What could be bet­ter than falling asleep in the arms of a loved one? And what could be worse than fight­ing all night for a blan­ket, for your half of the bed, or excru­ci­at­ing insom­nia from the snor­ing of a part­ner lying next to you? Who should sleep sep­a­rate­ly and how co-sleep­ing affects the psy­che and health, Med­AboutMe fig­ured out.

What’s wrong with co-sleeping?

What's wrong with co-sleeping?

We can sin­gle out the fol­low­ing rea­sons why peo­ple begin to think about mov­ing away from a loved one to a sep­a­rate bed and even to a sep­a­rate room.

This rea­son is in the first place, it is men­tioned by half of the peo­ple sur­veyed for the caus­es of sleep dis­or­ders. A rare per­son is able to sleep sound­ly under pow­er­ful snor­ing at his side. Even great love does not muf­fle the sounds that make the walls shake.

Breath­ing dis­or­ders dur­ing sleep neg­a­tive­ly affect male libido. Half of the males who snore or suf­fer from sleep apnea have prob­lems with sex­u­al arousal.

  • Graph Mis­match

When one of the spous­es goes to bed ear­ly and ris­es ear­ly, and the oth­er lives in the oppo­site mode, sleep­ing in the same bed can turn into tor­ture for one, or even for both part­ners. The same prob­lem often occurs with “owls” and “larks”, divid­ing one bed for two.

22% of men com­plain that when they sleep togeth­er, their part­ner’s hair climbs into their faces and inter­feres with sleep.

  • Bed fight

Even the largest bed can become the site of a turf war. One likes to spread out, the oth­er winds the whole blan­ket (and the sheet too), the third prefers a hard­er mat­tress (a third of the Amer­i­cans sur­veyed said the prob­lem of a com­mon mat­tress) … There is, of course, an option to get a sep­a­rate blan­ket (and even a sep­a­rate mat­tress!) For each of part­ners, but, first­ly, this does not always save — a lover of a moun­tain of blan­kets can grab the sec­ond one, and sec­ond­ly, this is still the first step towards sep­a­rate sleep. This prob­lem is men­tioned by 32% of Amer­i­cans.

  • rest­less leg syn­drome

This syn­drome can man­i­fest itself in dif­fer­ent ways. In a par­tic­u­lar­ly pro­nounced form and with a “suc­cess­ful” hit, it can cause bruis­ing in a part­ner, who will then have to explain their ori­gin to curi­ous peo­ple around. And in gen­er­al it is dif­fi­cult to sleep in the same bed with a run­ning per­son.

A 2005 study showed that a third of sleep dis­tur­bances in a peace­ful­ly sleep­ing per­son are caused by rest­less sleep of their part­ner.

  • Exchange of infec­tions

In our tur­bu­lent times of flu and coro­n­avirus, the oppor­tu­ni­ty to iso­late your­self from a part­ner who is still healthy can be invalu­able.

  • “Cold — hot”

It hap­pens that peo­ple are togeth­er in souls and hearts, but apart in terms of tem­per­a­ture sen­sa­tions. One is freez­ing from a slight draft, the sec­ond is Africa every­where and wants cool­ness. For 37% of peo­ple liv­ing togeth­er, this is a real prob­lem. The bat­tle for the tem­per­a­ture in the bed­room is not always decid­ed by a warmer blan­ket and vice ver­sa. Often the prob­lem devel­ops into mutu­al accu­sa­tions about the lack of atten­tion to the needs of a part­ner. And, as stud­ies show, these are not always emp­ty words.

A 2016 study by Ger­man sci­en­tists from Paracel­sus Med­ical Uni­ver­si­ty shows that rela­tion­ship prob­lems and sleep prob­lems often start at the same time. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, those who do not get enough sleep have a high­er risk of divorce.

Bad sleep and emotions

Sci­en­tists from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Berke­ley have shown that sleep prob­lems in sex­u­al part­ners (or spous­es) lead to strained rela­tion­ships between them. More than 60 cou­ples liv­ing togeth­er, aged 18 to 56, kept a sleep diary. In par­tic­u­lar, they not­ed how their per­cep­tion of a part­ner changes depend­ing on the qual­i­ty of the night’s rest. It turned out that sleepy peo­ple under­stand their bed­mate worse, and he, in turn, often suf­fers from the fact that he is under­es­ti­mat­ed. Sci­en­tists also note that poor sleep makes peo­ple self­ish, they auto­mat­i­cal­ly begin to put their own inter­ests in the first place, not pay­ing atten­tion to the needs of a part­ner.

Sleepy women do not crave to make love. At the same time, every extra hour of good sleep increas­es the like­li­hood of sex­u­al con­tact with a part­ner by 14%.

Sleep problems and inflammation

Sleep problems and inflammation

In 2016, researchers from Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty found that sleep dis­tur­bances when shar­ing time in the same bed can cause not only emo­tion­al, but also quite phys­i­o­log­i­cal prob­lems. The researchers took blood for analy­sis from 43 cou­ples before and after a quar­rel (the cou­ples were told to dis­cuss a con­flict top­ic for them), and also stud­ied the his­to­ry of their joint sleep.

An amaz­ing thing was dis­cov­ered: if both part­ners did not get enough sleep, then after a quar­rel, the lev­el of cytokines interleukin‑6 (IL‑6) and tumor necro­sis fac­tor-alpha (TNF-alpha) increased in their blood. And it is known that if such a sit­u­a­tion occurs con­stant­ly, then the risks of devel­op­ing a num­ber of dis­eases increase: Alzheimer’s dis­ease, arthri­tis, dia­betes, patholo­gies of the heart and blood ves­sels.

It should be not­ed that if at least one part­ner man­aged to get enough sleep, then the lev­el of hos­til­i­ty dur­ing the argu­ment dropped notice­ably and pro-inflam­ma­to­ry cytokines were pro­duced in much small­er quan­ti­ties.

Who needs separate sleep?

Do all cou­ples need to sleep sep­a­rate­ly? Of course not. This is a per­son­al intra-fam­i­ly mat­ter of each per­son. But ide­al­ly, even if peo­ple sleep togeth­er, they should be able to scat­ter to dif­fer­ent beds if they wish. Or rather, even in dif­fer­ent rooms.

Accord­ing to an April 2019 study, more Aus­tralians are choos­ing their own indi­vid­ual bed in a pri­vate room over shar­ing a bed all night. The num­ber of such cou­ples, accord­ing to sta­tis­tics, has already exceed­ed 200 thou­sand peo­ple and will obvi­ous­ly grow in the com­ing years. In the US, sin­gle beds or sep­a­rate bed­rooms have a quar­ter of pairs.

Psy­chother­a­pists sup­port this trend. In their opin­ion, “divorce in a dream” strength­ens the rela­tion­ship of sex­u­al part­ners. They can lead an active sex­u­al life, after which they go on vaca­tion, while leav­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ty to com­mu­ni­cate with their spouse at any time, lis­ten and help him.

The oppor­tu­ni­ty to sleep sep­a­rate­ly is rel­e­vant for preg­nant women, peo­ple work­ing on the night shift (and their spous­es), patients of som­nol­o­gists with exist­ing sleep dis­or­ders, as well as peo­ple whose loved ones suf­fer from sleep apnea or snore loud­ly.

Two in a bed: The influ­ence of cou­ple sleep­ing and chrono­types on rela­tion­ship and sleep. An overview / Knegin­ja Richter, Sophia Adam, Lennard Geiss, et al. // Chrono­bi­ol­o­gy Inter­na­tion­al - 2016 - Vol­ume 33, Issue 10

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