Why you really should try the Scandinavian sleep method

Do you and your partner always fight over the duvet? Does one of you hog all the bedding, leaving the other one freezing?

Couples can sleep better using the Scandinavian sleep method
Lover couple in knitted warm socks lying on a soft cozy bedroom with snowy mountains view in a winter time

Or do you find your partner piling on the blankets while you’re roasting under the covers?

Do you wake up feeling like you’ve gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson, rather than leaping out of bed with a spring in your step?

If you’re yearning for a good night’s sleep, maybe you could benefit from the Scandinavian sleep method.

What is the Scandinavian sleep method?

So first of all, what is this wonder cure that will leave you both feeling refreshed and full of beans in the morning?

Well, it’s a simple idea that involves you still sharing a bed with your loved one, but having separate duvets. So, if your partner wriggles and fidgets all night, you won’t be disturbed.

What are the benefits of the Scandinavian sleep method? 

It’s well documented that not getting enough sleep can be a contributory factor to all sorts of health issues, including poor mental health, stress, anxiety, heart disease and even type 2 diabetes.

If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, you’re more likely to suffer from poor concentration during the day, mood swings and brain fog.

Many hotels in Scandinavia provide two duvets on a double bed
Hotel Brosundet in Ålesund, Norway

And if it’s your partner that’s keeping you awake by wriggling around and kicking, then resentment can build up between couples. 

An obvious solution is a “sleep divorce”, where you move to separate beds, or even separate rooms.

However, most couples don’t want to sleep separately, or don’t have the space for it, so trying separate duvets first could help.

Why would you put two duvets on the same bed?

It’s not just a stereotype that women tend to feel the cold more than men – there are sound scientific reasons for it.

Women generally have a lower metabolic rate and less muscle than men, which reduces their capacity to generate heat.

Not only that, but hormonal differences can mean that women feel warmer at certain times of their monthly cycle than others.

So, if one partner feels the cold more than other, having a duvet with a higher tog rating makes sense.

It also means that you can wrap yourself up in your own duvet – and even snuggle up with a hot water bottle – without making your partner bake.

And if one partner gets up earlier than the other, or needs to get up in the night, there’s less chance of the sleeping partner being disturbed.

What are some of the drawbacks? 

The main drawback of having separate duvets is that it’s not very romantic! Most people gain a sense of security and comfort from sleeping snuggled up to their partners. 

The Scandinavian sleep method is a useful technique to help couples sleep better
Kristina Alexanderson (CC)

Cuddling and skin-to-skin contact can stimulate the production of oxytocin, known as the “bonding hormone”, which lowers blood pressure and heart rates, and helps relaxation and sleep.

So, if you’re both wrapped up in separate duvets, you may feel a bit removed – both literally and mentally – from your partner.

One solution is to adopt a hybrid Scandinavian sleep method.

This is where both partners share one double lightweight duvet, and the colder partner has an extra single duvet that they can pull on over the top on their side of the bed when they need extra warmth and cosiness.

Does the Scandinavian sleep method help couples avoid fights?

Well, it can do. Lack of sleep and long-term tiredness makes everyone more irritable and less patient, so more prone to arguing.

And if the perceived cause of your tiredness is your partner wriggling around and disturbing you, you are more likely to be snippy and short-tempered with them. 

How do Scandinavians sleep?

Studies have shown that Scandinavians – in particular Danes, Swedes and Norwegians – tend to rank highly when reporting the quality of their sleep.

The Scandinavian sleep method can help couples sleep better
Elite Stadshotellet in Karlstad

Of course, there are many factors at play here. The Scandinavians generally have a high quality of living, good health care and high wages – all of which contribute to a feeling of well-being that can led to better sleep.

However, the Scandinavian habit of sleeping under separate duvets could also be a factor.

It’s true that not all Scandinavians have individual duvets, but it is common throughout the Nordic countries. 

And if you stay in a hotel or Airbnb in Sweden, Denmark or Norway, the chances are good that you’ll be provided with two duvets on your double bed.

Is making the bed with two duvets actually more comfortable?

Definitely! If you each have your own individual duvet, you can tailor-make the bedding to whichever is most comfortable for you.

Using two duvets on a sleep can help couples sleep better
Hotel Brosundet in Ålesund, Norway (CC)

Some people like their duvets made with duck down, while others prefer artificial hypoallergenic fillings to avoid any allergic reactions.

Your partner may like a lightweight 4.5 tog summer duvet, while you prefer a more cosy cover, so can choose a well insulated 13.5 tog winter duvet.

And if you need to get up in the night, you can simply wrap yourself up in your duvet and stay all warm and cosy, without disturbing your partner!

The Scandinavians don’t use an upper sheet either. They just wash the duvet cover instead, so there’s no sheet to get runkled up or work its way down to the bottom of the bed.

How to make a bed Scandinavian style

  • Buy two single duvets
  • Opt for duvets that are slightly larger than a standard single
  • Choose covers with matching colours or contrasting patterns
  • Ditch the upper sheet!
  • Fold the two duvets in half length-wise and lay them next to each other on the bed
  • Put a pretty throw or a blanket over the bottom of the duvets
  • Chose duvets with different tog ratings for personalised temperature control

What’s the ideal size blanket or comforter when doing the Scandinavian sleep method?

Ideally you want duvets that are a bit larger than a standard single duvet, so that you can wrap them around you. 

Also, a slightly larger that average single duvet has the advantage that there’s room for you to both cosy up under it for a cuddle before returning to your individual duvets to sleep!

The Big Little Duvet Company specialises in extra long and extra wide single duvets, which measure measure 220cm x 165cm and are ideal for Scandinavian sleeping. They come in a range of togs too, from 2.5 to 13.5.

Where to buy split duvets 

And if you prefer just one duvet but like the idea of having different thicknesses, you could always buy a split tog duvet.

These are double, king or super king sized duvets that have a different tog rating in each half of the duvet.

You can get them in a variety of thicknesses, ranging from 2.5 tog in one half to 13.5 in the other – for those with wildly differing temperature needs to their partner!

Amazon stocks a range of brands that make split tog duvets, including Silentnight and Slumberdown.

And if you just want two plain single duvets to give the Scandinavian sleep method a go, Swedish home store Ikea is the obvious first port of call. 

Or, for the best Scandi sleep ever, you could splash out on a luxury goose down duvet, made in Trondheim by the Norwegian company Norvegr

Just make you sure you also buy some lovely Scandi design duvet covers to add to improve your sleeping experience!

Finnish lifestyle company Marimekko has some fab Finnish designs in bold colours, with geometric and floral designs, while Swedish company Hästens sells both duvets and traditional Swedish style bedding.

See also:
All you need to know about Swedish fish
What’s so special about Swedish design and architecture?
What is the Scandinavian peninsula?

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