Constantly tussling over the duvet when you sharing a bed with your partner? The Scandinavians have the answer with a surprisingly simple sleep hack.
The Scandinavian nations aren’t just trendsetters when it comes to minimalist fashion and interiors; ever since the Danish concept of hygge – which is all about embracing cosiness and comfort to boost your wellbeing in the winter – made its way onto our radar, we’ve been keeping an eye out for the latest Scandi wellbeing practices, from fika, the Swedish tradition of scheduling in a proper break for coffee, cake and catching up (sounds good, right?) to koselig, a Norwegian twist on hygge that prioritises connecting with nature, the outdoors and companionship.
Scandi countries are famed for their high quality of life. Earlier this year, Finland topped the rankings in the United Nations’ World Happiness Report for the fifth year in a row, with Denmark providing strong competition in second place, Sweden in seventh and Norway in eighth (the UK, in case you were wondering, came in 17th place). So, when a Scandi sleep hack that promises a better night’s sleep for couples started cropping up on TikTok, it’s fair to say that our interests were piqued.
The hack in question, known as the Scandinavian sleep method or Swedish sleep method, is so very simple, you’ll be left wondering why you didn’t think of it before. “The Scandinavian sleep method is where a couple uses two separate duvets or blankets rather than one large one to share,” says Dorothy Chambers, sleep expert at Sleep Junkie. Indeed, if you’ve ever stayed in an Airbnb in a Nordic nation, you might already have noticed their doubled-up duvet strategy.
A video posted by Swedish TikToker Cecilia Blomdahl that shows how she makes her bed every day – with two separate single duvets overlaid with a double blanket – has so far been viewed more than 1 million times on the app. “I think the way we do our beds is pretty common in Europe, but it’s completely different to America,” she says in the clip, and we can all attest that it’s pretty different to the standard set-up in the UK too.
Given that, according to a 2019 YouGov survey, 27% of Brits have accused their partner of taking up more than their fair share of the bedclothes, the most striking benefit is simple: it puts an end to duvet-hogging for good. “You can still be close [to one another] but also have your own personal space for when you are actually sleeping,” says Penny Albright, founder of EasySleepGuide.com. “Having two separate duvets means no more fighting for the covers, [and] it prevents the midnight tug-of-war that can cause a lot of movement and unsettle [you and] your partner.”
Plus, when the temperatures rise in summer and dip in winter, you can regulate your own temperature without having to worry about how hot or cold your partner is, Albright adds. “It is completely up to you whether you want to wrap yourself up or kick off the covers, as your partner will not be affected.” And if one of you prefers a cosy, higher tog duvet, you won’t have to compromise, either. “Separate duvets allow you to choose the type of duvet or blanket that suits you,” Chambers notes. Bliss.
According to a study carried out by Sleep Junkie in 2019, Denmark, Norway and Sweden all ranked highly when it came to sleep and overall quality of life (in third, fourth and sixth place respectively), so clearly the Scandis are doing something right when it comes to nodding off. However, it’s also important to remember that this method won’t help with other co-sleeping issues, Chambers warns, such as “snoring, sleep talking or generally taking up space in the bed”. Plus, Albright notes, although it hasn’t scientifically been proven that there are drawbacks to this sleep method, mainly due to the lack of research, anecdotally she says there may be some risk that it can lessen intimacy between couples because there isn’t that human touch available when needed.
Still, this tactic is so simple, it’s almost certainly worth a go if you’re struggling to drift off next to your partner – especially if you’ve been considering going all out and opting for a sleep divorce. Happy hibernation…
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