I Tried the Scandinavian Sleep Method, and It's Worth the Hype
I've traveled a lot in the last year, and every place has its own charm. But a couple of places stick out in my mind as dream destinations. One of them is Norway — for the nature, absolutely, but also, oddly enough, for the beds.
It may sound like a strange thing to remember about a trip, but every place I stayed in Norway had the plushest pillows, fluffiest down comforters, squishiest mattress toppers, and best light-blocking curtains I've ever experienced (the last of which is very necessary when you have 24 hours of daylight during the summer). Most importantly, Norway also introduced me to a little thing called the Scandinavian sleep method, and now, frankly, I'm unhappy sleeping anywhere else.
It sounds fancy, but the Scandinavian sleep method is as simple as the region's interior design style: it refers to sleeping in the same bed as your partner, but with separate comforters and often no top sheet.
"An individual duvet, or dyne (in Norwegian) is something Norwegians cannot live without," says Sissel Himle, North American marketing director for Kari Traa, a Norwegian sports apparel brand. "Though the fabric and weight vary from season to season, having a personal quilt is a game-changer for sharing space with a partner, whether you're traveling or at home. I know most Scandinavians are quite picky about their duvet preferences, so we tend to take our own wherever we go — camping, long weekend trips, and even luxe staycations. This really brings the term 'security blanket' to life."
Avid spooners everywhere are probably aghast at the thought, but the Scandinavian sleep method offers some legit benefits for both your sleep quality and your relationship. Hear me — the the experts — out, and you'll definitely want to give it a try.
The Benefits of the Scandinavian Sleep Method
In countries close to (or inside) the Arctic Circle, such as Norway, coziness and warmth are of the utmost importance. There's a reason the hygge lifestyle originated in these parts, after all. And while sharing a bed may seem intimate and snug, it can actually suck. If you're sharing a comforter with your partner, chances are you'll have to compromise on the blanket thickness-to-room temperature ratio, and you have to be democratic about sharing — that is, if you aren't sleeping with a blanket stealer. But there's no need to fight over the thermostat or move to another room; all you need is separate blankets.
"Quality sleep is much more easily achieved when two people have their own quilts to accommodate personal temperature preferences," says Himle. "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."
Don't just take it from a Norwegian: "The Scandinavian sleep method has benefits that can help improve your sleep quality," confirms Haley Perlus, PhD, sport and performance psychologist. The best part about the Scandinavian sleep method is that you get to control your own 'personal thermostat' without sacrificing the intimacy of sleeping in the same bed as your partner, Dr. Perlus says. Maintaining that temperature balance is important because being too cold or too hot can wake you up or disrupt your sleep cycle, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Not to mention, if you're one of those people who likes to burrito themselves, needs a buffer between their knees, or likes to sleep with a limb poking out, this sleep method allows you free reign over your own duvet, so you can do what you need to get comfy without worrying about waking your bedmate.
OK, But Is It Unromantic?
That's a fair concern. "Studies have proven that sleeping skin-on-skin with someone you love can improve sleep quality, reduce anxiety symptoms, and make you feel closer to your significant other; this is a downside of the Scandinavian sleep method," Dr. Perlus admits. "Although, the bright side is you and your partner are still sharing a bed and can still be intimate if you choose."
The Scandinavian sleep method doesn't negate the fact that you can still touch and cuddle with your partner before you fall asleep or during the night, Dr. Perlus continues. "It affords personal choice about blanket weight, eliminates your partner from being disturbed as much when you toss or turn, and allows each partner to sleep without being too hot or cold."
Overall, getting better sleep can put you in a better mood and make you less stressed, according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion — which is great for your sex life, as well as your ability to get along with others, including your partner. What's not to love?