This post was most recently updated on February 3rd, 2020
The most common reason for not wanting to sleep alone is because you are adjusting to a new life after a breakup or divorce.
Being alone in a space where you once had someone to sleep with might make it feel impossible to ever get a good night of sleep again.
But you need sleep. For your physical and mental health, you need quality sleep each night, or everything in your life will become chaotic.
When you develop a sleep deficit, your body has slower reflexes, your mind doesn’t focus as well, and you are more prone to getting sick (and taking longer to recover).
And that is just the physical toll. Lack of sleep can also play havoc on your emotions – which just makes everything worse.
So what is the solution?
A few simple changes in your bedding can transform your lonely bed into a welcoming bed.
It’s really just a matter of adding a few items to soothe your soul and changing a few items that created your comfort zone.
A large bed with plenty of open space tends to remind you of a missing partner, not to mention feeling your partner next to you.
An easy way to compensate for both is by using bed bumpers.
Bed bumpers are placed on either or both ends of the mattress, under the fitted sheet. They consist of a foam cushion, with a soft cotton cover. They generally measure about 8″ in width and 50″ in length.
Bed bumpers, for the purposes of sleep anxiety, work in two ways:
1.) When they are placed on both sides of the bed, they take up space, making your bed look smaller. The lack of available space makes the bed seem not so lonely.
2.) Unlike regular pillows, bed bumpers are made of foam and are firm. They can mimic the feeling of sleeping next to a partner, whereas traditional pillows are soft, and lack structural integrity.
If you miss the feeling of rolling into your partner, bed bumpers are a better bet than pillows.
People aren’t soft and mushy like pillows. We have muscles, bones, etc. that provide firmness and resistance.
Bumpers can be purchased one at a time, or in pairs. For Twin beds, one bumper is probably enough. If you have a Full, Queen, King, or Cal King mattress, we would suggest a pair.
The sleep anxiety caused by sleeping alone can also be treated by traditional sleep anxiety aids.
Weighted sleep anxiety accessories have become very popular over the past few years, and for good reason – they work!
The two which we have positive experiences with are:
- Weighted sleep masks
- Weighted blankets
Weighted sleep masks
A weighted sleep mask is basically just a sleeping mask, filled with pellets. It works by offering your face some deep touch pressure – which is a complicated way of saying “hug”.
You tend to feel more at ease when giving and receiving hug right? That is how a weighted sleep mask does its magic.
There’s also a bit of misdirection at play as well.
Sensing the weight of the mask on your face causes you to focus your thoughts on the mask – and not on your anxiety.
A weighted blanket
Weighted blankets provide you with the secure feeling of having many blankets on top of you without all of the extra heat.
Weighted blankets are used for sleep anxiety and other anxiety conditions because the feel of the blanket provides a real sense of security. They work just like the sleep masks – just a larger version.
The weights of the blankets are not so heavy that you cannot move freely, and they are not restrictive in any way.
They are simply blankets with a unique filler sewn in-between the layers that make them heavier than your average comforter.
You can find weighted blankets in all bed sizes and a variety of weights. You can even find them with a variety of materials and colors so that they will match your preferences and favorite color schemes.
Long body pillows are a great addition to any lonely bed.
The length and width of these pillows make them very easy to curl up with at night and makes your body feel as if someone is there.
Body pillows come in different shapes and sizes, but we recommend a U-shaped body pillow.
A regular body pillow allows you to curl up to it – kind of like curling up into someone. Which is great!
But a U-shaped pillow also adds some comfort from behind. It makes you feel like you are being spooned or cuddled by your partner.
Change things up!
It may be time for you to change the type of bedding that you are sleeping on.
This is especially true after a breakup or divorce. You may not consciously think about it, but the feel of your sheets and blankets subconsciously remind you of your former partner.
Changing the feel or color of your sheets will have an impact on your sleep. For example, going from cotton to flannel, or blue color to grey.
Even the slightest change can have a huge impact!
You will notice the change in the way that your bed feels or looks, and it can give you a feeling of empowerment.
Changing the sheets that you used when you were a couple into something that you use as a single person allows you to regain emotional control over one area of your life, and this will flow into other areas as well.
It may seem strange to think that sheets or a duvet cover can have this impact, but it is true.
Other Little Tips and Tricks
If you are having trouble sleeping alone, it may also be in your best interest to change your sleep routine. Try creating a routine that makes you anticipate going to bed each night.
A change to your routine and a change to your bedding can help you take control of your sleeping.
A lot of the times, the anxiety you feel is caused by loss of control of a situation. Finding small ways to regain control, even if it is changing your sheets, makes a big difference mentally.
Once these changes begin, and you start enjoying quality sleep once more, you will be pleased with the brighter look you have on all areas of your life.
There are many reasons that people suffer from sleep anxiety. One common cause is that they do not want to sleep alone. Sleeping alone might make them feel vulnerable or at risk.
Many people do not like to sleep alone because they are afraid. Scary movies, police dramas, and the news can all cause people to feel insecure in their homes.
More often than not, the anxiety is just from feeling lonely.
Sleeping alone after being accustomed to sleeping with a partner can require a bit of an adjustment, but it can definitely improve over time.