Love Improves Sleep: Science Says Healthy Relationships Promote Restorative SleepOctober 18, 2017
Why is it easier to fall asleep when you’re next to someone you love? For many of us, the answer is obvious: comfort. There is nothing that can make you feel more comfortable or safe than sharing a bed with a loving partner.
It’s not being needy; it’s basic human nature. Love and understanding leads to comfort, and comfort leads to better sleep. While it sounds like something written on a valentine’s day card, it’s actually supported by scientific data.
Partner Care, Validation, and Understanding Improves Sleep
“Perceived Partner Responsiveness Predicts Better Sleep Quality Through Lower Anxiety” is a psychological study released in 2016. Lead by Dr. Emre Selçuk, a developmental and social psychologist in Turkey, the study highlights the role of positive romantic relationships in promoting healthy and restorative sleep.
As explained in the study, restorative sleep aka high quality and uninterrupted sleep helps protect the body from deterioration. And this type of sleep is only possible when you feel absolutely safe, secure, and protected from threats.
As children, this feeling of utmost security was provided by our parents. And as adults, the role of providing feelings of security falls to those closest to us: our romantic partners. They’re the first ones that we look to for security, care, validation, understanding, and comfort. The more our partners are able to be there for us, the better we sleep.
Dr. Selçuk explains: “Our findings show that individuals with responsive partners experience lower anxiety and arousal, which in turn improves their sleep quality,”
“Having responsive partners who would be available to protect and comfort us should things go wrong is the most effective way for us humans to reduce anxiety, tension, and arousal.”
“Taken together, the corpus of evidence we obtained in recent years suggest that our best bet for a happier, healthier, and a longer life is having a responsive partner.”
So there you have it. If you’ve tried “everything” to fight insomnia to no avail, there’s a possibility that the problem is with your current relationship.
Your or your partner’s insomnia could just be a symptom of either or both of you yearning for more responsiveness.
Communicate what you need from one another and you might just get a good night’s sleep. And for those times when you really, really need to wake up in a good and energetic mood…
BONUS TIP: Making Love Improves Sleep and Fights Insomnia
Having sex releases a natural and potent cocktail of sleep-inducing chemicals in the body.
Endorphins are first on the list. These chemicals can block out pain, improve confidence, improve your mood, and even put you in a natural state of euphoria. The same ‘runner’s high’ that you can get from exerting your body can also be attained through fantastic sex.
Oxytocin is another chemical that’s released during love-making. This complex hormone actually decreases the amount of cortisol in the body. This is good for sleep because cortisol is the body’s fight-or-flight hormone. Also known as the stress hormone, cortisol allows us to be physically responsive during emergencies, but it also keeps us stressed.
And one of the best ways to shake off stress and cortisol after a long day is with a natural dose of oxytocin, activated by goold old sex.
For women, sex comes with the added benefit of an estrogen boost. Higher levels of estrogen during bedtime can lengthen a woman’s REM sleep cycle. This can induce a deeper and more restorative sleep.
Sex before bed is one of the most natural and potent remedies for sleep. And you can do it whether you’re single or in a relationship.
Share this with a friend who absolutely needs to get #moresleep.