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One of the most incredible things about tying the knot is knowing you'll fall asleep beside the man you love every night and wake to his smiling face each morning — that is, until you realize you've wed a snoring cover hog who refuses to cuddle. Sleeping together, surprisingly, can be quite difficult.
"People have their own biorhythms," explains New York City certified sex therapist Sari Cooper. While a husband may be a night owl left over from his bachelor days, a wife may prefer to wake with the sun, for example. And "when they become a couple, people still tend to resort to their natural rhythms once their early period of romance begins to wane."
From blanket thieves to those who need white noise to lull them into an REM state, experts have heard it all. Cooper has heard complaints from couples in which "one person always feels too hot to cuddle while the other loves skin-to-skin spooning and lots of blankets while they sleep. Some people have to sleep in a certain position, and having another body near them or touching them makes them feel constrained or cramped."
See More: How to Sync Up Your Sex Schedules
But you can sleep better, together, no matter your individual bedtime issue. For example, "if your partner likes to sleep with some type of noise, you can try wearing ear plugs, or they could listen to their music on their headphones, or you two can compromise by listening to nature sounds at night," suggests Columbus, Ohio-based sex expert Nikki Ransom Alfred. Hoard extra blankets on your side of the bed to prevent a bickering match over stolen covers — or a midnight cold spell. Or purchase a pillow top for just your side of the bed, Ransom Alfred suggests, if you can't agree on the firmness of your mattress.
But perhaps most importantly, "recognize that your partner's habits have more to say about them than you, and try not to take it personally," advises Cooper. And realize that your bedtime needs can be met even outside of your sleeping hours. "Find a cuddle time before going to sleep in which you can get that skin-to-skin contact without feeling like you have to sleep in a pretzel position all night," she suggests. "Compromise on a time to go into the bedroom at the same time — even if one person stays up a little later reading, at least the other person has the comfort of having you in bed with them. And finally, schedule some longer times before lights-out to have sex. Sex usually helps most people unwind, relax and get some good Zs."