My partner always hogs the bed so I never get a good night's sleep. What do I do?

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My partner always hogs the bed so I never get a good night's sleep. What do I do?
Samantha Lee/Insider
My partner always hogs the bed so I never get a good night's sleep. What do I do?
CAPTIONCrystal Cox/Insider; Samantha Lee/Insider
  • Be honest with your partner about how the current arrangement is impacting your sleep and other parts of your life.
  • Suggest solutions, like saving up for a larger bed or nudging your partner when they invade your space.
  • If sleeping in different beds helps you, don't feel ashamed to do so.
  • Have a question for Julia? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously. You can read more Doing It Right here.

Dear Julia,

I share a bed with my partner, and he always takes up about 90% of the bed.

When he does this, I'm left with a tiny strip at the end of the bed. I feel like I could fall out of bed at any moment during the night.

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While he's sleeping he also keeps putting his arm over me. I have insomnia, and even when I do sleep, I'm a light sleeper. I feel like he's invading my personal space when we're in bed!

I just want a few nights where I can have my personal space, and where I can actually sleep, uninterrupted.

I can't stand it anymore! What do I do?

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- West Midlands

Dear West Midlands,

Sleeping is one of my all-time favorite hobbies, so I understand your frustration.

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You not only deserve sleep, but need it so you can enjoy life with your partner, family, and friends during waking hours.

If you haven't yet, have an honest conversation with your partner about your frustration over sleeping arrangements to start with. It's possible he doesn't realize he's being a bed-hog, or that his habits are messing with your wellbeing.

To bring the situation to light, have a non-judgmental conversation where you acknowledge the problem, explain how it's affecting you, and offer solutions, therapist Rachel Wright previously told me.

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You could say something like: "I've noticed you spread out when you sleep, and it's affecting my ability to get quality rest. Can we talk about ways to make our sleeping arrangement work for both of us, so I can feel well-rested and bring my best self to our relationship?"

Then, suggest solutions you'd like to try, like asking your partner if you can give him a gentle nudge or move his arm off of you when it's bothersome. You could also come up with a plan to save money for a bigger bed. Don't forget to get your partner's input too; he may have suggestions you haven't even considered.

If, after talking about the issue and trying a few solutions together, you still find you aren't getting the sleep you need, consider sleeping separately.

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It can feel as if everyone is meant to sleep in bed with their partner, and if you don't, something is wrong with your relationship.

In reality, couples started sharing beds out of economic necessity, not biological need, and the queen- and king-sized beds couples tend to share today were only created 80 years ago.

There are plenty of couples who choose to sleep apart for their mental and physical health (30.9% of Americans want to do just that, according to a 2018 survey), and there's nothing wrong with that.

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Find other ways to connect with your partner, like cuddling and watching a movie, weekly date nights, or starting a new hobby together. Then, grab your comfiest blanket and pillow and head to your very own bed (or bedroom!) that's just for you.

It might seem strange at first. But I have a feeling, when you wake up after eight hours of uninterrupted sleep and feel like a new person, you'll leave societal pressures behind for a sleep arrangement that's best for you.

As Insider's resident sex and relationships reporter, Julia Naftulin is here to answer all your questions about dating, love, and doing it - no question is too weird or taboo. Julia regularly consults a panel of health experts including relationship therapists, gynecologists, and urologists to get science-backed answers to your burning questions, with a personal twist.

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Have a question? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously.

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