If you have ever been to SoulCycle or hot yoga with your bestie, S.O, fam members, or even clients then you can appreciate the host of benefits that come from bonding over healthy activities. Well, here's a new suggestion for a healthy way to connect with important people in your life that you may have overlooked - sleep.
We get it. We all have our own set of rules when it comes to dyadic sleep (that's smart talk for sharing your bed with another). But, research is showing that this type of sleep is your newest life hack.
Here's 6 reasons why you should scoot over and get comfortable sharing:
Dyadic sleep only became "weird" in the 20th century. Before that, we shared our beds [or in caveman times our nests] as liberally as our Netflix login. It was completely normal for whole families to occupy one bed. And, if there were house guests (including drifters) then it was only polite to offer up a spot in said family bed. The change in attitude occurred when smaller families and bigger homes became the norm.
**Side note: History lesson aside, we suggest sharing your bed with someone other than a drifter.
New research shows sleeping next to someone, especially a loved one, can lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone) reducing the risk of heart disease, depression and auto-immune disease. The study suggests that physical proximity to another promotes feelings of security, which we may have a heightened need for during a vulnerable period like sleep. There's even reasoning that dyadic sleep is the predominant reason for why couples live longer, healthier lives than singles. Other studies show, children that grew up sharing beds with siblings or parents have higher self-esteem and more ease with affection. And, even advanced physical development So, don't get mad at your boo if he/she is stealing the covers, it's a small price to pay.
Those on team dyadic sleep experience better sleep quality versus those on team solo sleep - this is especially true for women. The reason here again goes back to how physical immediacy equals feelings of safety. Think about how much easier it is to watch those murder mystery documentaries with a friend. This added layer of security allows for a heightened state of relaxation which is crucial to achieve the deepest, most restorative sleep state. And, don't worry misanthropes, studies show sharing a bed with even your pet can produce this benefit.
Want a happier marriage? A closer relationship with your child? A forever loyal pet? Or, a new trust level with your bestie? Well, dyadic sleep may be your ticket. Just check out the Aka, a tribe in central Africa, who are all about that dyadic sleep. Barry Hewlett, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington Vancouver, studied the Aka people intimately. His research points to their embrace of co-sleeping being responsible for the development of trust over others who do not co-sleep.
Due to chaotic schedules and technology, we are spending less and less time together. But, there should still be eight hours a night that you can make the most out of! And, dyadic sleeping is the easiest way to get in that bonding time that often gets neglected. And, the best part is, this activity is gluten free, calorie free, budget friendly and results in no hangover!
Ever noticed that you feel most lonely at night in bed? Humans are programmed to share their sleeping space for all the mentioned reasons so a bed for one may be the culprit. And, the effects of loneliness are heavy -many are calling it the world's next health epidemic! And, there's no use trying to ignore this with insta or other glowing screen distractions. Dr. John T. Cacioppo, whose studied loneliness for 20 years, says it's an aversive signal much like, hunger, thirst or pain. Therefore, ignoring it can just make it worse. Solution, scoot over and share your bed with someone or something you love.
I recommend dyadic sleeping with NIGHT.