EVERY FEBRUARY 14, romantic people of the world decide that life is meaningless if you aren't sharing a bed with someone. While I harbor no ill will towards all my friends who are happily paired off and enjoying blissful marriages or steady partnerships, it's not for everyone.
Specifically, the joys of spooning are wildly overrated.
Partnering up almost always means sharing a bed with someone, but it turns out that this romantic practice can have some serious consequences for your health. Sleep studies have shown that sharing a bed can lead to more fragmented and less restful sleep than sleeping alone, and that in turn can actually make your relationships suffer. This should surprise exactly no one who has ever dealt with a snoring spouse or has been elbowed in the ribs by the tossing and turning of an (ex-) boyfriend.
A Valentine's Day Gift for Yourself
So if you find yourself a little sad at not having anyone to give you candy and flowers this year, try giving yourself the gift of an amazing night's sleep instead. After all, you're already halfway there if you have a whole bed all to yourself.
When you get a good night's sleep regularly, you'll find that your memory improves, you lose weight, and you're less depressed. Here's my advice for how to make sleeping alone an occasion worth celebrating:
- Splurge on Comfy Bedding: Get a great set of sheets for both winter and summer. Crisp, combed cotton with a high thread count will feel great on warm days, while you can't beat cozy flannel for winter. Invest in a variety of blankets so you can layer up with just the right amount for your personal comfort – after all, no one's going to fight you for them or throw them off the bed!
- Create a Reading Area: If you love curling up with a good book, make sure your bedside table is large enough for your collection – or add one to either side of the bed, since you get to use both! Add a great reading lamp and a collection of pillows to prop you up while you read as well.
- Set the Mood: If you like to calm yourself by meditating before bed, set the mood in your bedroom with a collection of candles for a soft glow – just make sure they're placed well away from your bed linens to avoid a fire hazard. Aromatherapy scents can also enhance the mood of your space. Banish tablets and smartphones to remove distractions from your sacred hideaway.
- Replace Your Mattress: If it's been years since you've had a new mattress, one of the great perks of being single is not having to negotiate with anyone over mattress firmness. You need only please yourself, so take the opportunity to test drive as many as you like before investing in a great new mattress to support your sleep.
This Valentine's Day, celebrate your single life by giving yourself the gift of a great night's sleep. When your married friends wake up less than refreshed on February 15 and wonder why you're so chipper, you can just smile and explain that you slept great last night – and every night.