The Scandinavian Sleep Method Is A Life Saver For Couples
Cozying up in bed with your partner at the end of the day can feel like total bliss. Research shows that many couples score better sleep, with longer REM periods, than those who sleep solo. But if you're not compatible in terms of sleep habits, sleeping with your partner can feel more frustrating than blissful, especially if you’re a light sleeper. They run hot, you run cold. They (or you) toss and turn, hog the blankets, or worse, kick while you sleep. While the Scandinavian Sleep Method can’t really help you with snorers, it can help alleviate these issues, bring you closer as a couple, and help you get more restful sleep.
What is the Scandinavian Sleep Method?
I learned about this simple sleep method from my designer friend Mia Sandmark, who hails from Sweden. She and her husband — like many from Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Norway, and Sweden — sleep without a topsheet and two twin duvets.
“I truly dislike a flat or top sheet,” says Sandmark. “I feel like the purpose of a top sheet in America is to create your own version of an individual sleep pod. One ends up getting the sheet and the other gets the duvet. For us, we constantly have our own without needing to fight with our bed neighbor. It’s incredibly satisfying to always have a duvet edge to cool me off.”
Sleeping with two duvets, one for you and one for them, allows you to choose one that gives you the most comfort. There’s also no more tug of war, fewer unnecessary wake-up calls through the night, and you always have control of your blanket. “Don’t worry, you can still reach for your partner's body even though you use separate duvets,” adds Sandmark. It’s also a more comfortable way to welcome the kids (if you have them) in bed in the morning.
How do you make your bed for the Scandinavian Sleep Method?
To make your bed using the Scandinavian Sleep Method, simply lay out your duvets vertically, with a little bit of overlap. You can choose to fold them both down or layer a coverlet over them. You can also layer them horizontally, letting the bottom sheet peek through.
Other Scandi-Style Sleep Tips
Image viaTatiana Syrikova
Here are a few more Scandi-style ways to score better sleep:
Embrace hygge: Add soft lighting, natural materials, such as organic cotton bedding, and declutter your bedroom to create a peaceful and serene space.
Unplug and unwind: Try a digital detox before bedtime. Put away smartphones, tablets, and laptops at least an hour before sleep to allow your mind to unwind.
Get in sync with nature: Natural light and fresh air are important for maintaining healthy sleep patterns. During the day, open your curtains or blinds to let in natural light, which helps regulate your body's internal clock. Go outside too as part of your daily routine, even when it’s cold, to expose yourself to fresh air and nature.
Calm the mind: Try calming activities such as reading a book, gently stretching or doing yoga, or listening to relaxing music before bedtime. Take a warm bath, practice meditation or deep breathing exercises, or try journaling too.
Eat well: Avoid heavy, greasy meals close to bedtime, which can disrupt your digestion and lead to discomfort. Instead, reach for light, healthy snacks that help you relax, such as herbal tea or a small serving of nuts or fruit.
Don't worry if you don't do these things *every* night. But when you have the time to self care before bedtime, you'll find that sleep comes more easily. Good luck, light sleepers!
Sign up for our newsletter for the latest in health & wellness.
Header Image via Ketut Subiyanto
Theresa Gonzalez is a content creator based in San Francisco and the author of Sunday Sews. She's a lover of all things design and spends most of her days momming her little one Matilda.