If the eyes are the window to the soul, then sleep can be a window to relationships. We spend 1/3 of our lives asleep (or in bed). And given our always connected, always “on” society, it’s possible that the time we are asleep could be the longest stretch of time in a day that we spend with someone we love.
A poll by the National Sleep Foundation estimates that 61% of adults sleep with another person, and the majority of adults prefer not to sleep alone. And happiness can be dramatically impacted (or created) by sleep.
Get in sync. Are you are a lark? Is your bed partner an owl? When two people that share a bed have varying schedules or sleep time preferences that are out of sync, the strain on a relationship can be severe. Each partner’s sleep can be disrupted by the coming or going of the other partner, frequently leaving one or both people getting less quality sleep than they need.
Out of sync sleep/wake times can limit the time a couple has together to reconnect mentally and physically. Circadian rhythm, the times when we want to be asleep or awake, can be genetically influenced, but environmental factors and lifestyle can help alter those patterns
Not sure where you fall on the owl-lark spectrum? The Morningness – Eveningness Questionnaire can provide great insight into your sleep patterns, and offers helpful solutions if couples want to make changes to be more in sync with one another. Syncing sleep cycles can also result from relationship satisfaction – in particular, in relationships where women are happy, a couple’s sleep-wake times are more in sync.