When it comes to sleeping rituals, most people are fairly particular about their preferences. Whether it be room temperature, noise, light, or sharing the bed, most people know what works and what doesn’t in terms of achieving a blissful night’s sleep.
Of all the possible sleep choices that exist, the question of sleeping alone versus sleeping with a bed partner is probably the most confusing. After all, choosing the perfect temperature for your bedroom doesn’t generally have a significant impact on the health of your intimate relationship.
However, if you are lucky enough to find someone with whom you actually want to share such a large part of your life with (we spend nearly 1/3 of our life asleep!) there are important factors to take into consideration.
Although ample research has been performed concerning various sleep habits and sleep products, minimal scientific research has been done regarding sleeping alone versus sleeping with another person.
The question to sleep alone or not becomes quite confusing when you consider the emotional implications that sharing a bed has.
Try to imagine being at the perfect place in a relationship where your partner finally invites you to spend the night. Now imagine telling them:
Thanks, but I really achieve a more restful night’s sleep flying solo. But hey, I still love you!
Chances are, that response is not going to go over so well, no matter how true it may be.
Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference. There are as many reasons that sleeping alone is potentially better for your health just as there are reasons for snuggling up next to another person while you sleep. Chances are, once you find that special someone, all scientific research will prove meaningless in comparison your what your heart desires.
In the Bedroom, Sharing is Caring
In an effort to explore both sides of the field, let’s look at some reasons that you might want to seek out a bed mate ASAP.
As it turns out, the age-old saying, sharing is caring, may hold quite a bit of truth, at least when it comes to the bedroom. Recent research has deduced that sharing your bed may have substantial positive psychological benefits.1
1. More Cuddling = Less Cortisol
Generally, sleeping next to another person feels safe and promotes feelings of security and wellbeing. .2As a result, you may benefit from lower levels of the dreaded stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol has been known to cause weight gain and impair cognitive functioning. So, essentially, sleeping next to your honey might actually keep you smarter and thinner!
2. Sleep More Soundly
Recently, A study published in the Behavioral Medicine Journal indicated that both men and women perceive that they sleep better when pairing off.3 Falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer means you wake up more refreshed, likely sporting brighter skin and better cognitive functioning.
3. Sleeping Your Way to a Healthier Relationship
One of the greatest benefits of sleeping next to your significant other is seen in the ways that it strengthens your overall relationship. Multiple studies have shown that couples who spend time snoozing together on a regular basis enjoy a deeper emotional connection and sense of closeness than those couples who sleep separately. Sleeping next to someone has been known to boost the love hormone, oxytocin, known for reducing anxiety and inducing feelings of love and harmony.
Problem is, while I am all for love and harmony, I just can’t seem to figure out how I can possibly feel harmonious as I try to wrangle the blanket away from my husband… Which leads us to:
The Sweetness of Sleeping Solo
After being married for almost five years, and together with my husband for nine, I now find myself recently separated. While this recent life change has provided me with newfound insight on many relationship topics, it has most certainly solidified my stance on sleeping alone versus sleeping with a partner.
While sleeping alone after years of sharing the bed with another warm body does take some getting used to, if you can struggle through the lonely moments (and there certainly are plenty of them), sleeping alone can be pretty darn enjoyable.4
Don’t take my word for, there are multiple reasons that sleeping solo may just offer you the most satisfying slumber that you’ve ever had.
1. Silence is Golden
Sleeping alone means that the only snoring you will have to endure is your own. No more wearing earplugs while you sleep, no more putting upwith smelly farts at night, no morecovering your head with a blanket, no plugging your partners nose and secretly hoping they just stop breathing entirely so that you can get some peace and quiet!
Plus, if you’re the one who sleeps so soundly that your snores shake the roof, you won’t have to deal with somebody pushing and kicking you throughout the night, trying to shut you up.
When you sleep alone, you can snore, you can fall asleep with the TV set to a deafening volume, you can listen to an audiobook, or even play that atrocious sound machine that you love so much. Or, you can simply enjoy the sweet silence of sleeping alone.
2. Don’t Sweat It
The body is an extremely efficient conduit for heat and while snuggling up next to your significant other may fill you with warm fuzzies, it will likely also put your sweat glands into overdrive. There is nothing worse than waking up with matted hair matted thanks to unpleasant night sweats or having to wash the sheets multiple times a week to avoid smelling like old gym shorts.
Aside from the heat wave that you will suffer through in the bed, unless you and your partner happen to either both run hot or both run cold (and let’s be honest, life never works out that neatly), you can look forward to a never-ending battle over temperature settings in the bedroom.
In my marriage, this battle was one that I was surprisingly victorious in. I run hot, and I mean HOT, and my husband runs cold, always freezing. If it were up to him, the thermostat would never go below 78 degrees but thanks to ample scientific research supporting the fact that sleeping between 60-68 degrees is ideal, he generally gave in. However, if you sleep alone, you never even have to enter into this battle.
3. Blanket Battles
There is nothing more infuriating than waking up to find yourself without any sheets or blankets, shivering with teeth chattering, only to look over and see your partner wrapped up snuggly like a burrito, sleeping soundly.
No matter how big your blanket is, someone always seems to end up left in the cold throughout the night. Sleeping alone means you can pile those blankets on high and not have to worry about waking up like an icicle thanks to your blanket stealing bed partner.
Truly, the list of reasons in favor of sleeping alone go on and on…not having to deal with someone else’s morning breath, being able to sport those notorious granny panties unabashedly, or having the ability to sprawl out in any which direction you want without bumping into someone else. All of these reasons add up to one huge benefit – an extremely restful night’s sleep.5
When you have the freedom to create a highly personalized and ideal sleep space for yourself, you will inevitably sleep better…and in turn, reap the many health benefits that go hand in hand with quality sleep.
Unfortunately, telling the love of your life that you really prefer not to deal with morning breath and that you despise sharing the blankets will likely put a serious roadblock in your relationship. Sharing a bed is widely accepted as one of the most basic components of being in a serious relationship.
And as much as I am enjoying the freedom of keeping my bedroom set to arctic temperatures and falling asleep watching the Real Housewives, I can’t deny the fact that sleeping next to someone who truly makes you happy is one of the best feelings in the world. Even if it does mean waking up with bags under your eyes from a night of blanket battling.
Do you prefer to cuddle up to your partner or sleep alone? Let me know in the comments below!