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June 3, 2024/Living Healthy/Sleep

The Scandinavian Sleep Method: A Surprisingly Simple Fix for Couples Struggling With Blanket-Hogging

Sleeping with separate blankets can help you get the ZZZs you need — without fighting for covers all night

Happy couple sleeping in bed together, holding hands

If you share a bed, you know it can be a struggle. On a bad night, it can feel like you’re in an all-out tug-of-war for blankets. Your partner is all comfy and cocooned, wrapped up in the comforter, while you’re shivering. And irritated.


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“Being together in bed can be very important for couples, not just for sexual intimacy, but also for just the comfort of being together,” says sleep psychologist Alicia Roth, PhD. “But people have different needs, and your bed should be a place where both people can get comfortable and sleep well.”

That’s what’s causing some people to consider alternate sleep arrangements. Some couples go full-on sleep divorce — sleeping in separate beds. Others are looking for an option that keeps them in bed together. But without the blanket-hogging.

That’s where the Scandinavian sleep method comes into play. It’s a bedroom setup that allows for some freedom while also keeping you close. So you can make sure you get enough sleep.

We talked with Dr. Roth about the Scandinavian sleep method. What is it? And how can it help you get better ZZZs?

What’s the Scandinavian sleep method?

The Scandinavian sleep method is a practice where two people share a bed, but each has their own blanket or comforter. No top sheet. Just two single-size comforters on top of a queen- or king-size bed. You can tuck one side of each duvet under the mattress to help keep them in place.

It’s a style of bed-sharing that’s popular in some countries, including Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

No sharing means no fighting for the blanket at night. And that can mean a better night’s sleep for you both.

It’s a way for two people to share a bed without wrestling to get what they need.

“If one person is a restless sleeper and they’re tossing and turning, they could be tangling the blankets up. This way, no one has to fight for their fair share of sheets,” Dr. Roth notes.


Benefits of the Scandinavian sleep method

Sure, you may love your partner, but that doesn’t mean you have to love sharing a blanket (or even a bed) with them. The Scandinavian sleep method is a reminder that better sleep can contribute to your health and happiness, too. And it could be as simple as claiming your own blanket.

Dr. Roth shares the potential benefits when you make your bed with double covers.

Keeps you in bed together

There hasn’t been research conducted on the Scandinavian sleep method specifically. But some research suggests that sharing a bed with a partner is associated with better sleep quality and improved mental health. That is, assuming your partner isn’t the type whose nocturnal karate keeps you up all night.

“In many cultures around the world, sleeping in the same bed as your partner is seen as an important and valuable activity,” Dr. Roth shares. “But it doesn’t work for everyone. Plenty of couples sleep separately and enjoy a very strong relationship not just despite that, but also because of it.”

But if bed-sharing is your goal, your own blanket may help you get the sleep you need without sacrificing the nighttime attachment you’re looking for.

Better sleep can lower your risk for chronic disease

If a nightly battle for the blankets commences in your bedroom, it can be a real drag on your mornings. (And let’s not even talk about the extra strain on your coffee maker.)

But beyond the short-term troubles of not getting enough sleep, like impaired memory, stress and general grogginess, long-term sleep deprivation is related to serious consequences, like:

Your blanket-thieving partner probably isn’t trying to torture you, but they could inadvertently contribute to a host of chronic diseases if they keep it up.

“The benefit of something like the Scandinavian sleep method is that it could help both partners get the sleep they need and deserve. You don’t end up in a situation where one partner is sleeping well at the expense of another,” Dr. Roth elaborates.

Customize to your needs

You like to snuggle under a puffy down blanket on cold nights. But your partner is prone to night sweats if they sleep under anything heavier than a slim fleece. Or you can’t get enough of your weighted blanket. But they’re not a fan.

Sure, compromise is part of a healthy relationship, but when it comes to what you sleep under, maybe you don’t have to. Practicing the Scandinavian sleep method can mean getting the exact bedding that works best for you.



Sure, you know deep down that your partner isn’t trying to sabotage your sleep. But when it happens night after night, it can be hard not to hold it against them.

“If one person or both people are sleep deprived, not only are you going to feel miserable, but it can also build resentment in the relationship,” Dr. Roth points out.

The Scandinavian sleep method can help you save the conflict for things that really matter, rather than starting each morning frustrated and blaming your partner for a rough night’s sleep.

Is the Scandinavian sleep method right for you?

What works for one couple isn’t necessarily the answer for another. That goes for all kinds of relationship preferences, including your sleep.

“It’s not that you can say, Everyone should be doing this, or This is what couples need to do to sleep better. It’s a matter of what works for you both,” Dr. Roth clarifies.

“I always recommend communication. If something isn’t working for you, talk it out and consider the options. And this is an option that could be beneficial in a lot of ways.”

The Scandinavian sleep method isn’t going to help if you’re sharing your bed with someone who snores, sleepwalks or keeps you up for other reasons. But if they’re keeping you out in the cold, while they’re wrapped up comfy and cozy in the blankets, it could be worth a try!


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