How To Be Good In Bed (We're Talking Sleep, Of Course)

The Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 01/03/2012 15:49 Updated: 01/05/2012 10:12

Whether you're indulging in a night of unbridled passion, slipping under freshly washed sheets after a hellish day at work or snuggling up under a cloud-like duvet in the depths of winter, few places can compete with the heavenly sanctuary that is your own bed - which is why we are celebrating National Bed Month.

But while some of life's most blissful moments are undoubtedly spent under the covers (or indeed on top of them), for many, so are some of the darkest hours. If you've ever had trouble sleeping, you'll know that lying awake thinking about work at 3am while tossing and turning in tangled sheets can be torturous.

Your bed has the power to make or break your night, not to mention set your mood for the following day.

From the best feng shui position for your bed and choosing the right mattress for a restful night's sleep to finding a way to sleep in harmony with your partner, transform your bed with these simple tips and ensure you're more Sleeping Beauty than The Princess And The Pea.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR TIPS ON MAKING YOUR BED WORK FOR YOU


But what when you're sharing your personal sanctuary with another? They say your sleep position reveals aspects of your personality but according to relationship expert Dr. Pam Spurr, your sleeping dynamic with your other half could reveal some telling signs about your relationship dynamic, too...

What Your Sleeping Position Says About Your Relationship

"Putting aside any special needs - like physical or medical issues that mean a couple must sleep apart or give each other space on their mattress - the positions you adopt reveal some between-the-sheets secrets," says Dr Pam.
 
"For instance, are you two as inseparable in sleep as you are during the day so you cuddle up in 'spoons' position all night? Or do you cling to the edge of the bed as your partner sprawls with a lack of care for your space in the starfish position? 

"Because even when asleep our subconscious minds keeps on churning away and senses what's near us. And if it's churning over a difficult phase in your relationship this might be reflected in a sleep position that puts you as far apart as possible."

She adds: "Considering this the positions you adopt speaks volumes about your relationship and can reveal how you're really feeling about each other. In subtle ways it can also reveal who probably holds the power between you."

Here are a few key sleep positions:

The Spoons: Man Behind: Both lie on your sides and he faces her back. 

The likely meaning is that you two have deep affection, he's protective of her and possibly quite traditional. But do think about the implication if you only sleep in this position and sex has gone off the boil as it might reflect things becoming too platonic.

Poles Apart: Your backs to each other, a wide gap between your backs.

Beware unless, as above, you have medical/physical issues that mean you need your space, this signals intimacy is breaking down. You two may well be too independent of each other and beginning to lead parallel lives that never touch. If independence suits you both there's nothing wrong with that as long as there is some affection between you. Make sure you don't use this position to shut each other out.

The Starfish: One sprawls in bed, the other faces away, clinging to the bed edge.

This is a clear indicator that the sprawler dominates the relationship. They might also be selfish and unaware - or uncaring - of their partner's needs. If you're feeling pushed out physically like this and emotionally it's key to start asserting yourself during the day. And things might become more equitable at night in bed."

Follow Dr Pam on Twitter @drpamspurr

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  • Fall Sound Asleep

    Research has shown that background music can help ease the symptoms of insomnia and tinnitus so invest in an alarm clock with a sleep function and docking station and make a soothing playlist. Or take things a step further and invest in a blanket, pillow or even headboard with built-inspeakers from sleep aid specialists, <a href="http://www.soundasleeppillow.co.uk/" target="_hplink">Sound Asleep</a>.

  • Plump Up Your Pillow

    "Pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge," says sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of <em>Beauty Sleep: Look Younger, Lose Weight, and Feel Great Through Better Sleep</em>. Choose the right one for your sleep position: <strong>Tummy: </strong>Very thin, flat pillow to avoid straining your neck. Use a pillow under your stomach to avoid lower back pain. <strong>Back: </strong>Thinner pillows so head is not thrown too far forward. <strong>Side:</strong> Firmer, plumper pillow that fills up the space between your neck and shoulder

  • Cool down, chill out

    When we sleep our body temperature drops and if the environment doesn't correspond to this, the body struggles to achieve its desired temperature for a comfortable sleep. Research suggests that after sun damage, one of the biggest causes of ageing comes from sleeping on traditional cotton, linen or polyester pillowcases. These fabrics absorb moisture, leaving the skin dehydrated. Silk pillows are said to minimize dehydration, which means they'll leave your hair smoother and glossier, too. Try SilPerfect Pure Silk Pillowcases.Like air-con for your bed, <a href="http://climsom.com/eng/ClimsomIndex.php" target="_hplink">Climson</a> cooling and warming mattress toppers have a thermo-controller that allows you to adjust the temperature you want to the exact degree.

  • Get Your Beauty Sleep

    Research suggests that after sun damage, one of the biggest causes of ageing comes from sleeping on traditional cotton, linen or polyester pillowcases. These fabrics absorb moisture, leaving the skin dehydrated. Silk pillows are said to minimize dehydration, which means they'll leave your hair smoother and glossier, too. Try SilPerfect Pure Silk Pillowcases.

  • Sleep Together In Harmony

    In a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Climson, it was revealed that 83% of people in reltaionships argie over sleeping habits. The majority noted their parnter's sleeping habits as the main contributor to a bad night's sleep. Take a tip from the Scandinavians where couples each have their own duvet and would never dream of sharing. Altrnatively, try a duvet from The Duvet Store that has each side custom-filled separately to cater for your own needs.

  • Feng Shui Your Bed

    According to the ancient Chinese art of feng shui, the style of your bed and its position within your bedroom can have a significant impact on your energy and sleep. Choosing a bed with legs, as opposed to a divan, and positioning it with a clear space either side, allows the chi to circulate freely. A headboard is said to stabilise relationships and to provide the possibility of a relationship for singles. The bed should ideally sit as far away from the door as possible, as the further your bed from the door the more control you will have over your space and life.

  • Find The Best Mattress For You

    Never buy a mattress online unless you've already tested it beforehand in store. To find the right tension for you, lie down on the mattress in the showroom and push your hand under the small of your back. If there is a large gap the mattress is too soft, if there is no gap at all, it's too soft. Being able to pass your hand through says it's perfect.

  • Don't Take Work To Bed

    "Talking about yoru work when you get home can be a good thing and a positive way of gaining support from family and friends," says Dr Ramlakahn. "However, try not to let the work talk spill over into your whole evening and bedtime. If necessary, set some rules about when you stop talking about work and allow your mind to wind down and switch off."