Snuggle up to your loved one on Valentine’s Day – that’s the advice from The Sleep Council.
“One in six couples regularly, if not always, sleep in separate beds*, but cosying up with your other half seems to aid good quality sleep**,” said Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council.
Most recent results from the Sleep Council reveals 82% of those who sleep very well always share their bed, while 17% of those who sleep very poorly are sleeping alone.
Growing evidence also suggests that couples who sleep together not only stay together but stay healthier too.
Continued Lisa: “Sharing a bed is the ultimate intimacy, and research suggests that this closeness helps to lower stress hormones and encourage feelings of safety and security***.
“However, our lifestyles can change over time and personal issues can get in the way – children, sickness, injuries or simply getting older – and the call of the spare bed becomes increasingly difficult to resist! The result is a growing number of couples sleeping in separate rooms and unfortunately that can be the beginning of the end for many relationships.
“So with romance in the air as Valentine’s Day fast approaches, make sure there is still ‘love’ in the bedroom by cuddling up to your loved one in a comfortable and roomy bed – the perfect start to a great night’s sleep!”
The Sleep Council shares some much needed tips on sharing a bed with your loved one:
• Try to go to bed with your partner at the same time at least three nights a week. Different body clocks mean many couples tuck up at different times – alarm bells should sound when that starts to happen every night of the week.
• Where duvet hogging is an issue, separate single duvets can work wonders! Separate duvets are also handy for bed sharers who have different temperature requirements. As a comfortable temperature (between 18 and 24 degrees centigrade) is essential to a good night’s sleep, individual duvets with a tog rating suited to each partner will put an end to the ‘too warm, too cold’ debate.
• Buy as big a bed as budget and room size allow. A standard double bed is only 4’6” wide which gives each person just the width of a baby’s cot to sleep in – more room means less partner disturbance.
• Ensure the bedroom is an oasis of calm and tranquillity – turn off televisions, mobile phones and other technology likely to distract attention away from sleep and intimacy.
• When snoring becomes a significant and ongoing problem, seek help. What starts off as a niggle can become a major issue for many couples – so get it sorted!
• Ensure the shared bed is comfortable for both partners and not just suited to one, so shop together for a new bed. Modern technology means even couples with different comfort and support preferences can find a bed that suits them both thanks to zip-and-link or zoned mattresses.
• Rolling towards each other when in bed is a sure sign the shared bed has had its day and needs replacing. It may be a charming characteristic in the early, heady days of a relationship but, like snoring, it’s one that all too soon wears extremely thin. A new bed could help end the bickering.
• Remember that caffeine, alcohol, smoking and exercising or eating too close to bedtime can all make it more difficult to get a great night’s sleep.
*One in six couples regularly, if not always, sleep in separate beds. Two thirds claim that sleeping apart has had a negative impact on their relationship – making them feel more distant and harming their sex life. (Ergoflex, July 2013)
**Sharing your bed with your other half seems to aid good quality sleep, as 82% of those who sleep very well always share their bed, while 17% of those who sleep very poorly are sleeping alone. (The Sleep Council’s Great British Bedtime Report, March 2013)
***Sleeping next to someone helps lower the stress hormone cortisol. Prolonged periods of elevated cortisol has been linked with an increase in cytokines – proteins involved in inflammation that can trigger heart disease, depression and auto-immune disorders. Sharing a bed is also thought to boost levels of the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin, known to induce bonding feelings. (Researchers from University of Pittsburgh and scientists at Malmo University Hospital in Sweden, April 2012)