Couples Sleep in Sync When the Wife is Satisfied with Her Marriage

First Posted: Jun 05, 2014 01:28 PM EDT

Do you sleep well with your partner? Then you may have a satisfying marriage. Scientists have found that couples are more likely to sleep in sync when the wife is more satisfied with her marriage.

"Most of what is known about sleep comes from studying it at the individual level; however, for most adults, sleep is shared behavior between bed partners," said Heather Gunn, one of the researchers, in a news release. "How couples sleep together may influence and be influenced by their relationship functioning."

The researchers examined 46 couples who participated in a relationship assessment. The scientists gathered object sleep data by actigraphy over a 10-day period in order to assess how well the couples slept and what their sleep patterns were like.

So what did the researchers find? It turns out that overall synchrony in sleep-wake schedules among couples were high. In fact, those who slept in the same bed were either awake or asleep at the same time about 75 percent of the time.

What was more interesting, though, was the fact that satisfaction had a role to play. When the wife reported a happier marriage, the percent of time the couple was awake or asleep at the same time was greater. This, in particular, shows how sleep patterns can be affected by a happier relationship.

"The sleep of married couples is more in sync on a minute-by-minute basis than the sleep of random individuals," said Gunn in a news release. "This suggests that our sleep patterns are regulated not only by when we sleep, but also by with whom we sleep."

The findings are published in the journal Sleep and was presented at SLEEP 2014, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC, in Minnesota

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