If your "New Year, New You" resolutions involve bettering close, personal relationships, here’s some advice: Go to bed. Unsurprisingly, couples that are well-rested get are more upbeat and more likely to get along.
Who doesn’t love being in love, and also catching extra Zs? Really, we weren’t going to argue either, but figured it was a good idea to get a bit more info, for good measure. To lay down some interesting findings about lying down, we chatted with Rachel DeAlto, relationship and communications expert and Snuz.com spokesperson. Her expertise helps individuals who are single and looking for love (read: currently sleeping alone) and those trying to improve their current relationships.
Perhaps before we start pointing the blame at our significant others for our unhappiness, we should get a few more hours of shut-eye. But before we crawl into our covers, we consulted with DeAlto. Here’s what she had to say about attraction, humor and partnership as it pertains to sleep.
Personal Space: How does sleep help relationships?
Rachel DeAlto: Rested partners are better partners. Studies have shown that when a couple is rested, they are not only happier, but are able to resolve — or avoid — conflict more easily.
PS: Does lack of sleep hurt relationships?
RD: There are many areas where sleep, or the lack thereof, can negatively impact a relationship. One of the main areas of concern as a relationship expert is the rise in conflict caused by lack of sleep. We all know that our fuse shortens when we aren’t rested. Things that normally wouldn’t bother someone become problematic. Further, when someone isn’t rested, it affects their impulse control and decision making — resulting in those conflicts becoming even more catastrophic to a relationship. Another main area of concern is sex. Lack of sleep can also lead to a lack of a sex life. Exhaustion is not sexy — ask any parent of a newborn. Often times a mattress doesn’t provide comfort for both partners. Snuz's [memory foam mattress has] unique grooves [that] create ventilation and a cooling system that work for different temps.
PS: What does someone's sleep patterns say about their friendships and romantic relationships?
RD: Sleep patterns and relationships are truly in sync. When your sleep is better, your relationships are better. When your relationships are positive, you sleep better. Stress can eviscerate a good night’s sleep, and our relationships have an enormous impact on our stress levels.
PS: Does sleep deprivation make individuals less attractive?
RD: Science says so! A study out of Sweden showed that sleep deprived individuals were found to be less attractive and approachable. In my experience, your energy and positivity plays a role in attraction. If you’re exhausted, you aren’t putting your best self out there.
PS: How can sleep affect one's sense of humor or patience?
RD: A lack of sleep can eradicate a sense of humor and patience. Your ability to control temper becomes obsolete. Typically, adults require 7-9 hours a night. In my professional experience, clients who were less amenable and even-tempered were getting far less per night.
PS: Does sleep contribute to happiness in relationships?
RD: Yes! Sleeping improves the overall well-being of an individual, and when you have two individuals rested and patient, happiness is far easier to attain. It’s important to find a mattress that fits both partner’s needs – compromise is key in all aspects of relationships.
PS: Is it a sign of a bad or good relationship if you can't or can sleep through the night with your partner?
RD: It’s extremely important that a couple does everything in their power to sleep close to one another to maintain a healthy loving relationship. Sharing a bed has been shown to increase intimacy and communication. Couples who do not share a bed are not necessarily in a “bad” relationship, however, they will have to go above and beyond to compensate for those lost moments. If there are issues with sleeping, I recommend that a couple look to resolve any external problems. Is the mattress the problem? They may need a dynamic support system to reduce pressure points or a larger mattress. Does your partner snore? Invest in earplugs, a sleep study, or find a position that reduces the noise.
PS: What’s your mattress suggestion for couples?
RD: Snuz mattress is a great choice. It’s three layers and seven zones will result in the perfect happy medium for even the most particular sleepers. It’s the perfect balance of soft and firm; soft in some places and firm where you need it.
PS: How much more common are fights and conflict due to lack of sleep?
RD: Fights and conflict are far more common when someone is sleep deprived. Conflict is to be expected, however, it is essential for couples to have the patience and sensibility to communicate through them – neither of which is available to someone when they are fatigued.
PS: Anything else you want to add about sleep and how they impact relationships?
RD: In all honesty, I wish both singles and couples realized how important a good night’s sleep is. Your entire state of being improves with self-care — the most important aspect of which, is sleep.
Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.