You sleep better next to your partner, science says

You sleep better next to your partner, science says

Resting close to your partner may help you have a less disturbing and regenerating sleep: research has shown this

When we think of rest together with another person, it is impossible not to think of the classic cartoon in which he snores loudly and she turns over in bed, in an attempt to fall into Morpheus' arms, or who even changes rooms to enjoy a well-deserved rest. Yet resting close to your partner may help you to have a regenerating and less disturbed sleep. And sleep is even better if the love relationship is optimal.

A close body helps

To say that the partner is not an "enemy" of sleep, but can even become a useful support for better rest, is a research conducted in Germany by the team coordinated by Johannes Drews of the Center for Integrated Psychiatry (ZIP) published in Kiel on Frontiers in Psychiatry.

The study looked at 12 young people who spent four nights in a sleep research center. For two nights they slept alone, while the other two rested close to their partner: in this way it was possible to detect sleep quality and night movements in the two conditions through a series of tests such as polysomnography, a sort of "sleep electroencephalogram ".

Alongside these data, specific questionnaires on their relationship were then submitted to the couples. The results were interesting: the sleep phases characterized by rapid eye movements (the so-called REM sleep) were longer and less disturbed when the two partners slept close, compared to when they were alone.

How does this affect our sleep? We must keep in mind that during REM sleep – that is when we dream – the consolidation of memories is promoted: a good rest in this phase can be associated with an effective control of emotions. And when you are comfortable with your partner, you tend to regulate your sleep cycles with yours: this would lead the couple to have a better relationship.

Over time, sleeping close together can become more useful than taking herbal teas, infusions and tablets, which may perhaps help us in trying to achieve satisfactory rest.

Watch out for subtle awakenings

In this period it is hot and sometimes it is not enough to keep the windows open to rest well. Above all, there is the risk of sleeping for a sufficient number of hours but with a sleep that is not restful.

In fact, at night there can be short moments of activity that make the brain "wake up", or that maybe make some muscle move without the individual realizing it. They last on average about ten seconds and are called micro alarm clocks.

Normally on a young person's night there are 15 micro awakenings, and their number tends to double in the elderly who have a more fragmented sleep and need an afternoon nap. The micro awakenings can go up to 600 per night, leading to a sleep that cannot satisfy our need for rest.

In summary, micro awakenings can affect the quality of our sleep. It is important to remember that sleep is characterized by a cascade of events that follow one another in pre-established cycles. Each cycle, lasting about an hour and a half, is made up of a non-REM sleep phase and a REM sleep phase, the one in which the eyes move, the body behaves as if it were awake and dreams. But the REM phase occupies only 20% of the entire cycle.

In the non-Rem phase, however, there are four periods: the first two of light sleep – in which even a minimum noise is enough to wake up – and the third and fourth of deep sleep. If there are many micro-awakenings within these phases, the brain that awakens involuntarily "desynchronises", returning to the previous phase. So if the normal rhythms of sleep change and dilate, the next morning you feel unwell.

Category: Health
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