There are a lot of psychological benefits of sleeping with partner. Tossing, turning, pillow stealing through the night. Some couples snooze peacefully in perfect harmony, while others fight epic battles for blankets. Sleep: it’s a basic human need, but it can make or break even the strongest relationships. Getting quality shut-eye helps you better connect with your partner, calming frayed nerves from busy days. But all that snoring, sleep talking, schedule mismatching can also drive the deepest bonds apart.
So how much does catching your zzz’s together impact that walk down the aisle? Let’s evaluate whether spending nights nose-to-nose helps relationships bask in the glow of love or casts gloomy shadows that dim a romance.
Intimacy and Bonding Benefits
Sleeping together at night provides the built-in opportunity for enhanced physical closeness and affection through cuddling in bed. Simple caresses before falling asleep, feet intertwining during the night, and waking up in an embrace can nurture intimacy and bonding between partners on both a physical and emotional level. The increase in oxytocin released from physical touch while snoozing side-by-side also chemically promotes stronger pair-bonding attachment in the relationship.
Late night pillow talk right before bed also enables couples to connect, communicate, and check-in at the end of long days apart. This communication breeds more understanding and intimacy that carries over into waking life. Sleeping by a significant other has even been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol at night, leading to better sleep quality for couples.
And for very busy couples with packed schedules, getting to spend nights together frequently despite little daytime togetherness provides needed relationship time. Sleepovers out of convenience allow couples to maximize their limited hours, instead of spending many nights a week sleeping at separate places.
Love Hormone Cultivates Bonding While Sleeping with Partner
Cuddling up with your partner releases oxytocin, known as the “love hormone” because it promotes affection and attachment. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Sleeping beside someone literally cultivates bonding on a biological level by stimulating oxytocin production. The increase in this hormone generates feelings of contentment, calmness, and emotional connection with your partner. It chemically enhances intimacy each night, strengthening the trust and attachment central to healthy relationships.
Lower Stress Equals Better Sleep
The presence of a loving partner in bed has been demonstrated to decrease cortisol, a hormone released when the body is under stress. Having chronically elevated cortisol disrupts sleep cycles, and poor sleep tends to ramp up cortisol even more. This stressful cycle negatively impacts mood, decision-making abilities, and even immune functioning when sustained long-term. But studies find cortisol levels are notably lower when sharing a sleeping space with a significant other. With less cortisol flooding the system at night, anxiety is reduced allowing the body to relax into deeper, more restorative sleep. This not only feels comforting with a partner, but emotionally recharges both individuals and the relationship.
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Safe Comfort Allows Vulnerability While Sleeping with Partner
Even on an unconscious level, the proximity of a trusted partner through the night can register in the brain as a reliable source of safety and protection. With someone “on guard” close by, the body and mind can finally release tension and fully let down defenses that are up during the day when alone. Having a sense that someone has your back literally while sleeping allows greater emotional vulnerability too. Partners can become more trusting of one other and confident in the relationship’s security. This builds stronger bonds as you get to witness each other with masks off in exhausted, unguarded moments that require deep comfort and intimacy.
Wake Up Happier Together Each Day
Waking up beside your significant other automatically puts you in a better mood to start each day. Morning grumpiness from irritating alarms may be soothed by their presence and affection to face the day together. Even on mornings when you hit snooze again and again, catching a few cuddles in between naps raises dopamine and endorphin levels. The burst of these feel-good chemicals rivals a runner’s high, sending you off with a dose of euphoria despite sleep inertia. Regular mood boosts from sleeping side-by-side therefore not only reduces interpersonal friction between partners, but trains brains to awaken more positively over time.