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Study finds that adults sleep better together than alone

Sleeping with children was associated with more stress.



Sleeping married family couple have deep sleep at night enjoys serene atmosphere dressed in nightwear. Mature woman and man take nap after hard working day feel comfortable. Bedtime concept.
(Cast Of Thousands via Shutterstock)

By Jim Leffman via SWNS

Whether you're spooning or on the opposite side of the bed, adults sleep better together than they do alone, a new study reveals.

The benefits include less insomnia, less fatigue and more time asleep as well as nodding off quicker.

However sharing a bed with a child had the opposite effect.

A team from the University of Arizona set out to explore the relationship between bed sharing, sleep and mental health.

Their overall finding was that adults who share a bed with a partner or spouse sleep better than those who sleep alone.

They discovered that sleeping with a partner was associated with lower depression, anxiety, and stress scores, and greater social support and satisfaction with life and relationships.

Sleeping with children was associated with more stress.

Sleeping alone was associated with higher depression scores, lower social support, and worse life and relationship satisfaction.

Results show that those who shared a bed with a partner most nights reported less severe insomnia, less fatigue, and more time asleep than those who said they never share a bed with a partner.

Those sleeping with a partner also fell asleep faster, stayed asleep longer after falling asleep, and had less risk of sleep apnea, a condition where breathing is interrupted often leading to snoring.

However, those who slept with their child most nights reported greater insomnia severity, greater sleep apnea risk, and less control over their sleep.

Lead author Brandon Fuentes, undergraduate researcher in the department of psychiatry at the university said: "Sleeping with a romantic partner or spouse shows to have great benefits on sleep health including reduced sleep apnea risk, sleep insomnia severity and overall improvement in sleep quality."

Senior study author Dr. Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the university added: "Very few research studies explore this, but our findings suggest that whether we sleep alone or with a partner or family member may impact our sleep health.

“We were very surprised to find out just how important this could be.”

The study involved an analysis of data collected in the Sleep and Health Activity, Diet, Environment, and Socialization (SHADES) study of 1,007 working-age adults from southeastern Pennsylvania.

Bed sharing was evaluated with surveys, and sleep health factors were assessed with common tools such as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Insomnia Severity Index, and STOP-BANG apnea score.

An abstract of the findings was published in the journal Sleep online and the study was presented at SLEEP 2022, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.

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