Sleep Partner Perks

Your environment has a lot to do with how well you sleep, and if you have trouble in that department, you’ve probably read plenty of advice about maintaining a bedroom that’s calm, cool and clear of glowing electronic gadgets.

When you think about your sleep environment, remember to include your “sleep buddy”—the person you share your bed with. There is a connection between sleep quality and a couple’s interactions during the day, according to research published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. It’s a sort of yin and yang: Whereas men have better interactions with their wives the day after a good night of shared sleep, women sleep better at night if they have less conflict with their husbands during the day.

“Insomnia is no longer a nighttime disorder. It is a 24/7 disorder, and the mind is constantly going, particularly at night when it should be winding down to get to sleep,” says Rachel Salas, M.D., a sleep neurologist and assistant medical director at the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep.

Having a sleep buddy also can promote feelings of security and provide opportunities to identify potential problems, like sleep apnea in a partner, that need medical attention.

Sleep buddy or no, Salas recommends keeping things clean for a good night’s rest: To reduce allergens in the bedroom, change bedsheets once a week, replace pillows every six to 12 months and get a new mattress every five years.

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