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Benefits of Sharing Your Sleep Space
— by Tempur-Pedic on May 13, 2021
Whether you’re snuggled up with your partner, four-legged friend, or child, a variety of studies show the psychological, physical, and emotional benefits of sharing your bed. So, discover the benefits of getting cozy with your sleep partner and experience more restorative rest all night long.
Sharing Your Sleep Space with Your Dog
Sorry cat people, studies show that dog owners reported getting better sleep than cat owners. We've all heard the phrase, "Dogs are a man's best friend," so it's no surprise that sleeping with your canine companion in your room or your bed can benefit your overall sleep quality. A 2018 survey discovered women feel more comfortable and safe with their dogs in the room, therefore helping them sleep more soundly than women with cats. Plus, another study showed dog owners reported getting better sleep because their pets don’t wake them up as often in the night.^^
Snuggling with Your Partner
Spending hours curled up in bed with the one your heart loves is a favorite activity for new couples, couples who live together, and married couples alike—so it makes sense that sleeping side-by-side promotes a healthier, more intimate relationship. The actual act of sleeping side-by-side (or snuggled together) increases your levels of oxytocin, commonly referred to as the love hormone, which can help you feel calmer and safer. While feeling a sense of security while sleeping, you can sleep more deeply throughout the night and spend more hours cycling through important stages of sleep.^ Because sleeping together helps you get more restorative rest, you're less prone to sleep deprivation or insufficiency. This also gives you better control over your emotional state, leading to fewer arguments and more enjoyable interactions, so you can be a more responsive and engaged partner.^
Room-Sharing with Your Child
Every parent with a new baby wonders, “Will I EVER sleep soundly through the night again?” And as every seasoned mother and grandmother can assure you—it’ll be a long time before you can expect an uninterrupted nine hours of sleep. But that doesn't mean you can't maximize the sleep you do get. The decision to share your sleep space with your child requires plenty of research and consideration and ultimately is the parent's choice. Just be sure to follow the safety guidelines below to ensure your child is safe while joining your room at night!
The good news is that room-sharing can have emotional, biological, and psychological benefits. Research by James J. Mckenna, Ph.D., Dean Emeritus of Notre Dame University, and his colleague's found that when babies share a sleep space with their parents, the parents serve as a "biological jumper cable," influencing their baby's heart rate, brain waves, breathing, sleep stages, oxygen level, and temperature. And, when babies are near to their parents everyone sleeps lighter and rouses more often. While this might sound like a drawback to room-sharing, his colleagues found the following:
- Parents can check on their baby more frequently
- Babies can recalibrate their breathing more often
- Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep promotes synaptogenesis or the development and growth of neurons in newborn brains
- Sharing your sleep space leads to more total sleep for parents and babies, enabling parents to be more well-rested and more patient during the day
Fathers can also benefit from room-sharing. Mckenna's team found that fathers who share a sleep space were able to feel more responsive and sensitive as parents. Plus, on average, children may be more independent, self-reliant, and confident in their daily lives.* Placing your child’s crib in your room or placing a bassinet next to your bed can be a great way to experience the benefits of sharing your sleep space, while still adhering to safety guidelines.
The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) found room-sharing can reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) up to 50%. Dr. Robert Hamilton, MD, FAAP, recommends bringing a separate sleep surface into your room and placing it next to your bed.** If your baby is less than 3 months old, you might consider using the 'sidecar' method, where a bassinet or crib is placed directly next to your bedside enabling you to sleep within a sensory range of your baby.*
No matter how you choose to sleep, make sure you're following these safety guidelines:
- Babies should always sleep on their backs
- Use a separate surface (like a bedside bassinet) for infants less than 3 months old
- Babies brought into bed for comfort or feeding should be returned to their separate sleep surface when you're ready to resume slumber
- Babies one-year-old or younger should never sleep in bed with older children/siblings
- Parents taking sleep aids, sedatives, or who have consumed alcohol/tobacco products should not bed-share with their babies^^^
Sleeping with a Restless Sleeper?
We've got you covered—with 9,448 square inches of ultra-pressure-relieving material and proprietary motion cancellation technology. Unlike ordinary memory foam, our unique TEMPUR® Material absorbs energy and isolates movement in the bed instead of transferring it to your partner. And, if you're sleeping with a snorer, put your sleep on autopilot with our innovative Smart Base technology. Our TEMPUR-Ergo® Smart Base responds to snoring automatically, so you don't have to. When your Smart Base senses snoring, it will automatically adjust your bed and raise to a position that may reduce snoring.‡
^^^Source: American Association of Pediatrics safety guidelines for infant sleep: https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/5/e20162938
^^^Source: James J. Mckenna's, Ph.D., safety guidelines for co-sleeping: https://cosleeping.nd.edu/safe-co-sleeping-guidelines/
‡Bed raises once approximately 12 degrees in response to snoring. This may reduce snoring in otherwise healthy individuals who snore due to body positioning.