Sleeping With Someone Else is Good For You

Sometimes, even now, when I'm alone in a hotel room, I play infomercials at a very low volume because the banality of it is soothing. (This is how I know far too much about the the Post-i-vac vacuum penis pump system.)

Jun 6, 2012 at 4:02pm | Leave a comment

My husband Ed is a champion sleeper. Like, he could sleep professionally. An 8-hour work day? If his job was sleep, he'd be pulling regular overtime and bringing home time and a half. (I don't know why professional sleeping is hourly but it is. And it's definitely taking place at a union sleep shop.)

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Ed and Freya put in the hard work of sleeping all the time so I don't have to. They're so generous.

In contrast, I've had trouble sleeping since childhood. I tend to stay up late and sleeping in is just boring. When I lived alone, my bed was full of books and my laptop and my knitting -- things I did when I woke up and needed something to do for a little while so I could drift off again. Sometimes, even now, when I'm alone in a hotel room, I play infomercials at a very low volume because the banality of it is soothing. (This is how I know far too much about the the Post-i-vac vacuum penis pump system.)

When Ed first moved in with me, I was nervous about all kinds of things. But I was totally looking forward to one thing almost above all others: having another person in the bed with me.

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This is Freya's preferred sleeping position.

Perhaps it reveals something inherently old fogey about my personality, but my favorite part of living with a partner is having a bedmate. And I don't mean for sex -- though I do enjoy sex. I just figure I can find someone to have sex with easier than I can find someone who'll lay there and go to sleep and let me do the same. That's not sexual so much as intimate.

Turns out, my preference for this is somehow supposed to make me healthier. New research is indicating that even though women tend to actually not sleep as well with a partner in the bed, having a sleep buddy might be good for you in the long run.

Now, on the one hand I'm giving this report the side eye and asking how they ruled out the health benefits of being in a close and supportive relationship whether or not the couples were sleeping together. Also worthy of side eye? The way the research refers to partners but the article consistently refers to women sleeping with men. There's even a quote buried in there about the way "women enjoy male presence psychologically even though it costs them minutes or even hours of sleep."

I mean, Ed has unironically sent me the YouTube video of Samuel L. Jackson reading "Go the Fuck to Sleep."  Though, to be honest, I do psychologically enjoy that.

But on the other hand, I know that Ed being asleep encourages me to sleep as well. I tell him that he's a terrific soporific and not just because it rhymes. Knowing there is someone snoozing in my bed encourages me to go to bed in the first place and to stay there longer. It isn't like every night is a slumber party, but having another person in the bed makes waking up in the middle of the night to a strange noise a lot less anxiety-inducing as well.

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Freya guards my zzzs by sleeping on them.

It probably helps that we don't have a lot of bedroom drama -- I'm a covers-thief but we've got a king-sized comforter on our queen-sized bed so that helps. The dog is a bed hog, but we take turns pushing her back down to the foot of the bed. So even though I wake up a lot (I average about five hours of solid sleep most nights and that's about it), I'm comfortable and happy. Ed models good sleep behavior -- by being asleep -- and I can usually follow his example.

What do you think, xoJaners? Do you sleep better with a partner of any gender in the bed? Does someone else's snoring make sleeping with them impossible? And, you know, you look a little tired -- are you getting enough sleep in the first place? (Sorry, that's my great-grandmother talking.)