Study says bed-sharing promotes sleep effects and improves physical and mental health

While co-sleeping with a partner is a common thing, there has been very little research on the relationship between bed-sharing and sleep quality, and most of them compare sleep alone with partner sleep by measuring physical activity while sleeping. Recently, a study from Germany looked more comprehensively at the relationship between partner bed-sharing and sleep, suggesting that bed-sharing promotes sleep effects and leads to more positive effects,media reported.

Study says bed-sharing promotes sleep effects and improves physical and mental health

The researchers involved 12 young healthy couples in the study, and participants spent four nights in the sleep lab. The researchers used a two-synchronous multi-guided sleep map monitor to measure the sleep parameters of a partner’s presence and absence, and the device was able to record more than 10 indicators such as brain power and breathing continuously and simultaneously during full-night sleep.

In addition, the subjects completed questionnaires designed to measure the characteristics of the relationship (e.g., relationship duration, degree of love, depth of relationship, etc.).

The results showed that when a partner slept together, the rapid eye movement sleep period (REM) increased and the interference was significantly reduced. This finding is particularly relevant because fast eye movement sleep is associated with the resolution of problems with dreaming, mood regulation, memory consolidation, social interaction, and creativity.

The team also found that when their partners slept together, their sleep patterns were synchronized. This synchronicity is not disturbed by the other person, but is related to the depth of the relationship, i.e. the more intimate the participants are, the more synchronized sleep is.

The researchers said the study showed that partner bed-sharing improved and stabilized rapid eye movement sleep, which in turn improved their mental health, social interactions, emotional stress, memory and problem-solving skills.

Next, researchers will conduct a broader study to analyze whether the partner effect (bed-sharing promotes fast eye-movement sleep sleep) is also present in other diverse samples, such as the elderly.