Sharing a bed is still Popular

Two years after we last asked the question ‘Do you sleep in the same bed as your partner?’ as part of our monthly poll series, it was reassuring to see that the statistics had barely changed – and yes we do still enjoy sharing the bed with our partner!

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Just over half (51%) still snuggle up to each other in bed (47% in Feb 2015). Good news as sleeping with your partner can actually benefit your health and increase the odds of your having a longer lifespan. This is because people tend to feel more secure and safe when in a relationship, decreasing the levels of stress hormones and increasing oxytocin, the love hormone – leading to less interrupted sleep.

However bear in mind that around 50% of sleep disturbance is caused by sharing a bed with your partner. If you find your sleep is disrupted on a regular basis by a snoring partner, a duvet hogger and a bed companion who frequently tosses and turns it may be worth considering a larger bed or even separate bedrooms.

The 3 best habits for healthy, restful sleep

1. Reserve your bed for sleeping

If you’re tempted to crawl into bed with your laptop to punch out a few last work emails, don’t..

For those of us who struggle with sleep, it can be helpful to set aside the bed as a place of rest. If we get used to doing work or other activities in or around bed, it could make it harder to fall asleep there.

This is where smartphones and tablets can become a problem. “When people can’t sleep, what do they do? They pull out their phones and start scrolling. But that’s in direct conflict with stimulus control, which says you reserve the bed for sleeping.”

2. Clear away distractions

Another component of good sleep hygiene is preparing for sleep by decreasing our exposure to stimulating content, like TV, social media, and the news, as we get closer to bedtime. Some experts suggest avoiding devices for a couple of hours before bed.

When you’re going to bed, you want to do things that are relaxing, like reading a book. You want to gradually transition into sleep; you don’t want your mind to be stimulated.

3. If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and do something else

Tossing and turning? The best solution might be the one you’d think of last — get out of bed.

If you can’t sleep, good sleep hygiene suggests that you get up, get out of bed, and do something else, something relaxing, like going and reading a book.

When we’re struggling to sleep, trying to force our brains to shut down only causes the mind to work harder and get frustrated. If you’re having a hard time powering down, then, try distracting yourself with an easy, relaxing task. You might be surprised to discover how quickly your eyelids start to feel heavy.

Ah! Tuesday’s Sleep

You might get to sleep in on the weekends but is it the best sleep? According to new research, the answer is no.

While it’s not the longest sleep of the week (weekends usually mean an extra 30 minutes in bed on Friday and Saturday nights), Tuesday night sleep is the most restorative, with a fall in blood pressure and stress hormones, according to a June 28 article in The Telegraph.

While experts aren’t exactly sure why this is the case, it could be that Tuesday nights are free from the rich food and drinks consumed over the weekend.

“People rest for a lot longer during the weekend, but perhaps they are out partying and letting their hair down and their bodies don’t physiologically recover,” says Simon Shepard, chief executive officer of Optima-Life, the U.K.-based distributor of the heart monitors used in the study. “On Mondays and Tuesdays, your energy levels may still be high after the weekend. And while you may still be sociable, you may be sociable in a different way, going to a book group rather than the pub.”

The study found only 48% of Saturday night and 48.7% of Friday night’s sleep revitalizes the body and brain. This is compared with a high of 55.1% on Tuesday nights, while 54.6% of sleep on Monday was considered to be restorative, the article notes.best_night_sleep_tuesday-1