The power of pillow talk
In our increasingly busy lives, our beds are our sanctuaries, and in some cases the only opportunity we get to talk uninterrupted to our partner. The intimate conversations that arise when we’re side by side in the dark can keep us feeling connected. Here we’ll look at how to create the coziest bedtime nest, conducive to open communication.
Less mess, reduces stress
Clutter in the bedroom is not just a physical barrier when navigating your way through the dark to your bathroom, it’s also an emotional one. Research by US university Princeton discovered that people living in cluttered, disorganised environments are more distracted and less productive than otherwise. So, keeping clothes on rails, storage boxes or a closet instead of cultivating a floordrobe is the first step. Then remove any other family members’ mess that has found its way into your sacred space – kids’ toys being the worst culprit. A study of 32 families by UCLA found that mothers in particular suffered higher levels of stress hormones when trying to tidy their homes. Declutter – so your bed and bedside tables reflect a calm and ordered state of mind.
Change the scenery
A little goes a long way. And small tweaks to your bedroom environment can do wonders to your mood and help re-ignite conversation. Swap out old prints or paintings for new works. Put up some photos of special moments you shared together. Making a space feel new can make feel like a fresh start emotionally too.
Keep it fresh
Scents have the power to bring back memories which means they could help couples reconnect. According to leading American behavioural neurologist Dr Kenneth Heilman, “when you smell things you remember your emotions”. So why not change your bedding once a week – the smell of freshly laundered sheets and pillowcases evokes freshness in every sense. Have a plant or vase of fresh flowers in your room and light a scented candle just before bed to enjoy the aroma and calming ambience.
Let tech help, not hinder
Tech is here to stay whether we like it or not. But you can actually use it to your advantage to strengthen the bond with your partner. Use a voice-activated device to play soothing music or listen to a podcast together that sparks a conversation or healthy debate. Watching TV in the bedroom is a conversation killer and the screen can become the third person in your relationship. Likewise scrolling through emails or social media on your phone in bed isn’t a shared experience and the blue light has been proven to reduce levels of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Realign your light
Lighting can go a long way in boosting your bedroom’s likeability. Bringing in multiple low-level lamps that flank your bed is a gentle solution that can really set the mood. You want to try find that soft, orange glow that brings a certain peace and relaxation to your space. Task and ambient lighting in the bedroom are useful, but for late night chats, let a warm side lamp on each side of the bed set the mood.
Talking in bed often doesn’t involve direct eye contact, which some find emotionally freeing in terms of opening up and being vulnerable. Talking in the dark taps into a deeper and more subconscious place in your mind which if you’re willing to share with a partner can bring you closer together. With pillow talk, try to avoid discussing negative issues. Instead, share your future dreams (travel, adventures, aspirations), reminisce on treasured moments between the two of you, share fears that can be comforted and most importantly remind one another of how much you truly love them. If you’re apart at the moment, setting time in the diary for moments when you can connect is a good way of staying in touch and in tune with each other; be it for a phone call, an online game of scrabble or a virtual date night.