Sharing a bed with our significant other is a beneficial norm by today’s standards, but history and science might say otherwise.
Why you shouldn’t sleep together
Historically, impoverished couples shared beds because of a lack of space – while more affluent couples had separate bedrooms. Shared bedrooms then grew in popularity in the early 20th century when living in cities became trendy – and limited spacing forced couples to share bedrooms.
But modern studies suggest sharing beds leads to around 50% more sleep disturbances, and the Better Sleep Council discovered up to 33% Americans claim their partner’s sleep habits negatively impact their own quality of deep sleep.
So, should you stop cuddling with your partner? Sleeping alone can “theoretically” improve sleep that leads to positive attitudes and minimizes the chance for conflict, and thus improves your relationship.
In fact, a research study found that 30% - 40% of couples currently sleep apart at night.
Why you should sleep together
However, The Sleep Council (UK) reports sharing your bed with your SO aids good quality sleep, as 82% of those who sleep well always share their bed versus 17% of those who sleep poorly are sleeping alone.
Sharing a bed is, after all, the ultimate intimacy - counteracting stress, depression, and encouraging feelings of safety and security. In fact, cuddling increases the levels of oxytocin - which combats the harmful effects of cortisol and reduces blood pressure.
It’s especially beneficial for women – making them view mutual interactions more positively the next day.
So, which option is better?
It all really comes down to personal preference… assess your needs as a couple and as individuals, with a good night’s sleep as the goal.