Sharing a Bed or Sleeping Alone – Which Has Better Impact on Your Health?

An estimated 60% of us share a bed with someone else. It’s considered as being totally normal. But is it time to reconsider this ‘norm’ for the sake of our own health? Not to mention our partners? Scientific research says maybe we should.

Physiological effects

Sleep studies that measure brain-wave activity or body movement, have shown that sharing a bed results in worse sleep quality compared to sleeping alone. More specifically, dyadic sleepers experience less REM sleep and increased physical activity during the night, compared to those who sleep alone.

Emotional factors

Despite evidence hinting at the potential harm to sleep quality, participants generally report being more satisfied with their sleep when sleeping together with their partner rather than alone.

So how can we explain such divergence between self-reported evidence and the lab results? Researchers at the University of Utah suggest that in order to answer this question we need to understand the relationship between partners.

In 2008 Lisa Diamond and colleagues investigated what happens when romantic partners are temporarily separated. They found that some individuals who undergo ‘travel-related separations’ showed increased attachment anxiety.

Hence one possible reason that you sleep better with your partner is that your attachment leads to feelings of anxiety when you are apart.

Overall then, while dyadic sleep appears to decrease sleep quality, (using objective sleep measurements), separation from your partner actually exacerbates sleep problems because of the effects of attachment anxiety.

Syncing with your partner

One study found that similarity in sleep-wake rhythms can predict the strength of a couple’s relationship. Couple’s whose sleep-wake preferences were “mismatched” were found to have worse sleep quality that those who had more similar sleeping patterns. In other words, couples who naturally wake up and go to bed at similar times have been found to be more satisfied in their relationship.

So there we have it. To have the optimum sleep, it’s possible that nothing beats that of the bachelors life. But if you are planning on moving in with your partner, it might be worth finding out about when they plan on getting up in the morning.

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Sharing a Bed or Sleeping Alone – Which Has Better Impact on Your Health?

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sleep and academic performance

Late Night Texting Negatively Affects Teens’ Sleep and Academic Performance

The study, published in the Journal of Child Neurology, is the first of its kind to link nighttime instant messaging habits of American teenagers to sleep health and school performance.

“We need to be aware that teenagers are using electronic devices excessively and have a unique physiology,” says study author Xue Ming, professor of neuroscience and neurology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, in a release. “They tend to go to sleep late and get up late. When we go against that natural rhythm, students become less efficient.”

To conduct her study, Ming distributed surveys to three New Jersey high schools—a suburban and an urban public school and a private school—and evaluated the 1,537 responses contrasting grades, sexes, messaging duration, and whether the texting occurred before or after lights out.

She found that students who turned off their devices or who messaged for less than 30 minutes after lights out performed significantly better in school than those who messaged for more than 30 minutes after lights out.

Students who texted longer in the dark also slept fewer hours and were sleepier during the day than those who stopped messaging when they went to bed. Texting before lights out did not affect academic performance, the study found.

The effects of “blue light” emitted from smartphones and tablets are intensified when viewed in a dark room, Ming says. This short wavelength light can have a strong impact on daytime sleepiness symptoms since it can delay melatonin release, making it more difficult to fall asleep—even when seen through closed eyelids. –

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Late Night Texting Negatively Affects Teens’ Sleep and Academic Performance

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tips for sleeping better

Scientifically Proven Tips for Sleeping Better

Plenty of advice for achieving quality sleep focuses on lifestyle changes that can take days, weeks, or even longer to successfully put into practice. Also, common sleep-related disorders like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome usually require at least a couple of trips to the doctor before you’re able to fully get them under control.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of things you can do today that’ll increase your odds of sleeping better tonight and waking up refreshed tomorrow. Here are simple, science-backed strategies to try.

1. Skip the snooze button

When you’re tired in the morning, hitting snooze might not be the best move. Those few extra minutes tend to be less restful than your pre-alarm sleep–so when you finally do get out of bed, you end up feeling even more tired. In fact, one study found that high school students with poor sleep habits like hitting snooze ended up doing worse in school, suggesting that extending your time in bed could end up doing more harm than good.

