Gena Kaufman, Glamour magazine
Remember when Melissa's boyfriend J had trouble sleeping with her at first, but now has trouble sleeping without her? (Awww!) Well, there is some science backing up his pattern, and it's great news for couples who love shared snoozefests.
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According to the Wall Street Journal, the field of sleep study is showing that couples health benefits from sleeping in the same bed, and some scientists believe it may even be a reason that people in relationships tend to live longer and in better health.
One study showed that women in long-term relationships fell asleep more quickly and woke up less during the night than single women or those in new relationships. Scientists hypothesize that sleeping together promotes feelings of security and therefore lowers levels of stress hormones and increases oxytocin, the love hormone. The mood of the relationship affects sleep and vice versa: Women sleep better when they have fewer negative interactions with their partners during the day, and for men, a good night's sleep means they will have fewer negative interactions with partners the next day.
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Don't feel worried if you're one of those people who really doesn't love having someone else in your bed. The article says it's common for couples to need to work out differences in their sleep habits. Plus, even when monitors indicated women weren't sleeping as well, they sometimes reported that they had slept better. One expert explains that women enjoy men's presence even if it costs them a little bit of sleep.
If you do have trouble sleeping together, experts recommend these tactics:
- If you're on different schedules, get in bed together for an evening routine, but let the night owl leave and come back when he/she is actually tired.
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- Use separate blankets.
- Try a special mattress that doesn't transfer motion, like a Tempur-Pedic.
Oh man, I love sleeping. Does anyone else feel like a nice, snuggly nap right about now?
Do you like sleeping with someone else in the bed? Does the happy feelings it give you matter more than any snoring/cover-stealing/drooling disasters?