You’re sleeping without your partner—or at least, you’re trying. It’s sometime after midnight, and you’re staring at the ceiling. The bed feels too big and too cold, the bedroom too dark. Every noise outside makes you jump… It just feels like something’s missing.
For many people, this is the experience when their “other half” is away. Whether a relationship has ended or the one you love is just away for a business trip, sleeping alone can be difficult once you’ve gotten used to having someone in particular beside you.
When you’re having trouble sleeping without your partner, here are a few things you can do to help you get that good night’s sleep you need.
- Buy a good body pillow. It’s not the same as a warm body, but a big body pillow can keep your bed from feeling “too big” and give you something soft to cuddle up against.
- Put on some white noise. Whether you buy a white noise machine or just turn on a fan (or an electric heater in the cold months), white noise can help a person relax and fall asleep faster.
- Make sure you’re warm enough. A body beside you in the bed is literally an in-bed heater. When you sleep alone, it can be harder to get warm enough. Keep the bedroom a little warmer or put on an extra layer, and make sure to sleep in your socks! These little steps can help you feel cozy and comfortable, even without the built-in “partner furnace” beside you.
- Pay attention to your sleep hygiene. Quality sleep hygiene can help you sleep better. When you keep a bedroom that’s beautiful and relaxing, use a regular end-of-day routine to tell your body it’s time to sleep, eat well, and get enough exercise (preferably early in the day), you’re more likely to sleep soundly.
- Try natural sleep remedies. Having a soothing cup of tea before bed can help you relax and fall asleep more easily. Herbal teas like chamomile, or specially formulated blends for inducing sleepiness that include ingredients like valerian root, may be just what you need to drift off. Or try a melatonin supplement—but talk to your doctor first.
Don’t reach for the sleeping pills right away… try these methods first. Use a sleep aid only for long-term situations when you’ve exhausted all other options (and yourself in the process). Give yourself some time to adjust, take good care of your health, and you’re likely to find that your ability to sleep alone comes back on its own over time.