Ah, the end of a relationship, the dreaded breakup. There are so many ways to get there. Different goals, different places in each other’s lives, or even just bad chemistry. Of course we never WANT to break up, but sometimes it feels almost inevitable. That being said, after a breakup we always want clues as to why it happened, if we could have done anything different, or (gasp) a reunion is possible. While we can’t advocate for resuscitating a bad relationship, we have come up with one way that relationships go sour that you totally CAN prevent: a bad mattress.
While the world has known about memory foam mattress for a while now, it’s been sometimes slow to adopt to new ideas. Even though memory foam makes for the most comfortable bed, we hem and haw over these decisions and wait too long to pull the trigger on something that we aren’t sure has a tangible effect on our relationships. But here’s the thing: it’s so simple. Let’s face it: If you’re both up all night because of a bad mattress, it is going to hurt your waking hours together. That’s not anything new, but we found some interesting studies that suggest that mattress time is super important to the foundation of any good relationship.
Even if Just One Person Sleeps Poorly, the Whole Relationship Suffers
Unlike memory foam, traditional mattresses can be uneven, meaning that one person in a couple may be sleeping well while the other is stuck in a (literal) rut. That difference can mean that one person sleeps like a baby while the other one tosses and turns all night. Here’s the thing: when one of you sleeps poorly, you both suffer for it. It’s not just as simple as making someone grouchy, a real sleep debt can harm a couple’s ability to empathize with each other.
A UC Berkeley study that looked into how sleep habits impacted gratitude found that sleep deprivation can leave couples "too tired to say thanks" and can make one of those partners feel taken for granted.
“Poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritize our own needs over our partner’s,” study author and psychologist Amie Gordon said in a statement. “You may have slept like a baby, but if your partner didn’t, you’ll probably both end up grouchy.”
While it might be overly simplifying a situation to say that your relationship could improve with a better memory foam mattress, it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to see that when you sleep better you have a better capacity for reason and empathy. Those are the building blocks of any successful relationship.
Your Time Together in Bed is the Perfect Time for Bonding
Those who use memory foam over traditional mattresses also have the added benefit of making their time in bed together into a comfortable and fun experience, rather than a poor one. This is something that NYC-based relationship therapist, Dr. Paulette Sherman, sees as a super important part of bonding as a couple. Bonding that is strengthened when a couple is able to actually sleep in the same bed.
"I prefer that the couples I work with in couples therapy sleep in the same beds most nights when possible. Sleeping is usually six to eight hours of bonding time or intimacy where you are near each other," Sherman said in a recent interview. "Having said this, I know how important sleep is. Sometimes you can try some other things before a sleep divorce. My husband snores and I play relaxing music without words to drown this out. He wears earplugs so he doesn't hear the music."
While snoring can be tuned out, a bad mattress can’t be, which is why it’s so important to invest in memory foam, which doesn’t lose tension after a few short years. Memory foam has unique properties that allow it to retain its supportiveness while also retaining comfort and sensitivity to each partner’s sleeping preferences. Sounds like the best sort of relationship.
Sleep Divorce: Two Beds Could Equal One Marriage
If you’re really having problems sleeping in bed, there’s a new fad that has started to take the US and UK by storm. It’s called, ‘sleep divorce’ and while it may sound like a trouble sign in a relationship, many couples actually swear that it’s saved them from breaking up. The term means what you think it would mean, couples stay together, but instead of sleeping in the same bed (or in some cases room), they each sleep in their own separate bed.
This isn’t just a few people either, a new study of over 3,000 couples across the US showed that 31% wanted a sleep divorce. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as solving the sleep dilemma can open up new areas of desire, communication, and trust for each person in the relationship. Plus, there’s the old adage: two memory foam mattresses are better than one. That being said, Dr. Sherman says that it is vitally important that you don’t let your intimacy suffer just because you’re sleeping in two different beds.
"If you feel that a sleep divorce will ultimately prevent a real one, then I think that you can take some proactive measures," Sherman says. "If you do decide to regularly sleep apart, make sure you have other regular cuddle and alone time together and make time for sex. Make sure that your partner knows that you love them and miss them and that this is just a practical decision to improve both of your health and to address your joint optimal functioning."
Still Having Problems in Bed With Your Partner? Try a Body Pillow
While a bad mattress is a huge culprit in not being able to get comfortable while you sleep, there are other things you can do to make your time easier (though these are always going to be more effective on a memory foam mattress). If you’re sharing your bed with the world’s worst cuddler (because of snoring, flopping, or whatever) try getting a body pillow to snuggle up to. Not only do body pillows not snore, they provide good support and comfort for side sleepers who need something to hold on to as they sleep. Plus a body pillow will never steal your blankets or hog all the pillows. Plus, then your sleeping partner won’t ever feel like they’re letting you down in bed -- allowing them a guilt free sleep on a memory foam mattress. Sounds like heaven to me.
Make Sure Your Mattress is Big Enough for the Both of You
A lot of times we can start a new relationship, but think that we can keep the same old bed. This might be the perfect time for you to upgrade to the next size. Sure, memory foam is great, but it’s even better when you have the space to get up in the night to get water without disturbing your partner. If you’re still both huddled inside of a twin mattress, then it might be time to think about a queen, or dare we say it: a king! You’re sure to notice the difference right away, and the added space makes other night time activities extra fun and adventurous too. Who said memory foam wasn’t sexy? Mattress Dimensions matters.
New Sheets and a New Mattress for Better Temperature Regulation
One tough transition between sleeping alone and with a partner is temperature. Often we can get hot and stuffy from sleeping in such close proximity to another body. Memory foam and new sheets can help with that. First, memory foam has come a long way, with temperature regulating hybrids and toppers that wick heat away becoming the norm. Second, cool cotton sheets can make all the difference if you’re feeling like heat has sapped away the romance in your life. Plus the softness of a high thread count is enough to make anyone want to snuggle all night long. Give it a shot, you might like how it feels.
Communication is the Key, A Mattress Will Help
As always communication is the key to any lasting relationship. Be honest with your partner about what you want, how to get it, and where you see yourselves -- we’re talking about when you’re chilling on your giant memory foam bed or not. A mattress can be the thing killing your relationship, but it’s often endemic of the relationship as a whole. Make sure that you value your time together, keep things fresh, and don’t be bogged down and bent out of shape by the stresses of life -- all things that also work with a good memory foam mattress.
So remember, we’re rooting for you, we’re rooting for love, and most importantly we’re rooting for a good night’s sleep. It’s really true what they say, you can have it all. So get together, tuck in, and enjoy the greatest night’s sleep of your life. It might just spark something special!