Researchers at the University of Arizona (USA) have found that people who sleep with their partner sleep better than those who spend the night alone. The results were published in the journal sleep.
According to the study, people who shared a bed had lower rates of insomnia, fatigue and apnea, with more sleep and faster sleep. The effects of mental health were also seen, such as depression, anxiety, stress, increased social support, and reduced happiness in relationships.
The group also evaluated data on those who slept with their children and identified a worsening of sleep at night, leading to increased recurrence of severe insomnia and emotional complaints.
“Sleeping with your partner or spouse is associated with better sleep quality and overall mental health. Sleeping with a child, on the other hand, was generally worse sleep,” the study says. The information was assessed on the basis of the SHADES survey (Sleep and Health Activity, Diet, Environment and Socialization, English translation), which included 1,007 adults.
Sleep improves sex: understanding the relationship
Sleep plays a key role in the regulation of emotions and other biological functions, as well as in the prevention of chronic diseases. On average, a night’s sleep can last between seven and nine hours, depending on the person’s needs.
“Live during the day and sleep at night, because the sleep cycle will dictate other rhythms, such as insulin production, temperature, cortisol. [o hormônio do estresse]. When a person does not sleep in the right quantity or quality, it affects everything, ”said nutritionist Luisa Marot, a doctor of health sciences at UFU (Federal University of Uberlândia), at a recent conference in Ganepão, São Paulo.
One of the influences is sex. This is when a person stops sleeping because of changes in the pituitary gland, which is responsible for the hormone-producing glands, and lower stimulation due to lower testosterone levels (which stimulate libido) and high cortisol levels. This set affects sexual health, reduces arousal, reduces the chances of having an orgasm and, in the long run, can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
“Research from the University of Ottawa has shown that sexual activity before bed can help relieve the symptoms of insomnia. Sleeping at night helps increase testosterone and, consequently, sexual desire,” said psychologist Theresa Schnorbach, a sleep scientist. Emma – The Sleep Company. Oxytocin and prolactin also increase, hormones that promote feelings of pleasure and greater relaxation.
How to improve sleep at night?
To improve the quality of sleep, experts recommend sleeping hygiene, in a set of techniques that are applied before bed, or during the day, with the aim of achieving a healthier rest. The process works in a way that warns the body that it is time to rest.
Step by step:
- Create a cozy environment: a dark, cool, quiet room helps you sleep;
- Avoid tying the bed to work or other stimuli;
- Proper mattresses and pillows, as well as sheets and blankets, enhance the feeling of comfort and well-being;
- Respect your schedule: Waking up every day and going to bed at the same time is one of the best ways to overcome insomnia, experts say. Trying to lose sleep on weekends is detrimental to the circadian rhythm: the body’s biological processes, metabolism, sleep and wakefulness within 24 hours. The best option is to take a short nap in the afternoon;
- Wake up the first time the alarm goes off, as it is not advisable to sleep in pairs.
- Reduce the use of electronics at night: Blue screens have a stimulating effect. Turn off an hour before bed and mute notifications;
- Avoid turning on the overhead light if you wake up in the middle of the night. Use night light or lamp if needed;
- Take advantage of the sunlight: being exposed to light at the beginning of the day helps to restore a more natural circadian rhythm;
- Exercise and eat well: Avoid exercise and meals near bedtime;
- Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake, as they are stimulants and prevent sleep;
- Relax: practice yoga, meditation, or other relaxation techniques;
- Create a ritual by reading a book, taking a hot shower, brushing your teeth, and wearing pajamas. When you walk back and forth without sleeping for more than 15 minutes, get up and do some alternative relaxation activity before trying to get some sleep again.