We know that getting lots of sleep is good for you, but is getting lots of sleep with something else in bed with you even better?
A new study suggests couples get health benefits from catching zzz's together, and more so could be a major reason why people with close relationships tend to be in better health and live longer.
"Sleep is a critically important health behavior that we know is associated with heart disease and psychiatric well-being," Wendy M. Troxel, an assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, tells the Wall Street Journal. "It happens to be this health behavior that we do in couples."
Indeed, in one of her studies, women in long-term, secure, stable relationships fell asleep more quickly and woke up less during the night than single women or women who had recently split up.
Shared sleep in healthy relationships may lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol while boosting oxytocin -- a hormone known to ease anxiety.
"The psychological benefits we get having closeness at night trump the objective costs of sleeping with a partner," Troxel says.
So snore away.
10 ways to sleep like a baby:
Keep Up With Your Commitments
Just like any relationship, sleeping better also requires you not to cheat -- your schedule, that is. Try to sleep around the same time each day to fall into a daily routine.
Get 7 To 8 Hours Of Sleep
They say you need seven to eight hours of sleep every day -- Cederberg says 'they' are right. She says most adults function the best with at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
Turn Off The Lights
To ensure a good night's sleep, make sure your room is dark. Close the curtains, turn off your lamp and the television. Cederberg says the smallest amount of light could affect your sleep -- use an eye mask if you need to.
Test Your Pillows -- Really
Cederberg suggests spending a day testing out different types of pillows, like feather or foam ones, to see which one is the best fit for you. You should never test a pillow if you're tired though -- you may just like everything in the store.
Exercising isn't only good for your health, it can give you energy throughout the day. Challenging your body will also help you rest better, Ceberberg says.
Keep Your Bedroom Clean
Make sure your room is tidy before you sleep. Switch up your linens once every two weeks, keep your room dust free and Cederberg recommends adjusting the temperature to 18 degrees Celsius for the best zZZ environment.
Block Out Noise
If you live in the city, the sounds of cars and buses may be your morning wake up call (or the annoyances keeping you up at night). Cederberg suggests using ear plugs to block out unwanted noise.
Put Your Phone Away
Another distraction before sleeping is playing with your phone or answering texts. Put your phone in another room to help fall asleep with a clear mind and not worry about a meeting the next day.
Say No To Heavy Meals
Midnight snack cravings? Try to say no. Eating heavy foods right before bed will make it harder for your body to digest and make you tired the next morning.
Find A Good Mattress
Even though pillows ensure a good night's rest -- a good mattress is just as important.