Do you prefer having the bed to yourself or do you like to share? Despite having a queen size bed, I often find that my two (not large!) dogs take over. I recently read an article from the Wall Street Journal about whether it’s better to share the bed with a partner or not. While the research that the article mentions is focused on heterosexual couples, I believe that it works for all individuals regardless of sexual orientation. In general, they say that sharing a bed has some major benefits (aside from having your own personal space heater).
One of the studies mentions that women in “long-term stable relationships fell asleep more quickly and woke up less” than single women or those in short-term relationships. I think some of that may have to do with comfort levels. I imagine many people are not as comfortable with co-sleeping in a new relationship because you’re still learning a lot about each other, including little things like which side of the bed you prefer. I have a friend who has been in her relationship for over ten years and has repeatedly told me that the key to marital happiness for them is different blankets as neither of them share well and have different temperature comfort levels.
The article hypothesizes that some of the benefits of sharing your bed with a partner can include feeling more safe and secure, lower levels of stress hormones, “reduced cytokines” (which are involved in inflammation), and increased levels of oxytocin. This is sounding better than some prescription medications out there! What do you do if you have a different sleep schedule from your bed buddy? I suggest finding some time to share in bed – just cuddling or even talking. If you can schedule a short nap, that can help too.
Be our buddy – find us on Twitter @mysexprofessor and find Holly, the blanket hog who wrote this post, @ItsHollyAgain.