A good night’s sleep is important to our health, performance, and well-being. No wonder more and more people want to achieve better sleep quality. Lucky are those who share their bed with the right partner, a study now shows. But there are exceptions.
Sleep is of great importance. We need it to regenerate our body and mind. If you sleep well and long enough, you can lose body fat, build muscle, memorize what you’ve learned, and process what you once went through. Better sleep quality can reduce the risk of dementia in old age, as previously reported by FITBOOK. So it is no surprise that more and more people are trying to improve their sleep. Either using better mattresses, which have seen a boom in recent years, or a sleep tracker that analyzes sleep. It is now clear that there is another factor that has a strong influence on sleep quality: the sleeping partner.
The quality of sleep depends on the sleeping partner
Usually, when sharing a bed, many people complain about their partner’s disturbing sleeping habits. It is usually snoring, pulling the covers, or spreading your partner in bed that deprives you of sleep. But researchers have now discovered that the right partner in bed can give us better sleep quality. This has positive effects on our health.1
The University of Arizona study analyzed data from more than 1,000 American adults. Both test subjects’ subjective feeling was questioned and objective sleep values were recorded using sleep trackers.
Also interesting: the dramatic effect of a lack of sleep on DNA
According to the study, family involvement is (usually) beneficial for us
The first result of the study: That’s right, the person we share a bed with has a huge impact on how well we sleep.
Second insight: Compared with people who slept alone, test subjects who shared a bed with their partner reported less fatigue, easier sleep, and longer sleep overall. Clearly, this had an impact on mental health. Because this group of study participants showed, on average, better values in terms of depression, anxiety, and stress than those who slept alone.
Third insight: However, if you let your baby sleep in bed, she will usually sleep less. Participants in the corresponding study complained of more sleep problems and lower sleep quality compared to people who slept alone.
Also interesting: How does a pet in bed affect sleep
The reasons for sleeping better are not entirely clear
“Sleeping with a romantic partner or spouse has significant health benefits of sleep, including reduced risk of sleep apnea, severity of insomnia, and overall improvement in sleep quality,” said study author and psychiatrist Brandon Fuentes of the University of Arizona.
However, the study does not clarify whether the improvement in mental health is due solely to sleeping together or to the quality of the romantic relationship. Researchers believe that both factors play a role. Studies show that married people in particular have better overall health than unmarried people.2
Also interesting: What is the healthiest sleeping position?
Couples sleep stages become the same
It’s not the first study to prove the positive effect of our bed partner on our sleep. A similar study was published in 2020.3 It was found that couples who slept together were, on average, 10 percent longer and more stable in the REM stage than singles. The rapid eye movement (REM) phase begins after deep sleep and is characterized by the vigorous movement of our closed eyes. Brain activity, respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure increase during REM sleep and almost reach values in the waking state. And we feel the wildest dreams.
In addition, the researchers in this study found that the couples’ sleep stages also corresponded. Because the stronger and better the relationship with your partner, the more you will adapt your sleeping habits. It’s another indication that whether you sleep better together than alone also depends on the quality of your romantic relationship. However, if you are in a happy relationship and share a bed with your partner, you will obviously have a better quality of sleep.
- 1. B. Fuentes, K. Kennedy, W. Killgore, et. The. (2022). Bed sharing versus sleeping alone associated with sleep health and mental health. Sleep, Volume 45.
- 2. Zhang Z, Hayward M (2006). Sex, marital life cycle and cardiovascular disease in late middle age. Marriage and Family Journal.
- 3. Drews HJ, Wallot S, Brysch P, et al. (2020). Bed sharing between couples is associated with increased and stable REM sleep and phase synchronization. Frontiers in Psychiatry