Nudges In The Night: 4 Signs You’re A Bad Bed Partner

under the covers woman

A good night’s sleep is mandatory for a busy life. Are you a bad bed partner, making it difficult for you and your bedmate? Here are 4 signs you may be one.


No matter what zany escapades your unconscious has in store, it’s always jolting to be awoken by an all-too-vivid dream, a snoring partner, or an accidental elbow to the face.

Is your partner a bad sleeper, or are you doing most of the rousing? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then sleeping next to you might be a hazard:

1. Are you a vivid dreamer?

Clad in your superhero cloak, you soar high above the city in pursuit of malevolent villains. Then you’re lounging on a private catamaran, savoring tea and crumpets with the Queen of England. Suddenly, spiders! Lots of giant spiders. You furiously tear off the sheets, catapult from bed, and turn on all the lights.

Because: arachnids.

Then it hits you: There are no spiders. There is no royal catamaran. With a healthy dose of certainty, you’re jolted from your not-so-peaceful slumber and thrust back into reality. You’re not of noble or superhero stock. And your partner, who you’ve so rudely awoken, has to be up for work in two hours. Tick, tock. Sleep escapes you both.

If it makes you feel any better, I’m a very vivid dreamer. I often awake Nick—turning on all the lights, of course—when the giant spiders and rogue outlaws of my imagination loom.

2. Are you a blanket bandit?

Before you moved in with your sweetie, did you sprawl out to sleep, taking up every inch of available space? Or maybe you like to roll yourself up in blankets like a cozy, human burrito.

It’s been a few years now, but I’m still learning how to share a bed like a decent human being. If Nick doesn’t tuck himself in just right, I steal all the blankets halfway through the night. While slumbering, I slowly rotate, like a rotisserie chicken, and eventually Nick’s left without a square of sheets to spare. To add insult to injury, I fight back in my sleep when Nick tries to take his share of blankets.

hotel insomnia

(image: David van der Mark)

Lawwwd have mercy. I’m the worst bed partner.

If you’re a blanket hog, don’t leave your partner out in the cold. You could tuck away a few extra blankets behind your headboard, just in case. Or you could sleep with two blankets instead of one.

3. Are you a sleep talker?

From total gibberish to complicated dialogue, sleep talking can really disturb your partner. Sometimes, I’ll have a full-blown conversation without the slightest recollection. Sleep talking—known as “somniloquy” in fancy medical speak—is a quirk that some of us never outgrow. If you’re a sleep talker, your partner may want to invest in earplugs. Or you could use a white-noise machine to drown out the mumbling.

If all else fails, maybe it’s time to consider separate beds? Lots of couples are doing it. (Check out Steffani Cameron’s post for more on that.)

4. Are you on the U.S Olympic snoring team?

A snoring partner can be a real nuisance. According to Good Housekeeping, “A study by John Shepard, M.D., Medical Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Mayo Clinic . . . found that the bedmates of heavy snorers lose an average of one hour of sleep per night.”

One hour may not seem like much, but not getting adequate Zzzzzzs really takes a toll over time. Lack of sleep may affect energy levels, performance at work, and concentration while driving. By now, you’re likely guessing that I’m a snorer. Nope. As bad as I am on all other sleep etiquette fronts, I’m proud to say that I don’t snore. But Nick does. Hey, I’m in no position to hold that against him.

Take-Home Lesson
A good night’s sleep is a luxury that escapes many of us. Is your partner to blame, or are you the culprit? Because knowing is half the battle.


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