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How sleep can save your relationship

28-08-2013

There are many aspects that make up a successful relationship, from your personalities to your likes, from your hobbies to your passions. Those are the obvious aspects, at least. There are far more underlying components to a relationship that make it successful, or unsuccessful. Recent research suggests that one of these is sleep. Yes, the quality and quantity of your sleep as a couple may play a role in the long term success of your relationship.

Sleeping well with your partner, and no we do not mean sex, may help your relationship. Relationships are complex, there are many parameters to a relationship. Some people believe you need to share the same underlying values regarding the big questions in life, such as your beliefs and your outlook on life. They say that few conservatives fall for liberals and vice versa, few devout Christians will marry atheists. Others believe that it is more important to have the same goals and passions in life, suggesting that people who want to succeed will often pair with other ambitious people. Some think that it is better for people with complementary personalities to be together, so that you need to have a rational and practical person with an artistic dreamer.

In the end there is no single formula that works, while some are odd couples, others are almost exactly the same in their views, goals and passions. The reality is that there are lots of different couple types. However, while the above rules are not hard and fast, some recent research suggests that there are some underlying aspects that are important, namely that being able to sleep well  with your partner is important for a long term relationship. Yes, sleep compatibility could play a role in the success of your relationship.

The study followed a number of couples and found that over a few years those that were sleep compatible, in other words those that were sleeping well when sharing the same bed, those that wanted to go to bed around the same time and sleep for about the same amount each night, were more likely to be happy with their relationship. Those that were not sleep compatible were less happy with their relationship.

The researchers believe that part of the problem is that those that are not sleep compatible were suffering from a range of different symptoms of sleep deprivation and the fact that they disturbed each other’s sleep at night meant that they were actually more tired, more irritable and, in some cases, even depressed and anxious.  In other words, being with someone who you cannot sleep well with turns you into a person who it is harder to be in a relationship with.

Naturally there are ways around a sleep incompatibility, such as having different bedrooms, but other research has found that this is even worse for a relationship. People who do not share their bed will grow distant and the passion will often disappear.

It may be that to have a successful long term relationship you need to be sleep compatible.
 


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