A new study of 1,007 adults in Pennsylvania showed that those who share their beds with a partner generally sleep better than those who have the bed all to themselves. Those who have a bed buddy experience less insomnia and fatigue and typically get more hours of sleep.
Not so coincidentally, they also report feeling more satisfied in their lives in other ways – in their relationships, experiencing less stress, and having less depression and anxiety.
This speaks to the subtle yet powerful healing capacities of connection and love with a partner, where you energetically receive something healthful on a deeper level that overrides having less space and snoring to contend with.
This study differentiated between sleeping next to a partner vs. sleeping next to any person (such as a child). The study participants claimed that sleeping with their children increased their stress and insomnia and affected their emotional well-being the following day. It’s unclear if the additional stress is because the child is a fussy sleeper, kicking and rolling over, or if it’s due to the worry and concern of being high alert when sleeping next to your child.
Dr. Rafael Pelayo, a clinical professor in sleep medicine at Stanford University, agrees with the study’s findings. Though he was not involved in the study, he observed similar patterns in his work and attributed better sleep with others to primitive human behaviors and conditioning.
There’s been a history of sleeping in groups as means to protect ourselves (and others) from predators. He adds that “sleeping is an intimate experience because it requires spending hours together with your guard down,” something you can only do with a trusted partner.
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