The Scandinavian Sleep Method May Just Be The Secret To Better Rest

When you transition from solo sleeping to sharing a bed, it can be quite a process to develop a new, shared sleep style that's comfortable for both parties. Sometimes, there is no perfect middle ground, and amid all the tossing and turning, you're left weighing the pros and cons of sharing a bed at all. On the one hand, cuddling and skin-to-skin contact can be an easy way to build connection and trust with your bedmate. And emotionally speaking, a study in the journal Sleep suggests that sleeping with a partner or spouse can be good for your mental health.

However, other studies have shown that sharing your bed with another person can adversely impact your rest. On top of the nightly blanket tug-of-war that can come from sharing your slumber zone, a poll from the National Sleep Foundation reports that 26% of respondents lose rest due to their partner's sleep problems. So if your bedmate suffers from issues like snoring, insomnia, or restless leg syndrome, it could end up leaving both of you tired and cranky.

With all this conflicting evidence, what's the answer to better sleep? Should you keep spooning your partner every night, or resort to separate accommodations à la "I Love Lucy"? Before you sell your king-size mattress and buy a pair of twin beds, there may be something else you can try for better rest: a trendy bedtime approach known as the Scandinavian sleep method.

What is the Scandinavian sleep method?

Scandinavian countries have a history of being lifestyle trendsetters, from promoting a hygge mindset for your clothing and home to introducing Scandinavian beauty secrets like ice facials. Now, the so-called Scandinavian sleep method is reinventing the way we catch ZZZs.

Essentially, the Scandinavian approach involves cuddling under your own individual quilt or duvet instead of sharing blankets with your bed partner. Usually, this is done without a top sheet, so it's just quality time between you and your favorite comforter. And despite the name, this style of sleeping is not only popular in Sweden, Norway, and Finland — it's also common in other European countries, like Iceland and Germany (via Sleepopolis).

If you're a serial snuggler, this bed setup may sound a little crazy. After all, how are you supposed to get close to a partner when you're wrapped in separate blanket burritos? But there are actually some notable physiological advantages to trying out the Scandinavian method while you rest.

Benefits of sleeping Scandinavian style

One of the key advantages of the Scandinavian sleep method is individual comfort. "Quality sleep is much more easily achieved when two people have their own quilts to accommodate personal temperature preferences," Norwegian marketing director Sissel Himle explains to Popsugar. "At home in Oslo, we sleep with the windows open as often as weather allows, and the ability to wrap yourself in a cozy blanket when the temperature drops or shake it off entirely once you warm up in the night gives you complete climate control with minimal distractions to your partner."

As Himle points out, the temperature factor is a particularly important consideration. A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology observes that regulating your thermal environment is "one of the most important factors that can affect human sleep." The study also calls out bedding as "critical" to maintaining sleep-friendly temperature.

However, this doesn't look the same for everyone, and there's no hard and fast rule dictating the best blanket situation. The ideal sleep temperature for an adult can fall anywhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (per Sleep Advisor). So each individual may have sleep preferences or differing body heat baselines that require a unique type and amount of bedding to maintain their perfect temperature. When you're sharing blankets, this can mean a compromise that leaves one or both partners uncomfortable during the night. Hence the advantage of the Scandinavian sleep method, which lets each sleeper enjoy the right bedding and thermoregulation for their needs.

Drawbacks of the Scandinavian sleep method

Of course, no sleeping style is perfect for all-comers, and even the Scandinavian approach has some potential drawbacks. As we've already hinted, it can leave dyed-in-the-wool snugglers feeling cut off from their romantic partner. And if you or your bedmate has a sleep disorder, this approach won't solve all your nighttime problems. "If your partner is snoring like a truck, the Scandinavian method is not going to do much good," behavioral scientist Wendy Troxel, Ph.D., tells Today. "The solution really is going to depend on the nature of the problem."

On the more pragmatic side, sleeping with two duvets also requires the higher up-front costs of acquiring said blankets. Additionally, adopting double comforters may mean a longer time spent making your bed and slightly more bedding to launder (via Real Simple). But these are pretty mild consequences to take in stride if separate comforters can gift you with better sleep. So if you're constantly dragged awake by bedding that's too hot, too cold, or being stolen by your partner, the Scandinavian sleep method may be worth trying out for a more satisfying bedtime experience.