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    World Sleep Day 2024: Exploring the Mental Health Benefits of Sharing a Bed vs. Sleeping Alone

    World Sleep Day sharing a bed can foster a sense of connection with your partner, sleeping alone can allow uninterrupted rest. Expert on which of the two is better.

    World Sleep Day Insomnia has become more of a norm than exception in modern times when factors ranging from stress to long screen hours often overstimulate the mind and interfere in the process of falling and staying asleep. During and even post Covid times, insomnia cases have seen a massive uptick with more and more people unable to get their mandatory 8-hour sleep every night. When it comes to sound sleep, experts recommend following proper sleep hygiene which means adopting healthy habits around the bedtime that can help one have a good night’s sleep. (Also read | Hearing relaxing words in sleep slows your heart down: Research)

    Recent research has linked sharing bed with your partner to better mental health, while there have also been studies that say sleeping alone is better as it can help in uninterrupted rest.(Freepik)

    How you sleep can have a profound impact on your mental health. A deep, relaxing sleep can prevent anxiety, stress and depression from overtaking your life, while a broken and restless slumber can do the opposite and also lead to issues like high blood pressure and diabetes.

    Recent research has linked sharing bed with your partner to better mental health, while there have also been studies that say sleeping alone is better as it can help in uninterrupted rest.

    A study done by researchers at the University of Arizona and published in American Academy of Sleep Medicine says adults who share a bed with a partner or spouse sleep better than those who sleep alone. As per the study, sharing be

    d with a partner resulted in less severe insomnia, less fatigue, and more time asleep than those who never share a bed with a partner.

    But according to some experts, sharing bed can affect sleep quality of people, especially for those who are better sleepers than their partners and may find it cha

    Recent research has linked sharing bed with your partner to better mental health, while there have also been studies that say sleeping alone is better as it can help in uninterrupted rest.(Freepik)

    llenging to get into a deeper stage of sleep due to snoring or moving around of the other partner.

    According to a New York Times survey conducted in the year 2023 on 2,200 US adults, a new trend of sleep divorce is catching popularity among people and more and more couples are now sleeping in separate bedrooms for most of the days in a week.

    If one partner experiences sleep issues and as a result tossing and turning, it may affect the sleep of the other partner as well. Solitary sleeping can also help partners prevent bickering over AC temperature, speed of fan or firmness of the mattress.

    Experts says ‘sleep divorce’ can improve sleep quality but impact relationship quality if the communication and intimacy get affected as a result of being apart at night-time

    In the realm of sleep, the debate between sharing a bed and sleeping alone is a longstanding one. Beyond mere preference, it extends into the realm of mental health, with both sides claiming benefits. But what does science reveal about the impact of these sleeping arrangements on mental well-being?

    Shared bed: The comfort of companionship

    “For many, sharing a bed symbolises intimacy, comfort, and security. It fosters a sense of closeness and connection with a partner, which can positively impact mental health. Studies have shown that physical touch, such as cuddling, releases oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and stress reduction. This can lead to feelings of happiness, relaxation, and reduced anxiety, all of which are beneficial for mental well-being,” says Dr Chandni Tugnait is M.D. (Alternative Medicines), Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Business Coach, NLP Expert, Healer, Founder & Director – Gateway of Healing.

    Sleeping alone: The sanctuary of solitude

    “On the flip side, sleeping alone offers its own set of mental health benefits. For some individuals, solitude during sleep provides a sense of independence and autonomy. It allows for uninterrupted rest, free from potential disturbances or disruptions caused by a partner’s movements or snoring. This undisturbed sleep can lead to improved mood, cognitive function, and overall mental clarity,” says Dr Chandni.

    “Moreover, sleeping alone can be empowering, especially for individuals who value personal space and privacy. It provides an opportunity for self-reflection and introspection, which can be conducive to emotional processing and stress management. For those who struggle with anxiety or sensory sensitivities, the controlled environment of a solitary sleep space may promote feelings of calmness and relaxation,” adds Dr Chandni.

    Ultimately, the question of whether sharing a bed or sleeping alone is better for mental health depends on individual needs and preferences. Some people thrive on the companionship and intimacy of shared sleep, while others find solace and rejuvenation in solitary rest.

    “It’s essential to prioritise open communication and mutual respect when navigating sleeping arrangements with a partner. Compromises may need to be made to accommodate each other’s preferences and ensure that both individuals feel comfortable and supported. Additionally, maintaining healthy sleep habits is crucial regardless of sleeping arrangements. Consistent sleep schedules, a conducive sleep environment, and relaxation techniques can all contribute to better mental and emotional well-being,” concludes Dr Chandni.

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