Researchers at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conducted a study to find out whether there was a link between healthy relationships and sleep quality. They found that people who feel valued by their partner are more likely to achieve deep “restorative” sleep, which consists of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep.
The team explained in their report that this type of sleep could only occur when a person feels safe, protected and free of threats such as arguments or tension. Published in the journal Social Personality and Psychological Science, the paper reveals that restorative sleep is crucial to enjoying good physical health as well as psychological wellbeing, which are impossible to experience when people feel threatened. The thing is that poor sleep quality leads to a vulnerable body exposed to a variety of health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
While parents are the strongest source of feelings of security and protection in childhood, romantic partners who are socially responsive, supportive, and empathic represent the most important source of safety in adulthood. People sleep better when the relationships with those they are closest to are calmer because they generate less stress.
“Our findings show that individuals with responsive partners experience lower anxiety and arousal, which in turn improves their sleep quality,” explained lead author Dr. Emre Selçuk, as reported by The Telegraph. Selçuk is a developmental and social psychologist at Middle East Technical University in Turkey.
The researchers observed 698 adults between the ages of 35 and 66 who were either married or living together. Participants were asked how well they felt with their partners and scientists then assessed their sleep quality by using a monitoring advice.
By looking at the earlier evidence, Selçuk concluded that having a responsive partner in adulthood was the best scientific bet for a happier and longer life. Research conducted in 2013 revealed that teenagers tend to have poor sleeping habits when their social relationships with friends and family alike were generally full of tensions. And a separate study has shown links between sleep and the closest social ties, specifically among newlyweds who experienced less marital stress as they had a restful sleep.
“Having responsive partners who would be available to protect and comfort us should things go wrong is the most effective way for us humans to reduce anxiety, tension, and arousal,” the researchers wrote, according to The Telegraph.
Source: The Telegraph