Couples who sleep together, sleep better, study finds

(Photo: Evening Standard)

Are you having trouble sleeping? It’s probably because you’re sleeping alone. Get yourself a partner, BUZZ Fam, and watch your sleeping habits change. Well, that’s according to researchers at the Centre for Integrative Psychiatry (ZIP) in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. 

According to the researchers, couples who share a bed get better sleep resulting in improved mental health, memory and problem-solving skills.

So the researchers recruited 12 young, healthy, heterosexual couples who spent four nights in their ‘sleep laboratory’.

The team then measured sleep using polysomnography- this is an exact and comprehensive sleep test study that captures sleep information using various factors.  

Participants were fitted with polysomnography equipment, which measures brain waves to movements, respiration, muscle tension, movements, heart activity and more – when they slept with their partner and when they slept apart. 

The couples were also asked to complete questionnaires designed to measure relationship characteristics, such as relationship duration, degree of ‘passionate love’ and relationship depth.

Ultimately the researchers concluded that sleeping together enhances and stabilises rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep, in turn, improves our social interactions and reduces emotional stress.

REM sleep was both increased and less disrupted in couples sleeping together compared to when they slept individually, they found.  

Couples with a strong relationship depth also showed synchronised sleep patterns when sleeping together. 

This synchronisation, which was not linked to the fact that partners disturb each other during the night, was positively associated with relationship depth. 

In order words, the higher participants rated the significance of their relationship to their life, the stronger the synchronisation with their partner. 

The study was published in the journal Frontiers.