4 Things We Do Together to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Breathe Right® Nasal Strips. All opinions are mine alone. #TomorrowStartsTonight #CollectiveBias
Dustin and I did not live together before we got married, so moving in together and learning how to cohabitate (on top of figuring out how to be married) was quite the adventure. We had to figure out who was responsible for doing the dishes, who was in charge of the trash duty and the balance between spending time doing our individual hobbies and doing things together. I don’t think I’d say that the first year of marriage was the hardest for us, but it was a challenge in a different way compared to other years of our marriage.
One of the biggest challenges we faced? Learning how to share a bed together.
I love my husband with all of my heart, but Dustin is a very loud sleeper. When we first got married, he was a sleep talker and thrasher. At first, it was adorable because he would wake me up in the middle of the night (he was still dreaming/asleep) and would ask “Chelsie! Chelsie! Are you okay?!” and every night I would tell him sleepily “Yes, I’m just sleeping!” It was cute that he was dreaming and concerned for my safety until it was happening every night. Dustin’s sleep talking habits slowly evolved as he started working for a car rental agency, and before I knew it, he was trying to rent me cars in his sleep. And then, one night I woke up to finding him sitting straight up in the bed, moving the sheets around as if he was looking for something. When I asked if he was okay he asked me: “Do we have a pet spider?! Because if we do, I think it wriggled out of its leash and is now in the bed.” It took me a few minutes to get him to wake up and realize that he was having a dream and that there was not a pet spider loose in our sheets.
My sweet husband also happens to be a really loud mouth breather when he’s sleeping, and over this last year, it’s gotten to be really hard for me to sleep soundly next to him. If I’m not asleep before he falls asleep, I usually have to get earplugs so I can block out his sleep sounds.
Guys, I work from home, and as some of you know, I struggle with my stamina/endurance levels. If I don’t get a solid night of sleep, I will waste my day away napping and not get anything done. I would get really grumpy with Dustin (even though he couldn’t control it) because of how terribly I was sleeping. Turns out, sleeping on the couch was just not healthy for our marriage or for me. We realized we needed to find some solutions and figure out how to make sure we both got a good night of rest without having to give up the comfort of our memory foam mattress.
Now, I don’t share these things about my husband to dog on him or make him sound terrible. I share these struggles because I know that I’m not alone and want to share our nighttime routine to anyone who may be in the same boat as us.
Our Nighttime Routine:
1. Screens off 30 minutes before bed.
We’ve gotten into the habit of plugging in our phones and turning off the tv about 30 minutes before we actually get into bed. Turns out, looking at a digital screen right before you go to bed can make it harder for you to fall asleep. But, we also do this so we can pay attention to each other and end our day face-to-face and not glued to our phone screens.
2. Brush Teeth/Wash Face/Bathroom Things
We both brush our teeth and wash our faces together because it helps keep us accountable for actually doing it. It’s really easy to crawl into bed and think: “Oh it’s fine, I’ll be okay for one night and not wash my face,” but that can quickly become a bad habit.
3. Apply Breathe Right® Nasal Strips
Around 12:30 AM one night a few months ago, I woke Dustin, and in sheer desperation for some sleep in my own bed, asked him if he would please go to Walmart and get some Nasal Strips to see if they would help. So, he rolled out of bed and drove down the road to our Walmart (which, thankfully, is open 24/7) and picked up the Breathe Right® Nasal Strips in the Extra Strength version.
I’m not kidding when I say that these things may have saved me from going insane from sleep deprivation. While they aren’t a cure-all, they have drastically reduced Dustin’s mouth breathing/congestion to the point where I barely wake up to his sleep noises. He actually likes them so much that I’ve started wearing them at night, too! We both really like them because it’s a great alternative to using any kind of OTC drug to help us sleep and they are clinically (and personally) proven to lift your nasal passage and open your nose so you can sleep better!
Tips to Apply the Breathe Right® Nasal Strips:
We’ve been wearing the Extra Tan Nasal Strips (the tan ones that have the strongest adhesive) regularly for about 8 months now and have learned a few tips and tricks about getting the most out of them that I wanted to share.
Make sure your nose is completely dry and clean. This means that I have to be careful about where I apply my facial serums and moisturizers, because if my nose is covered in different skin solutions, my strip will not stick to my nose.
Apply the strip so that the bottom of it sits on the top of your nostril. I made the mistake of applying my strips too high at first and have learned to line up the bottom of the strip on the top of my actual nostril. See the packaging for further diagrams if you have questions! Then just rub in gently so it adheres once it’s in place.
Wash your face before you remove it in the AM. Don’t try to remove it right when you wake up because OUCH! Wash your face and get the nasal strip wet first, and it will come right off!
4. Companionship Inventory
This is a communication method that Dustin learned during his time serving a mission for our church, and since we’ve implemented it into our night time routine, it’s really helped our own marriage communication. Disclaimer-I’m not saying that this is the ONLY way to communicate in marriage, I just want to share what has worked for us!
Companionship Inventory is our way of checking in with each other and making sure that we, as a couple, are on the same page when it comes to our feelings and goals, as well as talking out any issues we may be working through.
How to Have Companionship Inventory:
- Ask about each other’s day – Dustin and I fell out of this habit during the summer when we barely saw each other. It’s important to us to know how our days went and what the other one accomplished.
- Talk about your expectations for the next day- Have a chore you expect your spouse to get done? Have an errand you need to run? We’ve learned that it’s important to vocally share your expectations for what will happen during the next day because we are not mind readers. I would often expect Dustin to know that I wanted him to take the trash out the next morning and never actually say it. And, when he didn’t, I would get really upset because he didn’t meet my expectations when I was actually just setting him up for failure by not asking him in the first place.
- Chat about any goals you have and how you can help each other accomplish them – Dustin and I are great individuals but we’re even better as a team. When we share our goals for the week/month with each other, we can cheer each other on and help each other achieve them!
Having companionship inventory as we get settled into bed is a great way to reconnect with each other after a long day and it helps us unwind from the night. Since we put our phones away 30 minutes before, we aren’t distracted and can focus on improving our marriage. And, we usually get really sleepy after talking for about 10-15 minutes, so we are able to fall asleep relatively easily!
Guys, marriage is an adventure and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I am so grateful that we’ve found some solutions to our sleeping dynamic because I really like our memory foam mattress and I also really like my husband. So, the moral of the story is this: If your spouse is a loud sleeper, get some Breathe Right Nasal Strips. In fact, here’s a $1 off coupon (or free sample) to help you out.
Talk to me below: What’s your sleeping dynamic with your partner like? Have you used nasal strips before?