2. Open your blinds ASAP

Fumbling around in the dark might feel like a gentler way to ease into your day. But your body’s biological clock relies on sunlight to tell you when it’s time to feel awake by raising your body temperature and pumping out energizing hormones like cortisol, say National Sleep Foundation experts. On the flip side, it takes darkness for your body temperature to start to drop and release the sleep hormone melatonin.

By staying in the dark after you get out of bed, you end up confusing those signals. The result? You’re groggy all morning and end up having a harder time falling asleep at night.

3. Exercise in the morning

One study, conducted by researchers at Appalachian State University, found that people who regularly scheduled a 30-minute sweat session for 7:00 A.M. tended to sleep longer compared to those who completed the same amount of exercise at 1:00 P.M. or 7:00 P.M. And it didn’t have to be intense: Moderate exercise, like walking, achieved results.

4. Work near the window

Remember the part about sunlight being crucial for regulating your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle? You don’t just need it first thing in the morning. You need it throughout the day.

The solution? Try to get some of your work done near a bright, sunny window. (Or if that’s not doable, at least head outside for some fresh air during your lunch break.)

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Scientifically Proven Tips for Sleeping Better

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Sleep and Cognition – Eating at Sleep Times May Impair Learning and Memory

Eating at times normally reserved for sleep causes a deficiency in the type of learning and memory controlled by the hippocampal area of the brain, according to findings in the journal eLife.

Researchers from the Semel Institute in the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) became interested in the cognitive effects of eating at inappropriate hours because it is already known to have an impact on metabolic health, for example leading to a pre-diabetic state.

“We have provided the first evidence that taking regular meals at the wrong time of day has far-reaching effects for learning and memory,” says first author Dawn Loh from the UCLA Laboratory of Circadian and Sleep Medicine, in a release. “Since many people find themselves working or playing during times when they’d normally be asleep, it is important to know that this could dull some of the functions of the brain.”

The researchers stress that their findings have not been confirmed in humans, but highlight the fact that shift workers have been shown to perform less well on cognitive tests.

Experiment on Feeding Schedule and Cognitive Function of Mice

The current study shows that some learned behaviors are more affected than others. The team tested the ability of mice to recognize a novel object. Mice regularly fed during their sleep-time were significantly less able to recall the object. Long-term memory was also dramatically reduced, demonstrated during a fear conditioning experiment.

“Modern schedules can lead us to eat around the clock so it is important to understand how the timing of food can impact cogitation,” says Christopher Colwell from the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. “For the first time, we have shown that simply adjusting the time when food is made available alters the molecular clock in the hippocampus and can alter the cognitive performance of mice.”

Eating at the wrong time also disrupted sleep patterns. The inappropriate feeding schedule resulted in the loss of the normal day/night difference in the amount of sleep although the total time spent asleep over 24 hours was not changed. Sleep became fragmented, with the mice catching up on sleep by grabbing more short naps throughout the day and night.

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Increasing Sleep Duration – One of the Risk Factors Developing Type 2 Diabetes in Older Women

Consistently getting too little sleep each night or increasing nightly sleep times over a period of several years were both associated with modest, long-term increases in type 2 diabetes risk in an analysis of women enrolled in the Nurse’s Health Study.

Changes in diet, physical activity, and body mass index did not explain the finding of a small, but significant association with type 2 diabetes risk in middle-aged and older women whose sleep duration increased by more than 2 hours over the 14-year analysis.

Increased Sleep Duration and T2D Risk

Regularly sleeping 6 hours or less a night over the study period was associated with a nonsignificant (hazard ratio of 1.05, 95% CI 0.96-1.16) increase in diabetes risk after adjusting for body mass index (BMI), according to Elizabeth Cespedes and colleagues from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, reporting online in the journal Diabetologia.

Cespedes noted that a new finding from the study is that the adverse influence of sleeping too little does not appear to be ameliorated by increasing sleep duration later in life. Compared to women who reported consistently sleeping 7 to 8 hours, those who once slept 6 hours or less daily but later increased their sleep duration to 7 to 8 hours had an increased risk for diabetes. They also experienced more weight gain than consistently short sleepers.

“Our results support the message that long-term maintenance of healthy sleep duration is a pillar of health and chronic disease prevention,” Cespedes noted. “However, simply increasing sleep duration after previous years of short sleep may not be a panacea.”

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Increasing Sleep Duration – One of the Risk Factors Developing Type 2 Diabetes in Older Women

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