Keeping the wife happy should be a goal for all husbands, especially if they’re looking to get to sleep at night. A study presented at SLEEP 2014, the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC in Minneapolis, Minn., revealed that a husband is more likely to get a good night of sleep if his wife is satisfied with their marriage.

"Most of what is known about sleep comes from studying it at the individual level; however, for most adults, sleep is a shared behavior between bed partners," Dr. Heather Gunn, lead author and postdoctoral scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, said in a statement. "How couples sleep together may influence and be influenced by their relationship functioning."

Gunn and her colleagues recruited 46 couples who were asked to complete questionnaires assessing the satisfaction they felt in regard to their relationship. Researchers also gathered objective sleep data over a 10-day period using actigraphy. Actigraph devices, usually secured to the wrist or ankle, record movement throughout a night of sleep, which interprets activity/inactivity and time awake/time asleep.

Actigraph results showed that overall sleep-wake synchrony was high among couples. Men and women who slept in the same bed were either sleeping or awake at the same time for around 75 percent of their night. However, when the wife in the relationship reported being satisfied with the status of their marriage, the amount of time the couple spent sleeping and awake at the same time was much higher.  

"The sleep of married couples is more in sync on a minute-by-minute basis than the sleep of random individuals," Gunn added. "This suggests that our sleep patterns are regulated not only by when we sleep, but also by with whom we sleep."

A similar study headed up by Professor Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire found that the position a couple lies in while sleeping could tell how satisfied they were with their relationship. For example, only 66 percent of couples who slept over 30 inches apart from each other reported a happy romance compared to 86 percent of couples who slept less than an inch apart from each other.

 

Source: Gunn H et al. Couples sleep in sync when the wife is satisfied with their marriage. 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC. 2014.