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You're Hot, He's Cold: Tips on How to Share a Bed During Menopause

Oct 24, 2022

Keeping a cool bedroom rather than a warm one is better for people who toss, turn, and wake up sweating in the night. But both have to agree that it works for them. (Kampus Productions/Pexels)

Are you and your partner constantly yanking the blanket back and forth or driving each other crazy with conflicting thermostat settings? Your partner is peacefully cuddled in a down comforter while you’re lying on top of your sheets in a pool of sweat. You want the thermostat turned down to 60. Your partner is grumbling under two sets of pajamas. 

Menopause, night sweats, and insomnia can turn a bed into a battleground. Keeping a cool bedroom rather than a warm one is better for people who toss, turn, and wake up sweating in the night. But both have to agree that it works for them.

“Differences in temperature preferences is a common sleeping challenge among couples,” according to Wendy Troxel, a senior behavioral scientist at RAND Corporation, a scientific advisor for SleepFoundation.org, and author of Sharing the Covers: Every Couple’s Guide to Better Sleep

Before you grab your sheets and storm off into the spare bedroom to sweat in peace, try these tips to keep both your thermostats in check (and make sleeping easier). 

Upgrade your mattress

If you and your partner have been sweating it out on a full- or queen-sized bed, you might consider saving up for a king.

“If you have a bedmate and you’re struggling with your sleep due to night sweats and general insomnia, you may want to invest in a king-sized bed, which will offer both of you more room and potentially more comfort,” says Susan D’Addario, a certified sleep science coach.

Mattresses have come a long way from just foam and springs. D’Addario recommends one that offers minimum motion transfer. It can help your partner from feeling you toss and turn or from being woken up when they use the bathroom at night. 

Certain mattresses and mattress pads now offer individualized temperature preference options. For example, the BedJet allows one partner to sleep as cool as she wants while the other roasts to their heart’s content. Everybody wins!

Sleep in layers

Instead of sleeping under a sheet and a down comforter, consider layers of light cotton blankets that you can easily shed or pull back on with ease. While it really is great that your poly-blend sheets don’t wrinkle, they can trap in heat and cause you to feel even hotter at night. 

Layering your night clothing can help, too. Choose pajamas or a nightgown in breathable materials that are easy to shed when things get steamy. 

Try the Scandinavian method 

Who says that couples need to sleep in one bed?

“Some couples benefit from the Scandinavian method, which is essentially having two twin beds put together, which allows for each partner to have their own mattress and own bedding,” Troxel says.

No need to invest in twin-sized beds to turn one bed into two. Just put down different types of duvets or blankets on each side of your king or queen-sized bed to suit your tastes. You can snuggle up and stay close to each other knowing you each control the temperature on your respective side of the bed. 

You can design your side of the bed any way you choose. You can have completely different bedding or share a coverlet or comforter at your feet to make the bed look more uniform and tidy before climbing in.

By Lindsay Goldwert

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