After around 10-12 years, many relationships end due to a loss of connection and intimacy. Not sleeping together creates feelings of loneliness and emotional and physical detachment.
According to the Archives of Sexual Behavior, couples feel relaxed and nurtured during bedtime as it stimulates feelings of comfort, satisfaction, love, bonding, appreciation, and happiness. Unfortunately, 75% of couples don’t go to sleep at the same time as one of them is working, watching TV, or on the phone.
There are many ways to improve your relationship, such as showing gratitude to each other, going on regular date nights, and constantly surprising each other with acts of kindness. However, one of the easiest yet most effective habits is to go to bed together and allow a generous amount of time to connect before you sleep.
Why Going to Bed Together at the Same Time is Important
The healthier the habits you can cultivate with your spouse, the greater your chance of forming a thriving, successful relationship.
One key habit is going to bed together, but there are two dynamics. It’s wonderful if you can go to bed at the same time, but avoid going to bed angry if you’ve just fought.
For now, let’s understand why it’s important for couples to sleep at the same time:
When a couple has a conversation after sex, also called pillow talk, their bodies release a neurotransmitter called oxytocin. This is linked to closeness, relationship satisfaction, and trust.
Pillow talk is essential for a happy relationship and sexual satisfaction. The release of oxytocin also makes it more likely for the couple to share positive feelings.
Cuddling is the perfect time for people to talk about relationships, their plans, the future, work, school, friends, family, children, or movies.
Going to bed at the same time allows couples to have intimate conversations, which leads to better communication and a better connection.
According to Psychosomatic Medicine, going to bed together is particularly important for women. When bedtimes were in sync, women reported that their interactions with their partners were more positive the next day.
Since women tend to be more sensitive to the ups and downs of a relationship, they show a stronger link between sleep patterns and how their relationship performs.
Going to bed at the same time as your partner ensures that you remain on schedule and don’t stay up too late.
However, when one partner goes to bed late, there’s an increased risk of disturbing the one already sleeping. This habit can annoy your partner, and it can cause anger and resentment to build up.
Not going to bed with your spouse can prevent you from being intimate with them regularly.
However, don’t have sex and rush out to watch TV, check your phone, or do the dishes. Use this time to build an emotional and physical connection in your relationship.
According to the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, mismatched couples, such as a morning person married to a night person, report spending less time in shared activities and serious conversation.
These couples also have less sex, report more conflicts, and experience feelings of loneliness. However, going to bed at the same time as your partner isn’t just about sex. Physical closeness is enough to release oxytocin and serotonin, increase bonding, and reduce stress and anxiety.
Being together in bed allows couples to have share skin-to-skin contact and cuddle, which lowers blood pressure and anxiety levels, reduces pain, and boosts immune system function.
Being next to your partner in a dark, quiet space allows freedom to talk about your day’s highlights and low points. It also provides the opportunity for couples to get physically intimate.
The happy chemicals released in your bodies set you two up for a good night’s rest. This helps you feel more positive and refreshed when you wake up, thereby increasing your intimate bond the next day.
Avoiding Negative Late Night Habits
Remember the old saying: “nothing good happens after midnight?” Whether it’s for work or entertainment, staying up late in the night can be detrimental to your health.
Not only does it lead to a poor night’s sleep, sleep deprivation, and lack of productivity the next day, it also allows late-night habits such as snacking.
Staying up late at night can lead to weight gain for many reasons. Your body produces more ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and less leptin (hunger-suppressing hormone) during the late hours.
This increases cravings for sugary or fatty processed foods, which disturbs your sleep. It’s a vicious cycle and the perfect recipe for ruining your emotional and physical health.
Settling Arguments Before Bed
Resolve arguments with your partner before going to bed, instead of sleeping in separate rooms after a fight.
Recognize what’s worrying you about your fight and attempt to resolve the issue thoughtfully. If you don’t have the energy for a thoughtful conversation, ask your partner if you can discuss your concerns at a set time the next day.
Following a set sleep schedule with your partner will increase the chances of coming up with a rational solution and prevent you and your partner from staying up all night following your fight.
If you have a habit of sleeping in different rooms or at different times, it may feel much easier to storm off and spend the rest of the night away from them.
Going to sleep feeling upset at your spouse will only allow negative feelings to linger for much longer.
Impact of Sleep on Memory
According to the journal Nature Communications, sleep reinforces memories of the day in the brain.
When you go to sleep following an argument with your partner, this negative memory gets locked in your brain, making it more difficult to get over it later.
The study investigated the effect of sleep on memory on 73 male college students, who were trained to associate certain images with negative feelings.
The participants were asked to look at the images again and to recollect those negative feelings or not let negative memories enter their minds. The experiment was conducted twice: once after half an hour after training and once after a night of sleep.
When researchers scanned the students’ brain activity, they found it much harder for participants to suppress negative memories after sleep. Furthermore, these negative thoughts were stored away in their long-term memories, making it harder for participants to shake them off in the future.
This indicates that sleep is the pathway for newly acquired information to be transferred from short-term memory to long-term memory. Not being able to suppress negative memories is linked to many psychiatric issues, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Causes of Couples Sleeping at Different Times
Many studies show that married people sleep better than single people and have fewer sleep-related issues, such as insomnia. Couples who sleep at the same time have more stable sleep-wake schedules and help regulate each other’s sleep.
