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The Six Stages of Sharing a Bed (part one)

August 17, 2016


The Six Stages of Sharing a Bed and Why We Hate to Share

Don’t get the wrong idea. Once you get over the initial excitement and get past the nudge-nudge wink-wink engendered by the phrase - sharing a bed - with someone is hard. It’s hard because the simple act of sharing a bed with someone means there are twice as many people capable of keeping you from a restful night’s sleep. This age old problem was recently rendered in the fresh perspective of artist Andrew Jacobs, whose series of colorful cartoons captured the six stages of sleeping with another person. We’ll be looking at the first three here below.

The First Stage, referred to as the “Golden Time” is the romanticized ideal of sleeping with someone. It encompasses those first few moments (minutes, if you’re lucky) filled with fluffy words like cuddles and snuggles and yoga-esque embraces where you and your partner interlace to achieve Tetris-style, Hollywood still-life perfection.

This is followed, rather too quickly, by the Second Stage: sweat. How, in the name of all that’s holy, is it possible for one person to generate so much body heat? Somewhere, someone has started a flannel-and-silk scented bonfire and stuck it in the sauna your bed has become. Between one sleepy, contented blink and the next you have quite literally melted together and you’re reenacting that scene from Terminator where that gooey robot is flailing around in the molten steel. Added to which, the ultra-comfortable position from a moment before has put a crick in your neck and sent (only) your arm to sleep.

Now, since flying cars and self-cooling beds (and gooey robots) are still some years off, it pays to remember that the only heat in your bed is the heat you (plural) generate. Which means that how hot your bed becomes is a function of how much combined body heat is allowed to escape. A thinner, more breathable blanket is a good start but it’s also important to have a mattress with excellent heat dissipation properties, such as the latex foam range of mattresses.

Since these are imperfect remedies, you probably end up arriving at Stage Three, where you’ve banished your partner to the far side of the bed … which is exactly as frigid and lonely as it sounds. The level of subconscious (because, well, you ARE half asleep) rejection is akin to being banished to the far side of the moon. As the image implies, you and your satellite end up in a complex and perilous gravitational tug o'war where you are either too far away too feel close, or too close together to get any closer to sleeping.

The trick, of course, is to have a bed that allows enough space to maintain your personal comfort zone (and more importantly, your individual temperatures) while still allowing touch at an arm’s (or leg’s) length. While a single- or three-quarter bed may have cut it when your were young and love conquered all, a sizeable queen- or king sized bed is best for when a relationship has done all the conquering it intends to do and wants to settle down. (And have a good night’s sleep.)

Stop by again next week for our discussion on the other three stages of sleeping with someone: the impossible sleeping positions, the dead-of-night quirks and the horrifying solution to it all.

Image source: Flickr


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