Falling asleep next to your partner or feeling them next to you in the middle of the night can be a comforting and reassuring experience. There's something deeply intimate about listening to their breathing, cuddling for warmth, or sweetly and lightly touching in the dark. However, while sleeping with your partner might be great for your sex life, it may not be good for your sleep patterns.
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Believe it or not, a British study found that couples actually sleep better when they are alone. After conducting a study using 56 volunteers for two nights, they found that each partner had a more restful night's sleep on the night when they slept alone. In a previous study, they also discovered that one's partner triggers one-third of the 20 to 60 discrete movements made during the course of a typical night's sleep.
If you sleep beside someone who snores, this information is hardly surprising, I'm sure. Now consider that 70% of Americans don't get enough sleep. That's a lot of tired people driving down the road, flying airplanes, or managing your money! Some experts believe that sleep is more important to your body than diet and exercise. For more information on how sleep -- or the lack of it -- effects you, click here.
Could it be you might actually need another bedroom?
According to a 2005 National Sleep Foundation survey, 23 percent of partnered adults frequently sleep solo because of their loved one's snoring, kicking or other sleep problem. That number doesn't include those who bed down apart because of mismatched schedules or desire for different room temperatures, or to let an exhausted spouse avoid a tyke's wake-up calls. And though a small number of couples who opt for separate beds do so to recapture a sense of romance, for most, there's one simple fantasy: some decent rest.
Still, despite the sleep deprivation or exhaustion, most of us wouldn't give up sleeping with the one we love. According to Francesca Pankhurst, a researcher at the University of Brighton, and Jim Horne, a researcher at Loughborough University, the emotional benefits of sleeping beside a loved one far outweigh any side effects we might experience by not getting a good night's sleep.
Psychologically, people probably think they're more at rest, relaxed, and peaceful. Maybe they think that being disturbed by their partner is reassuring because they know some one's there.
And because we're here to help, click here for some helpful tips about getting a better night's sleep. Sweet dreams!