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How to Touch Someone in Their Sleep Without Waking Them Up? Tips for Every Situation!

This article will supply you with advice on how to act when you need to move or gently wake up someone who is sleeping.
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Last updatedLast updated: September 30, 2021
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Have you ever been in a situation where you had to touch or move your baby, partner, friend, or hospital patient when they were sleeping? If so, you would agree that in some cases, you have no intention to wake them up. However, because you have to move them urgently, you end up interfering with their sleep. No doubt, you will certainly have felt bad knowing you are the reason they are awake.

But you know what? You don’t have to beat yourself up. That’s in the past. It won’t happen again! Because after reading this article, you will be able to move your loved one or patient without disturbing their sleep.

Here’s the thing, every individual has a varying level of sensitivity. This implies that the method you try for one person may not work on another person. Not to worry, we will show you the ideal tactics to apply when you find yourself in different situations. Let’s get started.

Stages of Sleep

Before we go into the details on how to touch someone in their sleep without making them, it is worth noting that there are three different stages of sleep Trusted Source Why do we sleep? Sleep is a normal, indeed essential part of our lives. But if you think about it, it is such an odd thing to do. At the end of each day we become unconscious and paralysed. Sleep made our ancestors vulnerable to attack from wild animals. So the potential risks of this process, which is universal among mammals and many other groups, must offer some sort of evolutionary advantage. www.bbc.com . Put simply, and sleeping is a step-by-step process.

Knowing what happens during these different stages will come in handy when you have to touch someone who is asleep.  You see, as we move through each stage, our level of sensitivity decreases. We will explain better in a bit. But first, here are the three different stages of sleep:

  • Light Sleep
  • Deep Sleep
  • REM Sleep

Light Sleep

As you can probably guess, this is the starting point of the sleep cycle. In this stage, our breathing and heart rate reduces slightly compared to when we were fully awake. Here’s a fact, any sleeper at the light sleep stage experiences a higher level of sensitivity than any other stage.

This is because we are more sensitive to movement, touch, temperature, and noise. In other words, you can easily wake anyone in this stage with a few touches or less. This is why it is referred to as “the transition from wakefulness to sleeping.”

Deep Sleep

As the name suggests, sleep becomes deeper at this stage. Once we reach the deep sleep stage, our brain receives little to no external stimuli signals. Put simply, and our sensitivity level noticeably reduces because our brain is at its lowest activity point. For this reason, this is the best time to touch someone without interfering with their sleep.

At this point, our muscle relaxes, and breathing becomes slower. However, our heart rate goes back to its normal state. In addition, our body refills energy during this stage. So, if you were ever wondering how your body refills energy, there is your answer.

REM Sleep

Research suggests that REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep happens 1 hour 30 minutes after we sleep. In this stage, our brain is triggered to resume its activities like it would if we were fully awake. You are most likely to have dreams during this stage. Also, our eyes go beneath our eyelids while our arms and legs become temporarily paralyzed.

What Happens With Your Sense of Touch When You Sleep?

How to Touch Someone in Their Sleep Without Waking Them Up? Tips for Every Situation!You might expect that all senses become inactive once you fall asleep, but that’s not the case. For instance, if you drink chamomile tea and begin to feel sleepy, all your senses Trusted Source What are the senses? - BBC Bitesize Who has senses and how are they used? Learn about the five senses and how they help us explore the world around us in this BBC Bitesize KS1 Science guide. www.bbc.co.uk , including your sense of touch, do not become inactive.

You see, immediately you fall asleep, your senses become dimmed and less active. This is what makes it possible for you to wake up during the time of emergency. Having said that, you should also know that the level of sensitivity is solely dependent on your sleeping stage.

How Your Touch Can Affect Someone’s Sleep Quality

The human skin is designed to be sensitive to touch. However, people respond to touch differently. While some react quickly, others are slower in responding to external touch. This also reflects when they sleep.

In most cases, highly sensitive individuals either struggle to get sleep or maintain their state of sleep, especially when they drink soda before bed. For this reason, if you deliberately or accidentally touch or move them, they find it difficult to get sleep again.

If you don’t want to be on their bad side, you need to learn how to touch them when they are asleep without waking them up. And we will show how. Read on!

How To Know If You Can Touch Someone Who’s Sleeping

Regardless of our sleeping stage, our sense of touch remains slightly active. This is why you can wake an individual up by touching them when there is an emergency. Nonetheless, you can also touch someone without interfering with their sleep. So, how do you know when you can touch someone who is sleeping without waking them up? Simple!

Remember, we mentioned earlier that possessing a good understanding of how each sleeping stage works will come in handy. This is where you need it.

If you want to wake someone from sleep quickly, you can easily do this when they are in the light sleep or REM sleep stage. However, it is more challenging to wake someone up when they are in the deep sleep stage.

For this reason, the deep sleep stage is the best time to touch someone without waking them up. In other words, once you notice signs that indicate the person is in the deep sleep stage, feel free to touch or move the person. The chances of them waking up at this stage are slim.

