Sleep-divorce? Have we even heard this term before? Probably no. This is what Dr Oz calls it when couples who are compatible while awake are a perfect disaster when asleep. Well, nobody wants a sleep divorce and Dr Oz comes up with some solutions that might improve the quality of sleep of couples. He discusses a range of issues that affects couples when asleep such as snoring, covers being stolen, TV on all night among others.
‘Spooner’ Versus ‘Sprawler’ Syndrome
The first invited couple on the show elaborates their sleep difficulty, what Dr Oz calls ‘spooner versus sprawler’ syndrome. They have been married for seventeen years and Greg always wanted to be close and wanted to cuddle during sleep while his wife has been always kicking and pushing him away. His wife says that she prefers personal space while sleeping and feels “constricted” leaning over and cuddling. The wife also complained about her man being snoring while asleep and took time to record a video of Greg snoring to share on the show.
Dr.Oz: Solution to Snoring Problem
Dr Oz mentions that this is even a bigger problem affecting sleep of couples compared to spooning and sprawling and he invited Dr Michael Breus, PhD who is a sleep specialist, to talk about the solutions to this problem. One of the solutions to the snoring problem is to avoid sleeping on our back and turn sideways. However, it is hard to stay focused on this idea while we are asleep. Therefore, he advises to make use of a little tool that will prevent us from lying on our back. It is real simple and can be put together at home. Dr Oz showed how he made one. It is a tennis ball that goes into a ladies’ stockings that is cut at both ends and the stockings is then tied up and attached to the back of the sleepwear (pajama) with loop of the tag. This will prevent the person from lying on back and therefore the air passage near the throat will not be blocked.
‘Hot’ Versus ‘Cold’ Syndrome
Another common problem among couples is to reach a consensus about the bedroom temperature. Some people cannot sleep if they are feeling warm, on the other hand, sleeping in a cozy warm bed is the rule for others. Chenelle and Eric, guests on the show have been going through this hot vs cold problem. As they explained, one of them (Eric) is always feeling hot and opposite to the other (Chenelle) who feels cold. Dr Oz elegantly demonstrated with a thermal camera how people can experience heat differently owing to their different normal body temperatures.
Dr.Oz: Solution to Hot Vs. Cold Couple
Dr Breus recommends choosing a ‘middle’ temperature for them to adjust with each other’s temperature preferences. For Eric and Chenelle and also for many others a healthy ‘middle’ temperature could be between 68-72 degree Farenheit. However, there could be some people like Chenelle who would still feel uncomfortable and cold at this temperature. Dr Breus’s recommendation for them is to wear socks to prevent heat loss through feet. Studies have shown that covered feet help preserve warmth in the body.
Dr. Michael Breus Answers Your Relationship Sleep Questions
Dr Breus also discussed about some more questions related to sleep. To understand our sleep pattern in more depth, the most important question is:
Do I sleep better alone or with a partner?
As it turned out, there is no straight forward answer to this. Some people sleep better when alone mainly because their partner’s sleeping habit is interfering with their quality of sleep. Therefore, sleeping alone separately may improve sleep for both partners, however, Dr Breus warns, this habit may lead to less attachment emotionally as well as intimately between partners. He wants people to make sure they are maintaining their emotional attachment and intimacy when they are sleeping in separate bedrooms.
What happens when my partner is a night owl and I am an early bird?
That is indeed a very big issue for couples who sleep together. Dr Breus suggests the night owl as well as the early bird to use eye shades and ear plugs when they are going to sleep while their partner is still awake. These tips are very helpful to deal with sleep problems among sleep incompatible couples. After all, nobody wants a sleep-divorce.