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Dr. Lisa: For Some, Spending Valentine’s Night Apart May Lead To Better Sleep

  • Posted: February 9, 2012 
  • Filed under: Articles

Valentine’s Day is upon us, bringing thoughts of romance and togetherness. However, a leading sleep expert says that for many who are in committed relationships, sharing a bed may not be the best thing.

“It’s a modern notion that it will damage a relationship if partners sleep separately,” said Dr. Lisa Shives (a.k.a. “Dr. Lisa, The Sleep M.D.”), a medical doctor specializing in sleep issues who partners with sleep tips website SleepBetter.org to offer insights and advice about health and rest issues.

Indeed, recent research indicates that wives who have trouble falling asleep are more likely to harbor negative emotions toward their significant others the following day. People who enjoy better rest face day-to-day tasks and challenges with more energy and more positive attitudes. In other words, a partner who has benefited from a good night’s sleep is more likely to have the energy to create a lasting relationship.

“A hundred years ago, it was common for husbands and wives to have separate bedrooms if they had a large enough home,” said Shives. “I think that sleep-deprived people who blame their bed partners for a restless night will find that they have some serious tension in the relationship.”

In fact, there are a number of issues that could create a non-compatible sleep environment among couples who are otherwise quite compatible:

  • Some partners like a warm sleeping environment, while others like it cooler
  • A snoring partner can be a serious annoyance that can lead to loss of sleep
  • Restless leg syndrome can cause some bed-mates to kick and jerk all night long
  • Let’s face it, some of us are night-owls…and some are early-to-bed-and-early-to-rise

Like anything else, it’s a matter of what’s best for you and your relationship, but don’t feel you have to continue putting yourself in a situation where you’ll lose sleep.

Dr. Shives works with SleepBetter.org to provide a medical view of sleep issues. She is one of only a few practitioners with a fellowship in Sleep Medicine in addition to board certification by both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Sleep Medicine.

Learn more about Dr. Lisa Shives by clicking here.