The significance of sleep outweighs the importance of relaxing in the moment. Getting deep, peaceful sleep without tossing and turning or waking up in the middle of the night offers numerous health benefits and helps prevent a variety of disorders associated with sleep deprivation. Couples may also see benefits in their relationship since getting enough sleep gives them more energy and emotional bandwidth to share with one another. The value of sleep is a social phenomenon: when you sleep better, you live better as an individual and with your partner.
Continue reading to learn about the benefits of good sleep and the symptoms that indicate you’re not getting enough rest. We break it down in two sections, one about sleep and individual health benefits, followed by a section especially for couples.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP FOR BETTER HEALTH
Nothing compares to the moment when we meet someone who has had their first full night’s sleep in years thanks to their adjustable mattress or pillow. We’re here to help people sleep better because science has shown sleeping better leads to living better. Here are just a few of the reasons we work so hard to help you fall in love with sleep every night:
1. Sleep heals your body. While you’re in dreamland, your body hits the “refresh” button, especially during REM cycles. Specifically, sleep is essential to healing your heart and blood vessels, and sleep deprivation is linked to heart and kidney disease as well as stroke. Help your body reach these restorative sleep cycles for improved health with these four tips for better sleep.
2. Sleep helps you stay safe and productive at work. A lifestyle built around good sleep makes you a safer and happier employee, as it reduces fatigue and helps you stay focused. Ever notice days when you are on top of your game, filled with energy, clarity and great problem-solving skills? You probably got restful sleep the night before. Unfortunately, work can add to stress and insomnia. However, healthy sleep habits can improve information processing, decision making, motor skills and stress management for workers in all industries.
3. Sleep helps you learn and remember new skills. A report from Harvard Medical School found a strong relationship between restful sleep and being able to commit new concepts and skills to memory. Whether you’re a student or just trying to remember your partner’s birthday, don’t forget the importance of sleeping well, OK?
4. Sleep is an important stress management tool. Fully relaxing your body is one of the best ways to manage and relieve stress, and WebMD suggests getting a good night’s sleep to achieve that full-body relaxation. True, sometimes you can’t sleep because of stress—you may even stress about sleep deprivation. Read our science-backed tips for overcoming insomnia and get into a stress-relieving cycle of better sleep and good vibes.
5. Sleep boosts your immune system. Your body does a lot of maintenance while you sleep, such as producing immune-boosting antibodies and proteins called cytokines. Both are needed in full supply when your body encounters an infection. Studies have found that people who don’t get adequate sleep may have lower levels of cytokines and antibodies when they need them, which can prolong an illness. So get plenty of Zs, especially when you’re not feeling well.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEPING WELL FOR COUPLES
The National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Bedroom Poll found that 41 percent of people said their partner’s snoring affected their ability to get a good night’s sleep. Similarly, 27 percent of poll subjects reported their partner’s movements disrupted their sleep. You’ve probably noticed that when your partner sleeps poorly, you get less rest too. On the other hand, when one of you sleeps soundly, you both experience more rest. If that’s not enough incentive to pay attention to the importance of sleeping well, we’ve rounded up even more sleep benefits just for couples:
1. Sleep helps you be more emotionally present. According to a recent story in Time, not getting enough sleep is linked to poor emotional processing and a lack of empathy. This is because sleep fuels and refreshes the amygdala, the part of the brain that processes memory and emotions. When you sleep well, you’re more aware of your own emotions and more perceptive of how your partner is feeling too.
2. Sleeping together develops intimacy. According to Psychology Today, couples who have similar bedtime schedules experience more emotional and physical intimacy than couples who go to bed or fall asleep at different times. Even if you aren’t as tired as your partner, or vice versa, finding a time when you can both wind down and go to bed lets you talk about your day and be physically close before you drift off to sleep. Watching TV or working on your laptop while your partner snoozes doesn’t count, though, as blue light emissions can disrupt sleep and keep both of you up at night.
3. Sleep deprivation can put your sex life to bed. Yes, the importance of sleep touches every area of your relationship. Lack of sleep can lead to stress and put a damper on your sex life. Bodies produce stress hormones like cortisol when they are anxious about getting enough sleep. This suppresses the production of sex hormones, including estrogen and testosterone. As a result, you have less interest in sex—and you still can’t sleep.
4. Sleep helps you manage anger and irritation. If you have ongoing anger management issues, talking to a mental health professional can help you develop important skills. But when it comes to occasional triggers of anger and irritation in your environment, getting the right amount of restful sleep helps people manage their responses and interact peacefully with their partners.
5. Sleep helps couples feel more secure. A study from the University of Minnesota observed couples’ sleep quality and quantity compared to various factors in their relationships, including stress, security and longevity. Couples who got better sleep were more likely to feel secure in their relationships and stay together longer; they were also less likely to be emotionally reactive toward their partners. Researchers suggest that healthy relationships foster better sleep, and good sleep in turn improves relationships.