The Scandinavian Sleep Method Might Just Save Your Relationship

If your better half is keeping you awake at night, you aren’t alone — 1 in 3 Americans report that their partner negatively affects their sleep. No matter how much we love them, sometimes they’re the reason we can’t get any shut-eye. Whether it’s snoring or blanket-stealing, incompatible sleep patterns greatly affect the quality of your sleep. 

If you’re at your breaking point and need some rest, the Scandinavian sleeping method may drastically improve how you sleep at night. It’s easier than you think. Read on to learn what it is, the benefits, and how to integrate it into your nightly routine. 

Also, see our editor’s favorite sleep tips and how to tackle anxiety before bed.

What is the Scandinavian sleeping method?

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The Scandinavian sleeping method is common in some parts of the world — Sweden, Norway, Denmark and some other parts of  Europe. The idea is simple: Instead of sharing a blanket at night, you and your partner each have your own. It’s not about avoiding intimacy or sacrificing a part of your relationship. It’s about prioritizing your sleep needs so that both of you can wake up well-rested and energized. 

Most people use two twin-size comforters or duvets for the Scandinavian sleeping method. This sleeping style typically works best on king mattresses to give the separate blankets the most room, but queen mattresses work fine for most people. 

Traditionally, you forgo the shared flat sheet for this. If you’re like me and love flat sheets, you can always opt for two flat sheets, in addition to separate blankets. There’s no right or wrong way to do it.

Read more: Best Duvet Covers for Your Bed

Two comforters can help you sleep better

Sharing a comforter with your partner might not be the best option for your needs, and that’s OK. Sleep is inherently a single-player sport. It’s not something you are required to share with your partner. For many people, sharing a blanket might not be the best move for your sleep quality. One study found that sharing comforters results in 30% more interrupted sleep. 

By each having their own blanket, the half-asleep tug-of-war battle is eliminated, and so are all the times you wake up because you’re cold and blanketless. You also can adjust positions at night without worrying about affecting your partner. 

Remember that the Scandinavian sleeping method isn’t reserved just for those who live with a blanket hogger. It’s a good option for anyone who tosses and turns or has a different sleeping pattern that may wake up their partner. 

Comforters vs. duvets

Comforters and duvets are fluffy blankets that come in various thicknesses and materials for temperature regulation. A comforter is one complete piece, while a duvet is meant to be inserted into a cover or coverlet.

Duvet covers are interchangeable, so you can easily alter the look of your bed without buying a whole new comforter set. Duvets are also easier to clean because you can remove and wash the cover. Comforters are easier to use because they’re one blanket with no cover. They’re usually quilted or stitched so that the material inside is secure and evenly distributed. You won’t have “bunching up” issues with comforters like you might with a duvet in its cover. 

Which one should you use?

For the Scandinavian sleeping method, both duvets and comforters work great as long as each partner uses their own. If I had to choose between the two options, I would recommend comforters for their simplicity. Using two duvets means you’ll have double the work of reinserting them into their respective covers every time you wash the bedding, which can be awkward and time-consuming. Ultimately, it’s up to your preferences and whatever will help you and your partner sleep best.

Young woman whispering to a man while holding food in bed

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You can personalize your sleep experience 

When my boyfriend is asleep, he turns into an (almost literal) pool of lava, kicking off the blanket to cool down. I’m not like that; I like to burrow into my blanket all night. 

Having two blankets allows for personalization in temperature. Temperature is essential when we sleep; it triggers when we fall asleep and wake up. Getting too warm or too cold will interrupt our circadian rhythm.

If your partner is a hot sleeper who only wants to use a sheet while you like to wrap in a comforter burrito, then you have that freedom with separate bedding. You have the choice to use a quilt, fuzzy blanket or light duvet, while your partner could use nothing at all — or something more substantial, like a weighted blanket.

Will two blankets solve all of your problems?

If your sleep problems are due to your or your partner’s underlying sleep disorder, using two blankets won’t solve everything, although it can help protect you from additional sleep disturbances. Sleep is essential for health. When we sleep, our bodies go into recharge mode. Getting enough sleep will result in better memory and concentration, a stronger immune system and better heart health. If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, it’s important to figure out why. 

Read more: Best Mattresses for Good Sleep

It may be as simple as using the wrong pillow or sleeping on a mattress that’s too old and needs to be replaced. It could be something more serious like sleep apnea or insomnia that can significantly disturb your sleep. It’s best to talk to your doctor if you’re not sleeping well to explore the underlying causes.