The Science Behind Why Couples Are Better Off Sleeping Together

Couples should sleep together Fix My Sleep

All couples know that what they do between the sheets can have a huge impact on their lives, but it’s not just about intimacy. 

Given the influence that sleep can have on your personal health, it should be no surprise to learn that it is a key ingredient in the recipe for healthy and loving relationships. And your partner may hold the key to success. This quick guide will teach you:

  • Why it is hard to sleep without your partner.
  • How to sleep with a snoring partner.
  • How sleeping skin to skin with your partner can help.
  • Why sex helps you sleep.
  • How sleep can also boost your relationship.

If you want to enjoy happier lives, individually and as a couple, sleeping together is the answer.

Couples Should Sleep Together For A Better Night’s Sleep

Starting and ending each day together can naturally play an important role in celebrating your love as a couple. However, science shows that being next to your partner can actively improve your quality of sleep too.

A study by German expert Dr. Henning Drews recently found that “hen happy couples sleep together, they tend to have more -- and less disrupted -- rapid eye movement (REM) sleep”.

When couples slept in different rooms, polysomnography found that they were more agitated and spent less time in the crucial REM phase of sleep. The science was additionally supported by anecdotal evidence where couples agreed that they felt as though they had slept better when sharing a bed.

Some of the reasons proposed for a better night’s sleep include, but are not limited to;

  • Couples can synchronize their sleep, which promotes greater stability while both of you additionally wake up feeling the same. In turn, this can reduce the threat of one person having disrupted sleep the next night.
  • Sleeping skin to skin with a partner or spouse promotes a more stable body temperature. This is very important during the REM phase of sleep where the body is physiologically less likely to regulate its temperature.
  • Psychologically, sleeping next to your partner provides an extra source of security. It will allow the body to relax into the REM phase of sleep, as well as the deep wave sleep phase which allows the body to relax.

As was highlighted by Drews’ study, mindsets can play a significant role. Feeling that you’ve had a better night’s sleep because you’ve been next to your partner can be hugely beneficial. This concept is also supported by Patricia Haynes, Ph.D., (courtesy of Healthline) who confirms that sleep quality is often determined by how we feel just as much as the science of reaching the REM phase.

Sex Helps You Sleep

Couples who need an incentive to increase their frequency of intimacy can look to improved sleep patterns as a source of motivation. As reported by  Sleep Foundation, sex reduces cortisol levels while hormones like oxytocin and prolactin are also released after an orgasm. This creates a relaxed state of mind that can help you drift off to sleep, especially when coupled with the emotional bond that physical intimacy with a loving partner will bring.

While masturbation has been cited to deliver some hormonal rewards, intercourse with a partner is shown to have a much stronger impact, particularly as it is further supported by some of the issues mentioned above.

It is ill-advised to put pressure on sex as it will inevitably cause added stress that actively harms your quality of sleep. Still, for couples who regularly  can’t sleep, saving the afternoon delight for an evening moment of intimacy can work well. Not least because it feeds into some of the other top tips for a good night’s sleep - such as not using social media before bed.

How To Sleep With Snoring Partners

Sleeping with your partner can have a lot of positive impacts regardless of whether you have sex. Still, there are a couple of significant factors to consider. The first is that having a child can significantly reduce the benefits as many parents simply struggle to switch off mentally when their child is asleep in the next room.

Secondly, and more significantly, snoring partners can stop their spouses from getting a good night’s sleep. In fact,  56% of people who sleep with a snoring partner admit that it has a negative impact on their sleep patterns. Worse still, it can cause problems for the relationship because one person will face all the adverse effects while the snorer is not burdened by stress and exhaustion.

When you live with a snorer who regularly interrupts your sleep, there are several ways to potentially combat this. The most effective are;

  • Get your partner to sleep on their side or back. This can also aid your seeping skin to skin with partner strategy.
  • Buy a nasal snore spray or strips to help reduce the likelihood of snoring throughout the night.
  • Wear earplugs or consider adding white noise courtesy of a fan or soothing background music.

When all else fails, it is possible to consider sleeping in separate rooms. However, many couples who do this will find themselves asking ‘why is it hard to sleep without your partner?’ within days. The truth is that psychological and emotional security is lost while the disruption to your routine is a significant factor. 

Various studies have shown that couples who sleep apart actually sleep worse than those who don't. When sleeping apart due to conflicting  chronotypes or circumstantial issues, such as work arrangements, you can try sleeping with a body pillow or allowing a pet dog to sleep in the bed, 

For most couples, though, finding a suitable solution that allows you to sleep together is the preferred option. It will improve your individual sleep habits while also encouraging increased synchronization.

Are You Sleeping Well Enough?

If you think that your sleep habits are a little unhealthy, they probably are. However, a clear understanding of the situation will put you in the best position to address any issues. Take our sleeping quiz to find out more today.

Fix My Sleep Quiz

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