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Newlyweds: Importance of Sleeping Together

Marriage entwines two individuals in several aspects.  You now share finances, goals, families and even sleep.  Your sleep patterns and health can be influenced by the now shared social health behaviors of the couple.  Married couples will often adopt similar sleep routines.  They also become more dependent on their partners for satisfaction in the bedroom, both sleep-related and otherwise.

Emotional and Physical Intimacy

Before you got married, your perception of sleep quality was likely based on your individual physical needs.  Sleep itself was the deciding factor on whether or not you were happy with your sleep.  Now that you are married, there are more components to your sleep routine and environment.  This is a good thing!  Studies have even indicated that couples can sleep better because of the aspects of sleep that surround a marriage.  For example, laying next to the love of your life provides a sense of security that can help you feel safe.  This can help you get to sleep faster and feel more at ease in the venerable state of sleep.

Ways to Strengthen Your Bond and Increase Intimacy:

  • Pillow Talk: Use time before dozing off to communicate positively with your spouse.  A study of 210 couples published by the Journal of Family Psychology examined the importance of communication in predicting divorce.   Poor communication and/or an excess of negative communication increases the risk. 
  • Stay on the Same Sleep Schedule: Whenever possible, go to sleep at the same time as the person you share your bed with.  It can make a difference in how close you feel to that person.  It can help prevent one from disrupting the other and squash any anger or resentment that could follow.  Getting into bed at the same time may also lead to more physical intimacy.
  • Cuddling: Enjoy the warmth and comfort of your bedpartner.  Touch can have a powerful effect on connection and will help you stay close.

Sleeping with Your Spouse Can Improve Sleeping Habits

Having someone else with a vested interest in your sleep quality can help improve it.  For those who suffer from sleep problems such as insomnia, a caring partner can help.  A systematic review of literature on couple sleeping performed by Chronobiology International encourages involvement in disorder treatment by both sleepers.  What’s more, we tend to develop better sleep hygiene when sleeping with someone else.  We have more reasonable bedtimes and are more likely to avoid bad habits such as going to sleep with the tv on.

Personal Benefits of Sleeping with Your Partner

Sleep is usually assessed on an individual basis because it can be a determinant in personal health.  People who don’t get enough sleep or who achieve only disrupted sleep can end up facing the consequences.  Poor sleep can increase the risk of many chronic health problems.  For example, high blood pressure may result which can lead to heart attack or stroke.  Mental health issues may also arise as lack of sleep increases anxiety and depression. Sleeping alongside your life partner may help you sleep better.  Here are a few reasons why:

  • Sleeping together impacts hormones that influence inflammation and cortisol levels.
  • Nestling up can help you get comfortable so you can fall asleep faster.
  • This results in longer periods of sleep for both of you.
  • Both partners may experience an increase oxytocin which improves sleep quality.

The Effects of Good Sleep on Marriage

After a good night’s sleep, people have a more positive outlook and that can greatly affect a relationship.  Psychosomatic Medicine published analysis between the quality of sleep and marriage satisfaction in 2011.  The study used self-reporting as well as sensor usage to review 29 heterosexual couples.  What was found was that a definite relationship exists between marital happiness and sleep health.

With Kids in the Mix

Married with children?  It’s quite possible you and your husband/wife are getting less sleep than your friends who don’t have kids.  The transition to parenthood leaves many couples exhausted and less satisfied in their marriages.  According to the National Council on Family Relations there are many reasons parents have poorer sleep.  First, infants require a good deal of attention and care throughout the night.  Feedings and diaper changing every couple of hours can definitely leave mom and dad with less sleep and a lower overall quality of sleep.  Caring for toddlers and young children means middle of the night waking for parents and occasional co-sleeping.  Even parents of teenagers and young adults are kept up with worry.  Parents must be deliberate and work together in order to prioritize sleep.  It is important for each parent’s individual health as well as the success and enjoyment of the marriage.

Problems Sleeping Together and Possible Solutions

Chances are, as part of a married couple, you have already experienced some difficulty adapting to your new sleep arrangements.  Perhaps your mate snores loudly, waking you up in the middle of the night.  Maybe the bed you use doesn’t provide ample room for two.  For each challenge faced, there is at least one solution.  You don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of sleeping together with the one you love.

When Your Partner’s Snoring Keeps You Up at Night – If you have a snoring partner, it might be hard to fall asleep.  Depending on the intensity of the snoring, you can try to fall asleep first.  However, some people can snore as loud as a train!  In cases like this, the snoring would probably wake you up.  Adjustable beds with anti-snore positioning can decrease your partner’s snoring and help you both achieve better sleep.

Not Enough Space for Two –It is common for a single adult to sleep in a full or queen size bed.  However, with two people in the bed, you may find these sizes to be inadequate.  Upgrade to a larger size so that you can each stretch out and get comfortable.

Differing Sleep Schedules– In a perfect world, couples would have the luxury to always be on similar sleep schedules.  In reality, school and work plus other obligations might make that impossible.  Limit sleep disruptions by being considerate of each other.  Use a dimmer light or nightlight when entering or exiting the room.  A vibrating alarm clock is also an option when one person has to get up before the other.

Tossing, Turning or Kicking– When one part of a couple has difficulty sleeping, it is inevitable that the other will as well.  Opting for a mattress that limits motion transfer can help.  When it comes to involuntary kicking during sleep, consult a physician.  Sudden movements in sleep could be an indicator for more serious sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.

Overall, married couples sleeping together is almost always the most pleasurable choice.  In the absence of injury, sleeping near your better half can improve the quality and duration of sleep for both partners.  It can also reinforce the connection between two lovers.  Not only is it important for the bond you share, it is also vital for the health of both parties. 

“Newlyweds: Importance of Sleeping Together” written by Jesse Crow,

Owner of Rest Right Mattress