stanley, one of the UK's leading sleep researchers, says that sleeping apart can be a good thing for many of us. Couples suffer 50% more sleep disturbances, Dr Stanley claims, when they share a bed.
That's serious, because disturbed sleep leads to tired days and tiredness leads to cranky couples. You're more likely to argue, bicker and put strain on your relationship when you're tired. Dr Stanley says that poor sleep increases the risk of divorce, as well as a host of physical and mental problems.
So perhaps the most gentlemanly thing you can do in bed tonight is to get out of it. If you don't have a spare room, maybe you can invest in a sofa bed or fold-up mattress?
That's not to suggest you sleep apart all the time - there's some evidence to suggest that sex lives and relationships can suffer if couples never share a bed. But on nights when you're out late, or you know you're particularly tired, or you've had a drink, sleeping in a separate room could ensure you both get a good night's sleep, and wake up healthier, happier and nicer to be around in the morning.
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