Napping too long in the day might affect your sleep at night

Many view a marriage bed as one shared mattress, but if your sleep is being constantly disturbed by your partner’s movements at night, twin beds might be the better option for your health. — Filepic

I have been having difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. I love to take naps in the afternoon, especially after lunch. Will this help me get the necessary amount of sleep I need since I cannot sleep well at night?

It depends on the length of the nap you are taking.

Short power naps are beneficial, like the kind you grab on your armchair before you begin your afternoon work.

But long or irregular napping during the day can negatively affect your sleep at night.

This is because if you sleep during the day, it can confuse your internal clock.

Then you cannot sleep well at night.

One study shows that people actually became sleepier during the day if they took long naps, rather than making them feel more alert!

Oh. How long a daytime nap is considered beneficial then?

A daytime nap of around 30 minutes should be sufficient.

Longer naps will decrease your nighttime sleep quality and length.

Should I stop my daytime napping then?

If you are used to taking short power naps and you have no disrupted sleep at night, then you should go on doing what you have always done.

But if you are used to taking naps, yet have poor sleep quality at night, then you should stop taking daytime naps and allow your sleep-wake cycle to mend itself.

I have difficulty sleeping with my husband. I don’t mean that it is him in particular, but I have difficulty sleeping with someone else in the room. He does not snore, but sometimes shifts and turns in bed, which then wakes me up.

Actually, it is mistakenly thought that couples who share the same small bed and blankets are a happier couple.

But this is not necessarily the case.

So forget all those romantic scenes you have seen in movies where couples wake up happily entwined with one another and kiss each other good morning – it rarely happens in real life!

You both need your sleep.

If you get a good night’s sleep, you will be more relaxed and contented during the day, and you will be a better partner to your spouse.

Therefore, it is advisable that in your case, you should sleep in separate beds.

Get twin beds if you can, and put a side table between them.

You can put the beds together if you wish, but ensure that you use separate mattresses and bed frames, so that your husband will not disturb you when he tosses and turns.

You can also consider investing in a king-sized mattress of good quality that absorbs movement.

That way, the mattress can isolate and negate the other person’s movements, and you will be able to sleep well.

We spend a third of our lives sleeping in bed, and maybe even more if we like to surf the Internet or read books in bed!

Therefore, it will be an investment well spent.

You should also get separate blankets so that your partner does not pull your shared blanket away from you and wake you up.

Another option if you don’t mind being away from one another at night and if you have the space, is to sleep in separate rooms.

Separate rooms used to be normal for middle and upper class married couples in the past, until the lack of space and real estate forced them together.

Today, royalty and many of the richest people still choose to sleep in separate bedrooms.

Another issue is that my condo bedroom is near a highway. It is really noisy! I thought I would get used to it, but it still disturbs me after several years.

There are many condominiums and flats built near major expressways and train tracks these days.

I guess it is for easy access, but seriously, even with double glazed windows, some of the traffic noise will seep through.

If you have not glazed your windows, please spend some money doing so.

Double glaze, or even triple glaze, them.

Most expressways have sound barriers, but that will only help if you are on the same level as the barrier.

It does not help if you live on higher floors!

The best thing I can suggest for you is to move your bedroom to another room away from the highway.

If you cannot do it, then ensure you have long, thick, blackout curtains for your double-glazed windows.

Thick curtains can also help to mute noise.

In one bedroom environment study, half the participants noticed improved sleep quality when noise and light were diminished.

OK, I can try that. What else can I do for my bedroom?

Cloth materials will also minimise noise by absorbing it.

So you can try putting thick rugs and carpets in your bedroom.

There are also some noise-cancelling furnishings you can hang around your bedroom (Ikea has one such noise absorber).

Do not sleep with your mobile phone, especially if the display and notifications are always on.

Have an old-fashioned alarm clock instead of a bright digital one that you periodically stare at.

Do not look at the time if you cannot sleep – it will only make you more anxious!

Avoid clutter and too many things in your bedroom.

Most interior decorators will tell you to paint your bedroom walls in relaxing colours like blue and green.

White is not actually a good colour for your bedroom wall as it is a daytime colour and associated with waking up.

Put your aircon at a temperature comfortable for you.

You must not be too hot lest you cannot fall asleep, as your body needs to cool down to invoke the sleep cycle.

Many people find temperatures of 20°C to 25°C to be the most comfortable, but it will depend on you.

Take a hot bath 90 minutes before falling asleep – forget all those old wives’ tales about not bathing at night!

Dr YLM graduated as a medical doctor, and has been writing for many years on various subjects such as medicine, health, computers and entertainment. For further information, email The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only, and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Neither The Star nor the author gives any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to such information. The Star and the author disclaim all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

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