Here at Piglet, as you know, we are very interested in sleep. Some might say “obsessed”. And we know that your bedtime ritual is a sacred time to spend either with yourself or with a partner. As our lives are undeniably busy, it can be hard to find the time to read, meditate or spend quality time with loved ones throughout the day, so before we sleep is when we can take back some time for ourselves, even for just a few minutes.
How we choose to relax and wind down before bed has a huge impact on how well we sleep too. For example, sleeping with your partner is not only good for your relationship, but it has many amazing health benefits! The Better Sleep Council tells us that when sleeping next to your partner, your brain releases the chemical oxytocin (also known as the love hormone). This hormone helps to reduce anxiety and can make you feel relaxed, calm and safe - meaning you’ll be able to fall into a deeper, more restorative sleep easily.
We decided to crunch the numbers and see how couples are spending their quality time together before bed and how these habits might be affecting our sleep. Jessica Hanley, founder of Piglet and linen expert, also shares her top tips for sleeping in bed comfortably with a loved one.
What Do Couples Mostly Talk About Before Bed?
Piglet asked over 2000 couples what they talk about most often when in bed together to find out the most popular topics of pillow talk. The results show that topics like friends and family (read: gossiping), events of the day and weekend plans take precedence over other subjects.
Friends and family (56%), events of the day (53%) and weekend plans (45%) are the most popular pre-bedtime topics of conversation in the UK.
We also discovered that only 23% of Brits discuss their sex lives with their partner while in bed, whereas 31% talk about money most often. A staggering 64% of couples spend up to 3 hours a week talking about work in bed. While 70% of 18-24-year-olds discuss the future in bed with their partner - more so than any other age group.
Talking Before Bed Can Help You Sleep…
Half of Brit couples said they ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ agree that talking to their partner/spouse before they sleep can help them sleep better. The other half, maybe not so much… Pillowtalk can actually help to stabilise your relationship and, ultimately, helps you to relax, says Alisa Ruby Bash, PsyD, LMFT.
What Do We Think About Most Before Bed?
So, now we have an idea of what couples are talking about before bed, we also wanted to find out what is going on behind the scenes.
Who Do We Think About Before We Sleep?
Does What We Think About Change With Age?
Our age does play a part in what we think about before sleeping. 30% of those aged 18-24 often think about ex-partners while in bed with their current partner which is more than any other age group. Ah, youth.
We also learned that 1/4 people aged between 25-34 often think about their mother/father-in-law while laying in bed. (We are going to go out on a limb here and guess it might not always be fondly?) 1/3 of people aged between 18-24 think about their celebrity crushes (seems fair) and almost two-thirds think about their current partner/spouse (aww).
The Intimate Details
Diving a little deeper into the sleeping habits of couples, Piglet discovered the top 5 positions Brit couples sleep in at night. 41% sleep back to back while 37% of couples sleep side by side. 25% sleep on opposite sides of the bed and 23% spoon each other to sleep. Only 11% of Brits sleep holding hands with their partner.
Almost half of couples aged 25-34 sleep back to back which is more than any other age group, whereas 1 in 3 couples aged 35-44 sleep on opposite sides of the bed.
But how often do we kiss our partners goodnight before sleep? Well, less than half of UK couples always kiss each other goodnight. Come on guys, a little smooch before bed sounds pretty great!
18% of UK couples say that they ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ kiss their partners goodnight with almost half (49%) of couples aged 65 and over ‘always’ kiss their partner/spouse before they sleep.
How Many Times in a Typical Week do Couples Have Sex Before Going to Sleep?
55% of Brit couples claim they have sex before going to sleep up to 7 times a week, whereas 24% of couples admit they never have sex before sleeping.
It turns out, millennials are the most vocal about their love lives and couples between 25-35 talk about their sex life in bed more than any other age group. If millennials know one thing, it’s how to communicate.
Quality Time or Screen Time?
