That warm other person comforts you and you comfort them. But couples can’t always spend every single night of their lives together. Sometimes a business trip, a medical emergency, or other perfectly normal life events might cause you to have to spend a night separately. One thing is for sure: that empty side of the bed is keeping you awake.
Why You Can’t Sleep Alone
Not being able to sleep alone often comes as a surprise when the two parties in a long-term relationship spend their first night apart in months or years. Maybe you thought you’d kick back and finally have all the covers to yourself. But instead, you find yourself lying in bed staring at the ceiling feeling sad and sick even though you know everything is okay. The biggest cause of your late night wakefulness is simple pattern building. You’re used to your partner and their physical presence has always been a sign to you that all is right as you close your eyes and drift off to sleep. Your body keeps expecting your partner to be present and they simply aren’t. This is unnerving and even if you’re not worried about them, you just can’t sleep.
Reassuring Your Mind
Lying awake missing your partner, it’s easy to start worrying when you are used to sharing a bed. Where are they? What are they up to? Do they miss you as much as you miss them? While you don’t want to be clingy, this is a good time to shoot out a text message saying something loving and supportive. Just getting an answer back can help you feel less lonely and worried about your distant beloved. If you’re afraid of sounding like a bother or don’t know what to say, try something like:
“Heading to bed and thinking of you. Have a great night. I love you.”
Whether your partner is up late or went to bed early, getting this message and sending one back is a heartwarming exchange that encourages them to continue enjoying their time together and will probably ease their homesickness as well.
Tricking Your Body
The next step is to trick your body into not feeling so physically lonely. You may feel unusually cold without your partner’s presence or unable to sleep in your usual snuggling position and the more you can recreate their presence physically, the better. If you’re cold, throw a heavier blanket over your usual bedding, the weight will be physically comforting. A hot water bottle can also serve as an additional source of heat, and a body pillow can give you something to wrap yourself around as your partner was there with you. Now might also be the moment to snuggle with a family pet. Sharing a bed with a pillow, hot water bottle or pet might be just what you need.
Preparing for Their Return
Finally, one of the best things you can do to soothe yourself and help sleep while your partner is away is to spend some time each day preparing the house for their return. Just thinking about your partner can help you worry less and miss them when you turn out the light. When you start to fret, remind yourself of all the nice ways you’ll let your beloved know that they were missed. On the day they return, wash the sheets, and make the bed up special with your best pillows and maybe a decorative spread. You’ll both cherish your first night snuggling together after even a single night of separation.