Two’s company: Getting a partner has a new benefit — a good night’s sleep

Recent findings indicate that sharing the bed with someone may help increase your chances of sleeping well, besides boosting physical and emotional well-being

Are you sleep deprived and stressed? Here’s some good news. Sleeping next to someone can help you sleep better, say researchers.

Globally, a significant part of the adult population—over 35%, as per reports— suffers from sleep disturbances and complains of difficulties to initiate sleep or stay asleep. This, in turn, can lead to a range of health issues such as obesity, poor heart health, stomach problems, mood and cognitive disorders, among others.

However, when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, there’s a surprising link between you and your sleep companion. Those in a happy and positive relationship sleep faster than single people. A recent study undertaken by Sleep Science, the official scientific journal of the Brazilian Sleep Society and Latin American Federation of Sleep Societies, says that intimate relationships and regular expression of reduce life stresses, as these provide additional support for individuals experiencing sleep problems without the Negative side-effects or time/cost associated with traditional treatment methods.

Findings also indicate that couples’ sleep/wake behaviors are likely to be interdependent, such that their bed and wake times are influenced by the physical presence of their partner. Sleeping with a partner makes for a stronger bonding, increased sleep time, subjective sleep quality and efficiency, as it boosts physical and emotional security when sleeping in pairs.

Experts also feel that sleeping with a companion has some health benefits. Viny Kantroo, consultant, respiratory, critical care and sleep medicine consultant, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, says: “When we sleep while touching someone, dopamine and serotonin are released from the body. Both hormones improve mood, considered as happy hormones of the body. Once serotonin is produced, it gets converted into melatonin by the body, which regulates the sleep cycle. The person falls asleep faster and wakes up happier with the presence of this hormone.”

Sleep should be considered a fifth vital sign of the body giving indication of mental or physical health problems. The restorative process of the body requires mending of the daily wear and tear. If deprived of restful sleep, it can make muscles sore and nervous system jumbled up. There’s a difference in sleep time of those with insomnia than healthy sleepers. “This situation can easily be compared to jumbled-up words or sentences. Untangling requires a sound and calm mind, which is only achieved by giving rest to your body,” adds Kantroo.

At the same time, the oxytocin hormone triggers feelings of love, bonding and protection, and has relationship-enhancing effects. When released, it brings sound sleep and as a result, it also helps in lowering stress, blood pressure and anxiety, improves sleep quality, boosts the immune system and makes you feel safe.

“It’s easier to sleep next to someone we trust. When relationships are secured, it lowers the chances of having a nightmare, more than when you sleep alone. To achieve holistic well-being, one should be mindful of sleep hygiene and consider creating a sleep-promoting environment,” says Delhi-based Kanchan Rai, a mental and emotional well-being coach.

However, sleeping next to each other may not always guarantee a healthy relationship, the same way sleeping in different rooms does not guarantee a failed one. Research states that a good sleep results in a person being happier, healthier, more communicative, and even funnier. These are very important aspects of a healthy marriage.

“But what happens when one is an early riser, and the other is a night owl? In such a scenario, an unhealthy sleep pattern or lack of sleep can actually lead to stress, anger and ultimately dissatisfaction with life. For the bond to be stronger, it’s more important to spend quality time with each other when awake,” says Delhi-based astrologer and vastu expert Rashi Gaur.

According to Gaur, a good sleep pattern is more important to enhance the overall quality of life.

“The direction that your head points towards is paramount to not only a healthy sleep pattern but also a healthy life. Our head acts like the north of our body. When we place our head to the north while sleeping, the two energies repel each other. This leads to sleeplessness over a period of time, an overthinking mind and sometimes bad dreams. If the head points to the south, the magnetic pull that is caused between the south zone and our head leads to peaceful sleep and pleasant dreams. Place your bed towards the south wall. If that isn’t possible, the second-best zone is the east. The right energy vibrations can energise us,” she adds.

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