What Your Sleep Schedule Says About Your Relationship
“Most of what is known about sleep comes from studying it at the individual level; however, for most adults, sleep is a shared behavior between bed partners,” lead study author Heather Gunn, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, says in a statement. “How couples sleep together may influence and be influenced by their relationship functioning.” For example, couples who get too little sleep may be more likely to fight, according to a previous study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
In Gunn’s study published in the journal Sleep, researchers asked 46 married couples questions about their relationship quality. The investigators also asked all study participants to wear sleep trackers for 10 days to observe their sleep and wake patterns. The scientists then calculated how synced the couples’ sleep schedules were based on the sleep-tracking data they had collected.
Overall, the couples tended to be awake and asleep together about 75% of the time. The happier the wife was with the marriage, the greater the synchrony between her and her husband’s sleep schedule. The findings suggest that “our sleep patterns are regulated not only by when we sleep, but also by with whom we sleep,” says Gunn.
Wives and husbands are synchronized in other ways, too. For example, they often share certain health behaviors such as exercise and dietary habits, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE. They also tend to be in tune with each other’s moods and emotions, according to an analysis of previous studies published in the journal Emotion Review.
To boost marital happiness, spouses should make sure to get enough sleep. In a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, scientists concluded couples felt more satisfied with their marriages on days following more shut-eye. Agree?
Check out more tips on how to sleep together, better. And, better understand how you sleep with SleepIQ® technology found inside Sleep Number® beds, which helps track and monitor your sleep each night, giving you personal insights. No sleep studies required – you use Sleep IQ® technology in the comfort of your own bedroom, and SleepIQ® tech even connects to your favorite health and wellness apps, so you’ll learn how life affects your sleep and how sleep affects your life. SleepIQ® technology proves that people adjusting their Sleep Number® setting are 58% more likely to have improved sleep quality.*
*As measured by an increase in restful time in bed from a 2015 Select Comfort study including 1,079 individual participants.