Whoops! Sorry, I woke you up.

For most couples, sharing a bed is a pleasurable experience providing intimacy, comfort, and feelings of security, but what happens when things go bump in the night? 40 % of adults suffer occasionally from insomnia, with 10-15% experiencing chronic problems, 40% of adults snore, 4% suffer the deleterious effects of obstructive sleep apnea, 5-10% experience Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), and countless more suffer from problems such as narcolepsy and hot flashes.

It’s important to make sure that you and your bed partner get quality sleep , but what happens if you are guilty of embarrassing sleep habits that can destroy your partner’s rest?
Enjoying a great dinner can be pleasurable, but what happens when you share it by passing gas in the night? Vibrations of your anal sphincter or by your closed buttocks produces unwelcome noises and unpleasant smells. To circumvent this, you  might want to avoid foods that are high in polysaccharides such as beans, dairy products, onions, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli  cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Remedies include certain spices such as cumin, coriander, and caraway, live yogurt, and medicinal activated charcoal tablets. 


A recent NSF survey reported that an estimated 23% of American couples sleep apart.

There are a group of sleep disorders called parasomnias that can be embarrassing and produce discomfort in your bed partner. These include syndromes such as sleep walking, sleep talking, sleep terrors, sleep eating, bruxism, RLS, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, and sleep-related penile erections.

Sleep walking, sleep talking and sleep terrors occur mostly frequently in children rather than adults, and are characterized by a motor activity during a partial arousal from sleep. If awakened, people suffering from these disorders experience some sort of disorientation. If you suffer from parasomnia as an adult, it is often caused by sleep deprivation, and lack of good sleep hygiene, such as following a regular bedtime schedule, and avoiding caffeinated beverages and alcohol.

Sleep bruxism is a relatively common disorder consisting of repetitive and sometimes violent teeth grinding during sleep. This can be caused by genetics, jaw malfunction, central nervous system dysfunction, and certain psychological disorders that are exacerbated by anxiety and stress.

There are some sleep disorders wherein jerking movements can be of long duration and strength. RLS is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to to move your limbs, and is often accompanied by feelings of tingling, itching, and sometimes pain. These movements are characterized of people with Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (nocturnal myoclonus), disturb your ability to sleep at night, and will typically arouse your bed partner.

REM sleep happens every 90 minutes, can last from 9-60 minutes at a time, involved muscle paralysis, and is the stage in which 85% of our dreams occur.

Memory consolidation also takes place during REM sleep, as do nightmares, which can awaken sleepers and subsequently their bed partners. Nightmares are often experienced as a result of the bedroom or the sleeper being too warm. Quiet, dark, and cool rooms, reducing stress, and avoiding spicy foods are the rules to avoid bad dreams.

Check back next week as we discuss some more unusual and even dangerous sleep disorders that could disrupt your bed partner, including sexomnia, enuresis, and sleep apnea.

Are you and your partner sleep compatible?






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