I recently had a sleepy conversation with Sammy Margo .
Apparently, a great number of married couples don't sleep very well. Sammy Margo is a physical therapist with 20 years of experience who has worked with dozens and dozens of couples, showing them how to improve their sleep, thereby improving their quality of life.
If you have problems sleeping, or your spouse does, take a look at these easy tips.
A Good Husband: I've heard that a lot of couples sleep in separate beds. Is this true?
Sammy Margo: Over 50% of the patients that I see at home that are over 50 sleep in separate beds, separate rooms or have a sleep contingency plan (e.g. if you snore and I can't sleep I will sleep on the sofa tonight).
Very few people talk about their sleeping arrangements but after visiting thousands of people in their home and after probing my patients that I see in the clinic I have uncovered that the social norm of sharing the same bed as your husband is not always the best thing for your health or for your relationship.
Sleeping separately can be the sign of a strongly bonded couple communicating their needs.I am not advocating sleeping separately for everyone. For some it will improve your relationship.
A Good Husband: How can you be a happy bedfellow?
Sammy Margo: Get the biggest bed you can. Put two single mattresses on one bed to reduce bounce, and don't think that you have to be cuddling all the time. Don't be offended if your partner sleeps with his or her back to you.
(Note from AGH: I especially like this last point. I sleep in the fetal position, up against the edge of the bed, with my back to my wife. We've been married five and a half years and she still thinks I'm upset at her some nights. That's just how I sleep!)
A Good Husband: What do you do if you live with a snorer?
Sammy Margo: You might try using a tape recorder to convince him or her that there is a problem and that they need treatment. Sleep apnea is a major health problem that has only recently begun to be understood. Barring that, try to go to bed before them, and perhaps consider a white noise machine to drown out the snoring.
A Good Husband: In your book you mention night owls and early morning larks. What do you do if you live with an owl and you are a lark or vice versa?
Sammy Margo: Dress/undress in another room so as not to disturb your partner.
Buy a reading light so that you can read without disturbing your partner.
Avoid excessive alcohol and stimulants.
Peel and eat a banana to help you sleep. It contains melatonin, serotonin and magnesium - all helpful sleep aids.
If these four tips don't work, you might check out Sammy's new book, The Good Sleep Guide . It's chock full of useful information about sleep and how to get some.