Sleeping Is Better Together: The Impact of Bed-Sharing On Sleep And Mental Health

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Most adults tend to sleep together, either with their partner or spouse, which is very natural after a long exhausting day of doing chores and work. It feels right to rest with your partner, not just because it has been a common practice among couples and partners, but because you sleep particularly better and feel more comfortable and relaxed when you are lying beside them – and you are right.

A new study from the University of Arizona researchers found that adults who sleep together with a partner or spouse enjoy better sleep than people sleeping alone. The study’s researchers investigated the data collected in the Sleep and Health Activity, Diet, Environment, and Socialization (SHADES) study, which involved 1,007 working-age adults from southeastern Pennsylvania. Bed sharing was assessed using surveys, and sleep health factors were evaluated with common tools, including the Insomnia Severity Index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and STOP-BANG apnea score.

The study explored the relationship between bed-sharing, sleep, and mental health and found very interesting insight into how sleeping together for adults positively impacts their sleep and mental health, which we will explore in this article.

Bed Sharing Implications in Sleep Health and Mental Health

According to the study, although many adults do not sleep alone, very little research explores the associations between bed-sharing and sleep parameters in community samples. Hence, the researchers of the new study set out to explore whether sharing a bed was associated with sleep duration, sleep quality, and mental health factors and found very interesting results.

The study’s findings suggest that adults sleep better together than alone and that bed-sharing with your partner or spouse is associated with lower depression, anxiety, and stress scores and greater social support and satisfaction with life and relationships. 

Meanwhile, sleeping alone is associated with higher depression scores, lower social support, and worse life and relationship satisfaction.

Additionally, a very interesting finding from the study states that sleeping with children was found to be linked with heightened stress levels. Most nights, those who slept with their child reported having greater insomnia severity, higher risk of sleep apnea, and less control over their sleep.

The study also revealed that those who shared a bed with a partner most nights reported less severe insomnia, less fatigue, and longer sleep duration than those who said they never shared a bed with their partner. Those who slept with a partner also fell asleep faster, stayed sleeping longer after falling asleep, and had less risk of sleep apnea.

Based on the study’s findings, it can be concluded that bed sharing with your partner, spouse, children, or even pets has implications on the quality and duration of your sleep and mental state. 

Particularly, sleeping with a romantic partner or spouse demonstrates great benefits on sleep health, including reduced sleep apnea risk, sleep insomnia severity, and overall improvement in sleep quality.

Key Takeaway

The insight provided by the new study is very important knowledge on how a seemingly natural practice for couples and partners actually has a lot of significant benefits on their sleep quality and mental health, which are very important aspects of an individual’s well-being.

Sleep is one of the most crucial things you need to do for your body because it is your body’s way of recovering from a long day of using your body. However, most people tend to ignore its importance and over-exert themselves even when they are meant to sleep and recover for the next day. But through such enlightenment on how a common practice of bed-sharing with your partner can significantly affect this crucial aspect of one’s well-being – people may be more encouraged to get the rest their body needs, be more appreciative of this particular moment they spend with their partner, and look more forward to sharing this time together.

Journal Reference

Fuentes, B., Kennedy, K., Killgore, W., Wills, C., & Grandner, M. (2022). 0010 bed sharing versus sleeping alone associated with Sleep Health and Mental Health. Sleep, 45(Supplement_1). https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsac079.009 

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