DARIEN, IL – Adults who share a bed with a partner or spouse sleep better than those who sleep alone, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Arizona.
Results show that those who shared a bed with a partner most nights reported less severe insomnia, less fatigue, and more time asleep than those who said they never share a bed with a partner. Those sleeping with a partner also fell asleep faster, stayed asleep longer after falling asleep, and had less risk of sleep apnea. However, those who slept with their child most nights reported greater insomnia severity, greater sleep apnea risk, and less control over their sleep.
Researchers also found that sleeping with a partner was associated with lower depression, anxiety, and stress scores, and greater social support and satisfaction with life and relationships. Sleeping with children was associated with more stress. Sleeping alone was associated with higher depression scores, lower social support, and worse life and relationship satisfaction.
“Sleeping with a romantic partner or spouse shows to have great benefits on sleep health including reduced sleep apnea risk, sleep insomnia severity, and overall improvement in sleep quality,” said lead author Brandon Fuentes, undergraduate researcher in the department of psychiatry at the University of Arizona.
The study involved an analysis of data collected in the Sleep and Health Activity, Diet, Environment, and Socialization (SHADES) study of 1,007 working-age adults from southeastern Pennsylvania. Bed sharing was evaluated with surveys, and sleep health factors were assessed with common tools such as the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Insomnia Severity Index, and STOP-BANG apnea score.
“Very few research studies explore this, but our findings suggest that whether we sleep alone or with a partner, family member, or pet may impact our sleep health,” said senior study author Dr. Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona. “We were very surprised to find out just how important this could be.”
The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented June 5 during SLEEP 2022. SLEEP is the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.
Abstract Title: Bed Sharing Versus Sleeping Alone Associated with Sleep Health and Mental Health
Abstract ID: 0010
Poster Presentation Date: Sunday, June 5, 5:15-7:15 p.m., Board 002
Presenter: Dr. Michael Grandner
For a copy of the abstract or to arrange an interview with the study author or an AASM spokesperson, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine is advancing sleep care and enhancing sleep health to improve lives. The AASM has a combined membership of 11,000 accredited member sleep centers and individual members, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals (aasm.org).
About the Sleep Research Society
The Sleep Research Society is a professional membership society that advances sleep and circadian science. The SRS provides forums for the exchange of information, establishes and maintains standards of reporting and classifies data in the field of sleep research, and collaborates with other organizations to foster scientific investigation on sleep and its disorders. The SRS also publishes the peer-reviewed, scientific journals Sleep and Sleep Advances (sleepresearchsociety.org).