Results show that overall synchrony in sleep-wake schedules among couples was high, as those who slept in the same bed were awake or asleep at the same time about 75 percent of the time. When the wife reported higher marital satisfaction, the percent of time the couple was awake or asleep at the same time was greater.
Lead author Heather Gunn, PhD, postdoctoral scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, said most of what is known about sleep comes from studying it at the individual level; however, for most adults, sleep is a shared behavior between bed partners.
She said how couples sleep together may influence and be influenced by their relationship functioning.
The study group comprised 46 couples who completed relationship assessments. Objective sleep data also were gathered by actigraphy over a 10-day period.
The study has been published online in the journal Sleep.