Cuddling While Sleeping Makes No Sense

Years ago, back when Friends was an actual TV show and not something you drunkenly called a stranger in the bathroom at a nightclub who had cute shoes, there was an episode about Ross having sleeping problems with Rachel. (Yes, this was one of those times when they weren’t on a break.)

The problem wasn’t that he adored his girlfriend or that he even minded snuggling with her post-coital. The problem was that when it came down to actually sleeping, he felt suffocated and trapped. In other words, he felt EXACTLY what any normal human being feels when they are trying to get a quality night of Zzzzzzzs in the same bed as someone else. Short of initiating some covert ninja operation to defy the tentacle grips of your partner, it can be hard circumventing this problem.

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The main issue is you don’t want to hurt your partner’s feelings. Of course, you love them and enjoy your cuddle time with them, but for actual sleeping purposes, it is completely inconducive.

For one, it can get uncomfortably hot. Two people tangled up together means two sets of bodies that generate quite a lot of body heat. Coupled with blankets and little airflow and you might as well go camping in the Ozarks in August.

Then you have the issue of cramping. Arms are not designed to buttress the support of another person’s body weight while also remaining in one single position for more than 20 minutes at a time. I need my arms to be able to freely move about to do things like adjusting the covers or un-scrunch my underwear or, I dunno, play fucking shadow puppets on the wall if I can’t sleep. It actually doesn’t matter WHAT I need my hands for; the point is they are MINE, and I don’t want to have to worry about waking you up if I have to move them when they start tingling and going numb cuz they are under your head.

And what if you are like me and happen to be one of those people that move around a lot in their sleep? My bed is like a Chinese buffet. No, I don’t mean I have a wide variety of people in it. What I mean is that I like my options when it comes to sleeping positions. I could start off lying on my side and then decide later on that I want to sleep on my stomach or maybe even on my back with one leg dangling off the bed (I dunno, I’m zany like that). It’s really hard to switch sleeping positions when you have your loved one clinging on to you like tentacles on a jellyfish.

While I’m on this tangent, might I also suggest that couples have two pairs of comforters? Nothing screws with your quality of sleep than playing tug-of-war for that little triangle of bedspread that the other person has somehow managed to wrap themselves up in like a sausage in a sleeping bag.

Look, I’m sure there are people out there that genuinely looooove being in a death grip with their significant other while they sleep. And it’s cute. It really is. It’s cute that two people love each other so much that they don’t mind wearing each other like clothing accessories every single night. But, it’s couples that enjoy that that make people like me seem like real a-holes when we try to avert the sleep-cuddle situation.

Here’s what you need to know if you are dating a person like me. Don’t take it personally if the two of us are cuddling, and someone like myself eventually rolls over away from you to fall asleep. It’s not because we don’t love you or your smell bad or we’re not emotionally connected. We just need air circulation and room to move about and freedom to adjust temperature and the covers, accordingly. LET US HAVE THAT. Don’t make us feel guilty about it, either.

Think of sleeping as you would showering. Sure, it’s kinda fun when you have a second person in there… for all of two minutes. Then you realize how logistically stupid it is to try and share one stream of water in a tiny space while you’re trying to do things like shave or wash your private parts.

And if you so happen to be one of those people that both likes cuddling AND showering with your lover, well then congratulations on finding someone else who enjoys those same activities. Because, quite frankly, that sounds like a nightmare.

 

2 comments

  1. This topic focuses in acutely on a nuance of human relationships that is seldom examined in such fascinating detail. However, it is no less important to consider. I am now in my 70s, but when I was in my early 20s and passionately ‘in love’ with a smoldering hot nurse at my hospital, I was rather inexperienced in the boudoir. In my uninformed enthusiasms for intimacy with this gorgeous woman I felt that intimacy meant coitus but ALSO clinging to each other as we drifted off to sleep post-coitus. This misconception of mine clearly irritated my partner, who pointedly disengaged herself shortly after each mating and retreated to the other side of the bed. It puzzled the hell out of me at the time, inexperienced sexual naif that I was. Today, some 52 or so years later, and as a far more ‘experienced’ sexual adventurer than I was back then, it makes all the sense in the world to me. In fact, after sex has been concluded, I even prefer to sleep in a separate bed, physically removed from my wife (who thinks that as a married couple, we should properly sleep in the same bed (in our case, only a queen-sized one at that!). I am a light sleeper and am constantly moving about as I sleep, changing positions repeatedly throughout the night. And, with a different (and often typical) temperature requirement from that of my wife’s (men & women are eternally arguing over such things as thermostat settings and adjustment, cooling vs. heating, etc….my wife hates fresh air and I insist on sleeping with the windows open), close physical proximity often makes it difficult for me to sleep! Give me my own bed, my own temperature comfort zone and (ideally) perhaps even a separate room! Lovely topic, this! Thanks for a most reflective moment, regarding something that is so critical in human relationships but so often overlooked!
    PS: Now that I think back on this, I believe the reason I felt that physical entanglement after sex (back then) was that every Hollywood movie I had ever seen up to that time suggested that post-coitus ALWAYS involves prolonged cuddling to and past the actual moment that sleep falls upon one! Visual socialisation at its most exemplary!

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