Is it better to sleep in the same bed as your spouse or snooze separately? The question has been up for debate over the years, but a new study has some surprising results for couples who prefer to hit the hay on their own.
Although there are a lot of romantic notions about drifting off while spooning your partner — and even if there isn’t much snuggling involved, sharing a bed seems to be the norm — there are more than a few couples who prefer to keep to their own sleep space. TODAY anchor Carson Daly made headlines for admitting he and his wife had a “sleep divorce” — still happily married, but counting sheep in different beds. Hey, it worked for Lucy and Ricky, so why not real life couples?
Well, a study published in Frontiers of Psychology over the summer begs to differ and backs their opinion up with science. Researchers from Germany, Denmark, and here in the US observed couples in a sleep lab over a span of four nights. They measured the participants brain waves, heart activity, movement, and muscle tension, comparing the differences in nights spent sleeping together and apart. The couples also filled out questionnaires about their relationships before sacking out.
The results showed an average 10 percent better deep sleep quality when the couples snoozed together rather than on their own. The participants REM cycles even synched up together, especially for those who claimed to be in a “deeply loving” relationship. There was still some tossing and turning, but none was enough to rouse anyone from dreamland.
Now, we aren’t saying you should go ahead and hop back into the same bed if you and you spouse are happily catching Zzz’s in on your own. For one thing, this study was admittedly small — there were only 12 couples (a total of 24 individuals) and they were all between the ages of 18 and 29. They also didn’t have any health problems that can get in the way of a good night’s rest, like sleep apnea.
And at the end of the day, whatever helps you and your partner get the best shut eye is all that matters!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.