Bickering in bed robs partners of around 90 minutes of sleep every week, according the results of a UK survey published this week. The poll of 2000 people, in a survey from hotel chain Travelodge, found that arguing over a range of different problems - chiefly ‘fidgeting’ – was a surprisingly common bedtime event and contributes to sleep disruption much in the same way as a sleep disorder condition would. Other issues that commonly triggered arguments in bed included demanding different temperatures, hogging the sheets and leaving a light on.
While the survey undoubtedly has a humorous tone to it and the ‘problems’ do seem rather avoidable, it’s notable that the complaints all relate to disruptions to the sleep environment – with comfort (fidgeting, sheet hogging), temperature and light pollution all polling strongly. These elements are all fundamental to achieving good sleep, so it’s no surprise that when one or more of them are jeopardised it leads to angry exchanges.
Another serious side to the results of the survey is the sheer amount of sleep that arguing with a partner loses. Thirty minutes of lost sleep is more than enough to impact on a nightly sleep schedule, potentially leading to feelings of sleep deprivation the following day. Repeated three times a week the effects are likely to be even worse. Taking the long view, assuming bed-based quarrelling happens three times a week and last thirty minutes each time, over a year the couple can expect to lose over three full days of sleep every year – underlining the need for more night-time harmony.
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