How the Sleep Center Can “Play Cupid” in the Bedroom
In Roman mythology, Cupid is the god of desire, affection, and erotic love. This chubby little archer has become the icon of Valentine’s Day. So how can a sleep center function as the modern-day Cupid for couples?
The Benefits of the Marital Bed
The physical act of going to sleep and waking up together is one of the most intimate actions displayed by couples. Research has consistently shown that couples who share a bed report overall increased marital satisfaction and greater general well-being than those who sleep separately. Some of these reported benefits are:
- Overall better health and longevity
- Decreased anxiety and stress
- Subjectively reported better sleep quality in both sexes
- Decreased sleep latencies and increased sleep efficiencies in women
- Longer sleep times in men
So why wouldn’t all couples want to sleep together?
The “Sleep Divorce”
A recent survey by the National Sleep Foundation reported that 23% of married couples routinely sleep in separate bedrooms. That percentage has almost doubled since 2001! That translates to numerous couples who aren’t reaping the benefits of co-sleeping. Most of the reported reasons involve untreated sleep disorders and poor sleep hygiene. And this is where the sleep center can sharpen those arrows…
The Sleep Center Can Educate and Utilize the Bed Partner to Facilitate Treatment
It’s common knowledge that most patients wait way too long to seek treatment for their nighttime issues. While a typical polysomnogram is performed on just the patient alone, the sleep center should encourage spouses to be included and to become an advocate in the treatment plan for that patient.
Studies have proven that CPAP adherence is strongly related to the presence of a bed partner. Furthermore, Sleep Educators can be utilized to develop a plan for instituting good sleep habits that may have fallen to the wayside with prolonged separation.
While it’s essential to diagnose sleep disorders, the focus on long-term treatment and patient satisfaction is the ultimate goal. Paying closer attention to the sleeping arrangements of our patients can play a vital role in their care. And if we can bring a little romance back into the bedroom, that’s a bonus!
Tracy Kopp RPSGT, CCSH, CRTT