Experts have advised that adults should really only spend about 2 hours per day staring at the screen. However, for a lot of us, this isn’t possible in our day to day lives. But how many of us let our screens into our evening routines? And could this prevent a restful sleep?
37% of Brits that are in a relationship do not use their phones while in bed and 23% spend between 1-2 hours on their phone before sleeping.
When it comes to screen time in bed, there is a bit of a gender divide as women are more likely to spend up to 4 hours on their phones than their male partners. Almost half of those aged 65+ do not use their phones in bed. Meanwhile, 66% of those aged between 18-34 spend 5+ hours on their phone each night, with millennials guilty of indulging in the most screen time. Must… Stop… Scrolling..
Do You Go to Bed On an Argument?
None of us is perfect and it’s completely normal to have the occasional tiff with a loved one - especially if we’re tired or stressed. But, just how often are couples going to sleep with a chip on their shoulder?
Our data reveals that 31% of British couples go to sleep on an argument up to 7 times a week! If you’re having a disagreement, we’d suggest moving the argument to another room as it’s a great idea to keep your bedroom where you sleep as a place of sanctuary to help you rest, recuperate and even rekindle. Or making a pillow barrier down the middle of the bed, whichever you prefer really.
Where at home do couples tend to argue the most?
- 26% of couples argue most in the living room.
- 20% of couples argue most in the kitchen.
- 25% of couples aged 18-24 argue most in the bedroom - more so than any other age group.
Jessica’s Top Tips for Going to Sleep Comfortably with a Loved One
The founder of Piglet and all-around linen expert, Jessica Hanley, shared her top tips on how to sleep comfortably with your partner/spouse.
- Talk It Out
Talking to your partner about anything and everything can benefit your sleep and your relationship. When you’re in bed, it is a great time to talk to your partner as there are fewer distractions. And, as we often feel safe in this environment, it allows us to be most vulnerable and expressive. ‘Pillowtalk’ can be an essential relationship tool for building intimacy and keeping the lines of communication open in a partnership.
Additionally, talking about stresses caused by daily life, work, or anything else before sleep can also help you to rest easier. And your partner might even be able to offer you ideas or solutions as well as comfort.
- Switch Off Your Screen
We’re often told that scrolling on your phone before bed isn’t the best idea. But do you know why? Firstly, your phone screen gives off blue light, which signals to your brain that it is still daytime. Aside from that, checking your phone before bed can induce anxiety and keep you psychologically alert.
Spending too much time on our phones can also create distance in our relationships. By switching off screens and giving our partners full attention, we can communicate better and it shows huge amounts of respect for the relationship.
Try to switch off your phone at least an hour before bed to give your brain some much-needed time to unwind.
- Treat Your Bedroom Like a Sanctuary
Keep the peace in your bedroom. If you need to have difficult discussions, try to take them to a different room. Of course, this isn’t always possible, but the more we protect the space where we sleep, the better quality sleep we are likely to get.
You can also do things to make your room feel cosy for you and your partner like making your bed with fresh soft sheets, lighting a candle and introducing low-level lighting.
Find a Way to Help you Relax - Meditate, Yoga, Exercise, Calming Music
Switching off our phones is one thing, but it can be difficult to switch off our brains after a hectic day too. Find something that helps you relax, and better yet, try to adopt good habits which you can share with your partner!
Pick up a book, do some stretching or yoga, meditate or even just listen to some calming music.
Having a good bedtime routine is something often overlooked in adulthood. We benefit greatly from simply getting a solid eight hours of sleep a night, and this is so much easier once we establish a good routine.
If you can, try to get to sleep at a similar time each night, and set an alarm for the same time in the morning too. Syncing up with your partner makes it all the easier to stick to the routine too and maximise the amount of time you spend together.
For the best possible night’s sleep, browse Piglet’s range of luxurious bedding, made from beautiful soft linen with natural, temperature-regulating properties to ensure you sleep comfortably all night long.
Piglet also offers a selection of high-quality sleepwear ideal for cosy, winter nights and balmy, summer evenings.