Couples that sleep at different times report less satisfaction from their relationship than those who follow the same sleep routine. More people are giving up traditional bedroom setups that tend to be more intimate, where sex and sleep occur. Instead, they decide to sleep solo, either after taxing days at work or on a full-time basis.
So, what causes couples to sleep at different times or in two separate bedrooms?
- One of them is a loud snorer
- Watching TV or spending too much time on the phone
- Having significantly different body temperatures
- Having different views on temperature, light, and noise in the room
- Clashing work shifts
- Sleep training a child
- One partner has a sleep disorder, such as restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea
- One of the partners is a bed hog (e.g., sleep diagonally in bed)
Partners who sleep separately have one thing in common: they want to get optimal sleep.
In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, optimizing mental health and productivity is key to success in the workplace, even if it means getting better sleep in a separate room.
So, what can one do if they can’t fall asleep next to their partner?
How to Start Sleeping at the Same Time Again
Life is busy with work, family, kids, bills, household chores, and other daily stressors, so finding time to connect with your partner is easier said than done.
That’s why it’s so important that you make the most of whatever time you have alone with your partner, whether it’s 2 hours or just 15 minutes.
Here are some of the habits happy couples do before going to bed:
Unplug Flickering Devices
Scrolling through social media, watching the latest news, or reading your favorite blogs can be addictive.
This habit can take away from the time you spend connecting with your partner via verbal and physical intimacy. When one partner is on the phone, the other feels like they’re not in the same room.
You’re also jeopardizing your sleep. Electronic devices with screens release artificial blue light that works similarly to the blue light released from the sun.
Blue light suppresses the release of your body’s natural sleep hormone, melatonin, preventing you from falling asleep on time. Prolonged exposure to blue light from continually looking at a screen in the night can also increase your risk of sleep deprivation, insomnia, and mood disorders.
Therefore, start by understanding the adverse effects of keeping electronics in your bedroom or using them close to bedtime. It creates rules, such as “no phones in bed” or “no phones, computers, and TV after 9 pm.”
Suppressing your social media habits will increase melatonin, serotonin, and oxytocin levels in your body.
Keep the TV Out of The Bedroom
Most people make the mistake of keeping their TVs in their bedrooms. This isn’t only damaging to your sleep due to TV’s blue light effect, but can also harm your relationship.
When one partner is a night owl and the other is an early riser, watching television during the night, despite keeping a low volume, can affect the other person’s sleep quality.
This can cause them to wake up feeling annoyed and lethargic with negative emotions toward you.
Prioritize A Good Night’s Sleep
Beyond the usual advice of kissing goodnight, cuddling, and having sex before sleep, making sleep an essential factor in your relationship may not sound all that romantic. However, sleep improves your mental health, making a couple emotionally present throughout the next day.
When sleep is disturbed or is difficult to come by, it can cause you to wake up feeling groggy and moody, thus fostering irritability and other negative feelings.
If you and your partner are having difficulty falling asleep at the same time, get professional advice on a healthy sleep routine. Include relaxation techniques into your routine and curb screen time to reduce the risk of insomnia.
Practicing Gratitude Together
In the form of a prayer or verbal affirmations, gratitude can have a massive positive impact on your mood and mindset. So why not share the power of gratitude with your partner?
Whether it’s a positive experience you had during the day or something specific you’re appreciative about, sharing positive feelings and your gratitude can help end your and your partner’s day positively.
Address Snoring Problems
A loud snorer can keep their spouse feeling sleepless throughout the night, causing the couple to sleep in two separate bedrooms.
So, what’s the best way to get a good night’s sleep while sleeping in the same bed? Find a solution for the snoring problem, such as white noise or wearing earplugs to block out your partner’s snores.
In most cases, snoring can be lessened. Natural solutions such as changing your sleep position, pillow, avoiding foods that cause snoring, taking a hot shower before bed, and staying hydrated are all effective at quietening a snorer.
If one of you is a noisy snorer, check for sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs in 75% of the people who snore. If you suspect obstructive sleep apnea is the cause of loud snoring, see a doctor.
Leave Some Time to Chat
Happy couples tend to regularly discuss the highs and lows of their life and allow each other to vent.
Although this doesn’t mean you should pile on negativity in the evening hours, setting aside just 15 to 30 minutes before going to bed to unwind and show support to each other can be beneficial to your relationship.
Listen to what’s stressing your partner without having the urge to counter them or problem-solve. Just feeling that they’re being understood can make that special person feel better.
Don’t Go to Sleep Angry
Going to sleep with a negative mindset can consolidate unhappy emotions in your brain during your slumber, transferring these thoughts to your long-term memory.
Settle your disagreement. If it’s late, decide on a time to discuss the matter more productively the next day.
Keep Kids Out of The Bedroom
Your bedroom is your sanctuary, where you can get optimal rest and have maximum intimacy with your partner.
Even though sicknesses and nightmares can cause your kids to crawl into bed with you, encourage them to stay in their rooms to prioritize intimacy and connection.
Intimacy with your partner doesn’t have to end just because you have children. Couples need boundaries and privacy for emotional and physical connection. It also increases positive feelings.
Understand that habits have a reason. If you desire a strong marriage, you have to work with your partner to develop positive habits that strengthen your bond. Going to bed is just one of these habits, but it’s very effective.