Thinking. Bed and sleep

I've been saying this for years. Now finally the newspapers agree.


Perhaps Lucy and Ricky Ricardo and other happy go-lucky couples of 1950s and '60s sitcoms were on to something.

Evidence is mounting that sleeping in separate beds could be the secret to a happy – and longer – marriage,London’s Daily Mail reports.

Separate beds not only help couples avoid fights over blanket-hogging. They also ensure a good night's rest, which can ward off stroke, heart disease and divorce, according to sleep researcher Dr. Neil Stanley.

"You [have] this person who makes noise, punches, kicks and gets up to go to the loo in the middle of the night, is it any wonder you are not getting a good night's sleep?" Dr. Stanley told the British Science Festival.  "Poor sleep increases the risk of depression, heart disease, stroke, respiratory failure and increases the risk of divorce and suicidal behaviour."

Dr. Stanley's advice is derived from sleep studies in which he found that when one partner tosses in his or her sleep, there is a 50-50 chance the other will turn.

Still, couples - especially younger ones - are often hesitant to sleep apart.  Only 8% of those in their 40s and 50s reported sleeping separately, the Daily Mail reports, where 40% of those in their 70s do.

That could have something to do with older couples' confidence, the Daily Mail suggests, and their willingness to broach a subject that younger couples may fear is a minefield for hurt feelings.

And to those who think sleeping apart might be the key to a happier, healthier marriage - but are nervous about bringing up the subject - Dr. Stanley offers the following ammunition:

"People say that they like the feeling of having their partner next to them when they are asleep. But you have to be awake to feel that. We all know what it is like to sleep in a bed with somebody and have a cuddle. But at one point you say, 'I'm going to go to sleep now'. Why not at that point just take yourself down the landing?" he says.

"Intimacy is important for emotional health. But good sleep is important for physical, emotional and mental health."

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