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Sleeping together may be harmful to health and relationship

By Kevin Jess     Sep 11, 2009 in Health
If you think that sharing a bed with your partner boosts your relationship, you may be wrong. It may actually be doing harm to your health and your sex life studies show.
Dr. Neil Stanley, a sleep specialist says that a good night's rest is more important than getting close to your significant other.
He said that the idea of sleeping together is a relatively new idea. Before the industrial revolution it was not uncommon for couples to sleep in separate bedrooms but as people moved into the cities and were cramped for space it became a necessity.
In ancient Rome the marital bed was meant for a couple's sexual relationship, not for sleeping reports BBC News.
One study found that the average couple had 50 percent more sleep disturbances if they shared a bed.
The University of Surrey professor said that sleeping apart could prevent couples from getting poor sleep that leads to depression, heart disease, strokes, lung disorders, traffic and industrial accidents, and divorce reports the Nerdy Science Blog.
As reported by BBC News, Dr Stanley, who sleeps separately from his wife, was responsible for setting up one of Britain's leading sleep laboratories at the University of Surrey. He said that people of today should consider doing the same.
He says, “We all know what it’s like to have a cuddle and then say ‘I’m going to sleep now’ and go to the opposite side of the bed. So why not just toddle off down the landing.”
Recent research has shown that 20 percent of British couple already sleep in separate beds and that as much as 40 percent of couples in their 70's sleep separately reports the Mirror.
A couple interviewed by the Mirror said of sleeping separately, "Sex isn’t a problem at all. We simply enjoy it in whoever’s bedroom we end up in before happily retreating to our own double beds to sleep."
Simon Rutherford, 35 who also sleeps separately from his wife says, "A couple who sleep separately are seen as a failure, because people assume the intimacy between them has died. So it was great to hear scientists saying that a good sleep alone in your own bed is what keeps a marriage fresh," reported the Telegraph.
As it turns out, a lot of couples are sleeping apart.
A 2005 National Sleep Foundation survey found that 31% of couples are changing their sleep habits because of a mate's sleep problems reports WebMD.
The survey found that 23% sleep in separate beds and that 38% said that their partner's sleep disorder has caused problems in their relationship.
Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, a sex therapist and author of WebMD's Sex Matters message board says sleeping apart can be good for a relationship and "It does not signal the end of a relationship at all. In fact, it can be the beginning. If one person has been sleep-deprived, they begin to feel more interested in sex. If you've ever slept next to a person who snores, you have to cope with waking up several times during the night. It does not create good will in a relationship."
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