After about 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, or 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 cultivate with your spouse, the higher the likelihood of developing a successful relationship. Let’s look at why couples should 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 an enhanced connection.
According to Psychosomatic Medicine, going to bed together is particularly important for women. When bedtimes were in sync, women reported that interactions with partners were more positive the next day.
Since women are 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 ensures that you remain on schedule and don’t stay up too late.
However, when one partner goes to bed late, there’s an elevated risk of disturbing the person already sleeping. This habit can annoy a partner, leading to anger and resentment.
Not going to bed with your spouse can prevent regular physical intimacy.
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 together.
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 had less sex, reported more conflicts, and experienced feelings of loneliness. However, going to bed at the same time as a 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 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 you the freedom to talk about your day’s high and low points. It also provides the opportunity for couples to get physically intimate.
The happy chemicals released set you up for a good night’s rest. This helps you feel more positive and refreshed when you wake up, increasing your intimate bond the next day.
Avoiding Negative Late Night Habits
Remember the old saying: “nothing good happens after midnight?” Regardless of whether it’s for work or entertainment, staying up late at night can harm your health.
It leads to a poor night’s sleep, sleep deprivation, a lack of productivity the next day, and late-night habits like snacking on junk food.
Staying up late at night can lead to weight gain for various reasons. The body produces more ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and less leptin (the hunger-suppressing hormone) during the late hours.
This increases cravings for sugary or fatty processed foods, which disturbs your sleep.
Settling Arguments Before Bed
Resolve arguments 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 respectfully. If you don’t have the energy for a thoughtful conversation, ask your partner if you can discuss any concerns at a set time the next day.
Following a set sleep schedule with a partner will increase the chances of devising a rational solution, preventing you and your partner from staying up all night following a fight.
If you have a habit of sleeping in different rooms or at different times, it may feel easier to storm off and spend the rest of the night away from them.
Going to sleep upset at your spouse will only allow negative feelings to last 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 is locked into your brain, making it more difficult to get over it later.
The study investigated the effect of sleep on the memory of 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 recollect 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 harder for participants to suppress negative memories after sleep. Furthermore, these negative thoughts were stored 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 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 regulate each other’s sleep.
Couples who sleep at different times report less satisfaction in 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, sometimes permanently.
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.
- Different body temperatures (too hot or cold).
- Different perspectives on light and noise levels in the room.
- Clashing work shifts.
- Sleep training a child.
- One partner has a sleep disorder, such as restless leg syndrome (RLS) or sleep apnea.
- One of the partners is a bed hog, sleeping diagonally.
In today’s fast-paced world, 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 you do if you can’t fall asleep next to your 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 important to make the most of any alone time with your partner, whether it’s 2 hours or just 15 minutes. Here are some of the habits of happy couples 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 at night can also increase your risk of sleep deprivation, insomnia, and mood disorders.
Create rules, such as “no phones in bed” or “no phones, computers, and TV after 9 pm.” Suppressing your social media habits will increase your body’s melatonin, serotonin, and oxytocin levels.
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 the TV’s blue light effect, but it 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 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 the next day.
When sleep is disturbed or difficult to come by, it can cause you to wake up groggy and moody, thus fostering irritability and other negative feelings.
If you and your partner are having difficulty falling asleep at the same time, seek advice on a healthy sleep routine. Include relaxation techniques into your routine and curb screen time to prevent insomnia.
Practicing Gratitude Together
In the form of a prayer or verbal affirmations, gratitude can positively impact your mood and mindset. So, why not share 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 gratitude can end the day positively.
Address Snoring Problems
People who snore can’t hear themselves snoring. A loud snorer can make a spouse sleepless, 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, switching pillows, avoiding foods that cause snoring, taking a hot shower before bed, and staying hydrated are 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, consult a doctor.
Leave Some Time to Chat
Happy couples regularly discuss the highs and lows of their life and allow each other to vent.
Although this doesn’t mean you should be overly negative in the evening hours, setting aside 15-30 minutes before going to bed to unwind and show support to each other can benefit your relationship.
Listen to what’s stressing your partner without countering them or seeking to problem-solve. Just feeling that they’re being understood can make that 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 the next day.
Keep Kids Out of The Bedroom
A bedroom is your sanctuary, where you can get optimal rest and have intimacy with a partner.
Even though sicknesses and nightmares can cause kids to crawl into bed with you, encourage them to stay in their rooms to prioritize intimacy and connection.
Intimacy with a partner doesn’t have to end just because you have children. Couples need boundaries and privacy for emotional and physical connection.
If you want a strong relationship, work with your partner to develop positive habits that strengthen your bond. Going to bed at the same time is just one of these important habits.