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The Six Stages of Sharing a Bed (part two)

September 01, 2016


Part two of the Six Stages of Sharing a Bed

Continuing our theme on the difficulties of sharing a bed with a significant (b)other, we start this week by looking at the fourth stage of this risky enterprise. (For a discussion on the previous three stages, see the previous blog post.)

Stage Four. Weird angles. Have you ever looked at your slumbering partner and marvelled at how do they manage to sleep face down on two fluffy pillows, with their neck bent backward at a ninety degree angle and not die? Ever wake up terrified because there’s a burglar in the bed... and then find your partner’s arm pretzeled impossibly beneath you both to rise up behind you? If you’re unlucky enough to have a partner whose favourite sleeping positions include the Crucifix and the Swastika, you might even be used to waking up to find that you’ve lost all your territory and have been relegated to a shoulder-thin strip of mattress. If you harbour the sincere belief that, if your partner’s knees or elbows were any sharper, you’d be in danger of dying in your sleep, you’d not be alone.

Luckily, there is a solution. Use a large enough mattress to allow your partner their ridiculous sleeping positions without putting you out. Maybe look at an extra long mattress, to allow you to leopard crawl across the foot of the bed and annex their territory in a blitzkrieg.

Which brings us to Stage Five. Those unexpected night-time habits. If you’re lucky, these are limited to the highly annoying “getting up ten times a night to go to the bathroom”. When you start looking for places to hide the bedside water glass, probably the bathroom breaks have gotten excessive. Especially if your partner insists on sleeping on the side of the bed furthest from the bathroom and blearily rolling or climbing over you. Then there’s sleep-talking. Or worse, sleep-outbursts. You thought you were doing quite well, never going to bed angry, never knowing there’s a whole dreamscape of conflict that has nothing to do with you. Go ahead, be a considerate partner: try the comforting touch or the gentle shake-awake. Suddenly you’re in a Kung Fu movie and ducking under the covers. All of which is still preferable to sleep-walking. Or worse: sleep-cooking-and-then-coming-to-watch-you-sleep-while-still-holding-the-knife. Try waking up to that.

Invest in a mattress with high motion isolation, like the high density memory- or latex foam models. We can’t promise your partner won’t leave to fetch a knife, only that they won’t wake you when they do.

Stage Six of sharing a bed is... NOT sharing a bed. It is the sneakiest of the stages. It is accompanied by an initial illusory feeling of freedom, of relieved bliss. You bask in the crisp snap of blankets that are all yours, rejoice in the rolling hills of unmarred sheets that stretch as far as the eye can see. The luxury of sending one limb in each wind-direction as far is it will go and encountering... nothing. Probably, a sigh of ultimate inner peace escapes you. And then, that first niggle of doubt. The half-formed inkling that something is missing – which escalates quickly into a full-blown abandonment complex you didn’t even know you had. Suddenly, you’re the puppy whose family has moved house and left you behind. You end up hugging the covers and fighting down the tears, completely convinced that you’ll be alone forever and die miserable and un-spooned.

Well, we can’t help you with that one. Possibly look into getting a dog. Or a full body pillow with burglar-arm extension.

Image source: Flickr


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