Touching Someone During Their Sleep

Below are the four likely scenarios when you have to touch or move someone without disturbing their sleep:

  • Snoozing Friend
  • A Baby
  • Partner Who Is Sleeping
  • Hospital Patient

How do you handle these different situations without waking them up? Here’s the thing, not many can pull this off. So, consider yourself lucky because we are about sharing our tried and tested solutions with you. These solutions are all you need to touch or move someone without disturbing their sleep. Check it out!

Snoozing Friend

How to Touch Someone in Their Sleep Without Waking Them Up? Tips for Every Situation!If you step into the room and you see your friend lying on a couch in an uncomfortable position, what will you do? No doubt, you would want to adjust his/her sleeping position until you are certain that he/she feels cozy. This is because it is what friends do.

As they say, “friends always got each other’s back.” But how do you move him/her without interfering with his/her sleep? Here’s what you should do:

  • First, ensure you confirm the sleeping stage by looking out for signs like lack of eye movement beneath the eyelid and deep breathing. You can also consider trying to lift and drop his/her hands to check his/her level of sensitivity at that point.
  • After doing this, tenderly turn your friend to the other side.
  • Don’t push him/her excessively. Instead, you should move him/her one step at a time.
  • Place your friend in a comfortable position and make him/her cozy by covering him/her with a blanket.

A Baby

How to Touch Someone in Their Sleep Without Waking Them Up? Tips for Every Situation!If you are a nursing parent, you would agree that babies look so adorable when they sleep. So, it won’t come as a surprise if you feel the urge to touch their cute forehead, hands, or feet while they sleep.

However, the problem is this — even if they sleep on the best mattress for kids, babies are still sensitive. And you know very well that a baby whose sleep gets disrupted can be a real pain in the neck.

Nonetheless, there are certain situations when you have to touch your baby. For instance, when you want to move him/her to a safer and more convenient position or check for his/ her temperature. But you can do all of these without waking your baby up.

With regards to this, here are few things you should confirm before you attempt to move your baby or check for his/her temperature:

  • Observe your baby’s breathing and eye movement. Check for deep breathing and no eye movements.
  • Rub the palm of your baby gently and see if he/she grasps or doesn’t grasp your finger. If your baby grabs your finger, it means that you have induced his/her grasp reflex. This implies that your baby is not in the deep sleep stage and vice-versa.
  • Try to lift your baby’s hand gently. If your baby doesn’t wake, then you are good to go. Now, you can move him/her or check his/her temperature without worrying about him/her waking up.

Partner Who Is Sleeping

How to Touch Someone in Their Sleep Without Waking Them Up? Tips for Every Situation!If you are in a romantic relationship, moving your partner when he/she is asleep will likely be a recurring occurrence. In some cases, you have to move him/her to stop him/her from snoring. And other times, you just want to create more space for yourself or get the pillow.

According to expert reviews, the ideal pillow should be able to provide support. With regards to this, Coop Home Goods is the best on the market, thanks to its adjustable features.

Also, based on customer reviews, a memory foam pillow should be able to offer premium comfort. And Snuggle-Pedic fits the bill, as it is fitted with a shredded memory foam fill bag.

Whatever the case may be, you certainly wish you could move your partner without waking him/her up, especially when you know he/she had a long day. We know this feeling better than most. Hence, we know you need an effective solution. So, here is all the information you need to move them without disrupting their sleep:

  • First, confirm his/her sleeping stage.
  • Once you have this covered, you can move your partner. However, ensure you are don’t push too hard. Instead, be light and gentle with the movement.
  • Make sure you place your partner’s head in a suitable position, especially if he/she snores.

Hospital Patient

How to Touch Someone in Their Sleep Without Waking Them Up? Tips for Every Situation!It is a well-known fact that healthcare workers go through a lot of stress when doing their jobs. On different occasions, they have to deal with patients with shoulder pain who struggle to sleep when they want to check their vitals.

So, if you are a healthcare worker who has accidentally woken a patient up before and want a solution that will help prevent a recurrence, here is what you should do:

  • If you need to move a patient, make sure you are gentle with your touch. After some time, you can increase the pressure gradually.
  • If you need to move a piece of equipment, such as tubes or cords connected to a patient, ensure you are don’t move them hastily. Instead, move them one step at a time.
  • If you need to check a patient’s vital signs, gently put the rear side of your hand on his/her head and slowly press for some seconds.

Final Thoughts

Truth be told, touching someone who is asleep without waking them up can be undoubtedly challenging. However, once you possess the much-needed knowledge and apply it, you will find out that it is easier than you think. Thankfully, you need not look farther than this article to find out all the information you need on how to touch someone in their sleep without waking them.

So, if you are tired of trying to touch or move your sleeping baby, partner, patient, or friend without waking them up, you should use these secret tactics we have shared with you in this article. Once you do this, you can finally say goodbye to the guilt you feel when you unintentionally or accidentally interrupt someone’s sleep when touching them.

References

1.
Why do we sleep?
Sleep is a normal, indeed essential part of our lives. But if you think about it, it is such an odd thing to do. At the end of each day we become unconscious and paralysed. Sleep made our ancestors vulnerable to attack from wild animals. So the potential risks of this process, which is universal among mammals and many other groups, must offer some sort of evolutionary advantage.
2.
What are the senses? - BBC Bitesize
Who has senses and how are they used? Learn about the five senses and how they help us explore the world around us in this BBC Bitesize KS1 Science guide.
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