What happens when you sleep next to a loved one?

Published on: 10 February 2022, 14:41 pm IST

Did you know the difference between sleeping with a loved one vis-a-vis sleeping alone? Find out how to improve sleep.

sleep couple
Sleeping with your loved one is better, apparently. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Have you ever given this a thought? Sleeping all by yourself can be a completely different – and better – experience as compared to when you sleep next to a loved one! If you notice, you may agree.

According to UK-based psychology specialist Tim Gray, sleeping next to a loved one helps you fall asleep faster, which is by the way great! And this also seems like the easiest trick under the sun on how to improve sleep, isn’t it?

He cites research by Northumbria University, revealing that there is in fact a link between time taken to fall asleep and our overall sleep health.

In recent times, multiple studies from across the world have emphasized the importance of quality and quantity of sleep in overall health. The benefits of sound sleep are far too many, and range from brain health to heart health and more.

As Gray points out, “It reduces depression and anxiety and can also help you live longer!”

sleep problems
Sleeping alone may make you stay awake longer. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What happens when you sleep alone?

Sometimes, sleep jerks wake you up! Also, the calmness and darkness of a room can push you into a phase of introspection. We’re sure it happens to you. You tend to self-talk or overthink about situations, and that makes it tougher for you to fall asleep. You try medicines, music, meditation and what not to improve your sleep, but it evades you.

As Gray puts it, “It’s common when you’re by yourself to get caught up in your own head as your mind begins to wander. Our brains become more and more active, we begin to overthink and, unsurprisingly, struggle to get that much needed shut-eye.”

And this is why sleeping next to someone you love can be a win-win for your sleep. Well, as long as they don’t snore and spoil the sleep! “They will give you feelings of security so you begin to relax and drift off,” he explains.

Also Read: Add this simple trick to your routine for quicker weight loss

How to improve sleep? Can sleeping with a loved one help?

Apparently, sleeping with your partner also stimulates the release of some chemicals that boost sleep, mentions Gray.

1. Oxytocin

Oxytocin is the love hormone which keeps you happy.

2. Serotonin

This hormone contributes to well-being and happiness.

3. Norepinephrine

This one is a friend to your snooze time. It helps to regulate sleep and balances stress.

4. Vasopressin

This increases sleep quality and decreases cortisol.

5. Prolactin

This hormone is associated with improving the immune system and great sleep.

how to improve sleep
Happy hormones get released! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Some years ago, the University of North California carried out a sleep and intimacy experiment with 59 women. The participants were urged to diarize their hugs, with their oxytocin levels and blood pressure checked on a regular basis.

What was the result? It was noticed that “those with the highest levels of oxytocin had the lowest blood pressure. Also, skin contact sends signals to your adrenal glands to stop producing cortisol. This means reduces stress, and better sleep,” Gray sums up.

So now that you know all about why sleeping next to your loved one is great, snuggle up!

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