There’s nothing worse than attempting to sleep next to someone who’s drowsily insistent on hogging more than their fair share of the bed or, even worse, a snorer. But according to new research, how much shuteye you’re getting could speak volumes about the state of your relationship — and it’s got nothing to do with distractions like these.
The study, published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, has revealed a link between how happy you feel in your relationship and how well you sleep, focusing on emotions rather than physical disruptions.
Dr. Emre Selcuk and his team at Middle East Technical University in Turkey surveyed 698 married or cohabiting couples, aged between 35 and 86, asking them how responsive they felt their partner to be, and whether they suffered symptoms of depression, anxiety or sleeplessness. 219 of the participants also had their sleep monitored over one week using an activity monitor.
The result? Those who felt that their partner understood and cared for them slept much better over the course of the week.
"Our findings show that individuals with responsive partners experience lower anxiety and arousal, which in turn improves their sleep quality," explained Dr. Selcuk.
As you’ve heard time and time again, the health benefits of a good night’s sleep are manifold — but these can only be realized when rest is uninterrupted and of a high quality. This "restorative" type of sleep requires us to feel safe, secure and protected. According to Selcuk, "having response partners who would be available to protect and comfort us should things go wrong is the most effective way for us humans to reduce anxiety, tension, and arousal." Ergo, having a partner who makes you feel safe and secure could help you sleep better.
Dr. Selcuk even goes on to suggest that "our best bet for a happier, healthier and a longer life is having a responsive partner."
Yet more great news for singletons, then…
This post was written by Katie Rosseinsky. For more, check out our sister site Grazia.
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