Couples who share a bed may fight over more than just the pillows. Women and men tend to have different preferences when it comes to sleep. Some people like a cool room with lots of blankets, others prefer a warm room. Deciding whether the television should be on or off and when to call it a night are other issues that are hard to agree upon. Varying sleep schedules, snoring, and tossing and turning also affect the quality of each partner’s sleep. But according to a recent article, the benefits of sleeping together actually outweigh the negative aspects. People in committed relationships have better overall physical and psychological health than single people, and sleeping in the same bed may be one reason why.
Several experts agree that even though partners may fight over the sheets, the security that people feel from sleeping in the same bed with the person they love has great perks. Assistant professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, Wendy M. Troxel, conducted studies that revealed that women who shared a bed with their partners slept more soundly than women who slept alone. She says, “Sleep is a critically important health behavior that we know is associated with heart disease and psychiatric well-being.” Feelings of safety could influence cortisol levels and decrease anxiety, allowing individuals to sleep more restfully.
Experts say that even couples with different bedtime preferences and work schedules can still reap the rewards of sharing a bed. They advise that couples acknowledge each other’s differences and recommend that couples share some time in bed until one partner falls asleep, and then the night owl can leave the room and come back to bed at their desired bedtime. Having a mattress that allows partners to move without disturbing each other is another way to sleep well together. Another problem that couples face is unresolved conflict. All the experts agree that regardless of sleep styles, couples should work through any disagreements or conflicts they have in order to ensure a good night’s sleep.
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