Happy relationships = better sleep

By Faeza
19 August 2016

Happy couples who tend to each other’s needs sleep better, new research has found.

A study conducted by the Middle East Technical University in Turkey looked into 350 couples aged between 35 and 86 who were either married or living together. Men and women were asked about their sleeping patterns, such as whether they relied on pills to doze off and whether they found themselves struggling to stay awake during the day.

A group of couples were also assigned wrist gadgets to monitor their movement and shut-eye over a week. On top of these factors, the individuals were quizzed on how much they feel their other half cares about and appreciates them, as well as details on their mental and general health.

Looking at the results, lead author Dr Emre Selcuk and his team found a correlation between how supportive a person thought their partner was and how undisturbed their sleep is.

“The inherently interdependent nature of adult romantic relationships means that romantic partners, as well as perceptions of one’s romantic partner, play a meaningful role in promoting better health and wellbeing,” the experts said of their conclusions, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

“Our findings suggest that enhancing perceived partner responsiveness has the potential to increase the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce sleep disturbances in particular and improve individual wellbeing in general.”

It’s thought restorative sleep – a deep, undisturbed state – is more likely when one feels safe, secure and protected from threats, with parents and relatives providing this sensation during childhood while adults rely on romantic partners for it.

“Taken together, the corpus of evidence we obtained in recent years suggests that our best bet for a happier, healthier and a longer life is having a responsive partner,” the doctor concluded.

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