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Many of us share our bed with our partner. Does sleeping with someone else influence the duration and quality of sleep? Would that have had an impact on mental health? This is what scientists at the University of Arizona have sought to determine. Their study shows that it is actually better to share a bed with your spouse for several reasons.
It is proven that sleep is extremely important for overall health. « Regularity, duration, quality and timing of sleep are important to consider in preventing heart disease. Patricia Haynes, an associate professor of health science at the University of Arizona, points out. From a physical point of view, regular sleep is associated, for example, with a smaller waistline – the waistline is a predictor of certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
The specialist also explains that a good night’s sleep acts a bit like a buffer zone, allowing us to be less vulnerable to the vagaries of everyday life (stress, hassle, etc.). Sleep somehow allows us to take a more proactive approach to difficult situations. On the contrary – everyone has probably already experienced this – a bad night usually makes us in a bad mood, more impatient, more irritable and also much less productive. Researchers are trying to identify factors that improve sleep.
A much better quality sleep
To date, few studies have explored the effects of sleeping with her spouse on sleep quality. A team of researchers, led by Brandon Fuentes, a researcher in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona, is interested in the question. Their study is based on data collected as part of the SHADES study (Sleep and health activity, diet, environment and socialization) to 1007 adults in southeastern Pennsylvania.
A simple survey determined whether or not the study participants slept with another person (or pet), and how often; sleep-related health factors were assessed using specific tools (Epworth sleepiness scale, insomnia severity index, and STOP-BANG apnea score). Mental health factors understand, including PHQ9 depression score and GAD7 anxiety score.
The fact that we sleep alone or with a partner, family member, or pet can have a significant impact on our health. « We were very surprised to find that point could be important Dr. Michael Grandner, director of the sleep and health research program at the University of Arizona, said.
Sleeping with your spouse sometimes has real benefits for sleep in itself: it reduces the risk of sleep apnea, the severity of insomnia, and it improves the quality of sleep in sleep. its globality, note the researchers. In France, l’apnée du sommeil reaches 4% of the population; this disorder greatly impacts daily life as it causes daytime sleepiness, decreased alertness and concentration, and memory impairment. In the long run, sleep apnea increases cardiovascular mortality.
Sleeping in pairs reduces the risk of stress and depression
The results of the study show that people who share their bed with their partner most of the night fall asleep faster, sleep longer and are therefore less tired than people who used to sleep alone. . Conversely, people who sleep alone are more prone to insomnia, drowsiness, fatigue, and are at increased risk for sleep apnea.
But that’s not all: sleeping with your spouse is associated with lower scores on depression, anxiety, and stress. People who sleep together also show greater satisfaction with life and social relationships. People who sleep alone have shown higher depression scores.
Note that these benefits do not seem to be valid care if the bed is shared with the life partner. Indeed, people who reported sleeping with their child most nights reported more severe insomnia, and had a higher risk of shower apnea and sleep control. Sleeping with children was also associated with increased stress. Similarly, participants who reported sleeping with other family members had a higher risk of sleep apnea.
Healthy sleep is increasingly recognized as an important aspect of health, as well as nutrition and physical activity. Dr. Grandner recommends at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night; but this is only an average, some need more or less hours to feel really rested (note that the holiday period, when we generally have no time constraints, is a good opportunity to determine his own ideal sleep duration).