BIG day tomorrow, boys? Then do the opposite of Mick Jagger and tell her: let's not spend the night together.
A man's brainpower, scientists say, can be damaged by sharing a bed. When they spend the night with a partner, their sleep patterns are disturbed, whether they make love or not.
This leads to poorer mental agility the next day.
Women do not suffer from the same problem. They have disturbed sleep if they share a bed, but tend to get better quality rest when they do drop off and their brain power remains undiminished.
The findings suggest if a man has an important day ahead he would be best to head off to the spare room rather than share the marital bed.
The research, featured in New Scientist magazine, was presented to the Forum of European Neurosciences in Vienna last week.
The study also found sharing a bed can impact on dreams.
Typically, women remembered more of their dreams after sleeping alone, while men recalled the most after sex.
And while most men believed having a partner helped them to drop off, most women felt they slept better when alone.
This could be because men were more often blamed for some of the obvious causes of disturbed sleep, such as snoring, "tossing and turning" and "hogging the doona".
Over-heating because of the extra warmth generated by sleeping beside another person may be just as blameworthy for a sleep-deprived night as other factors.
Bed sharing disturbed sleep quality
Sharing a bed with someone could temporarily reduce your brain power - at least if you are a man - Austrian scientists suggest.
When men spend the night with a bed mate their sleep is disturbed, whether they make love or not, and this impairs their mental ability the next day.
The lack of sleep also increases a man's stress hormone levels.
According to the New Scientist study, women who share a bed fare better because they sleep more deeply.
Professor Gerhard Kloesch and colleagues at the University of Vienna studied eight unmarried, childless couples in their 20s.
Each couple was asked to spend 10 nights sleeping together and 10 apart while the scientists assessed their rest patterns with questionnaires and wrist activity monitors.
The next day the couples were asked to perform simple cognitive tests and had their stress hormone levels checked.
Sharing the bed space with someone who is making noises and who you have to fight with for the duvet is not sensible
Professor Neil Stanley, a sleep expert at the University of Surrey
Although the men reported they had slept better with a partner, they fared worse in the tests, with their results suggesting they actually had more disturbed sleep.
Both sexes had a more disturbed night's sleep when they shared their bed, Professor Kloesch told a meeting of the Forum of European Neuroscience.
But women apparently managed to sleep more deeply when they did eventually drop off, since they claimed to be more refreshed than their sleep time suggested.
Their stress hormone levels and mental scores did not suffer to the same extent as the men.
But the women still reported that they had the best sleep when they were alone in bed.
Bed sharing also affected dream recall. Women remembered more after sleeping alone and men recalled best after sex.
Dr Neil Stanley, a sleep expert at the University of Surrey, said: "It's not surprising that people are disturbed by sleeping together.
"Historically, we have never been meant to sleep in the same bed as each other. It is a bizarre thing to do.
"Sleep is the most selfish thing you can do and it's vital for good physical and mental health.
"Sharing the bed space with someone who is making noises and who you have to fight with for the duvet is not sensible.
"If you are happy sleeping together that's great, but if not there is no shame in separate beds."
He said there was a suggestion that women are pre-programmed to cope better with broken sleep.
"A lot of life events that women have disturb sleep - bringing up children, the menopause and even the menstrual cycle," he explained.
But Dr Stanley added people did get used to sharing a bed.
"If they have shared their bed with their partner for a long time they
miss them and that will disturb sleep."
Men, sharing your bed can reduce your brainpower
Last updated at 19:19pm on 19th July 2006
Sharing your bed can reduce your brain power - but only if you are a man, say scientists.
When men spend the night in the same bed as someone else their sleep patterns are disturbed, even if they do not make love, new research shows.
And this leads to poorer performance in mental agility tests the next day.
However women do not suffer the same problem. They too have disturbed sleep if they share a bed, but tend to get better quality rest when they do finally drop off. This means their brain power remains undiminished.
The finding suggests that if a man has an important day ahead he would be best to head off to the spare room to sleep rather than sharing the marital bed.
The new research, featured in New Scientist magazine (must keep) was presented to the Forum of European Neurosciences in Vienna, Austria, last week.
A team led by Professor Gerhard Kloesch at the University of Vienna recruited eight unmarried, childless couples in their twenties for their study.
He asked them to spend 10 nights sleeping apart and ten together while he monitored their rest patterns at night through wrist monitors and sleep diaries.
The next day he gave them mental ability or 'cognitive' tests.
Even without having sex, everyone had more disturbed sleep when sharing a bed than alone but the effects of this on the brain only affected the men.
According to the journal: "Lack of sleep led to increased stress hormone levels in men and reduced their ability to perform simple cognitive tests the next day."
However women seemed to show no such ill-effects even if their sleep was just as disturbed. The researchers found women were more refreshed than men even when they slept the same number of hours and so concluded they must sleep more deeply.
The study also found sharing a bed can impact on dreams. Typically women remembered more of their dreams after sleeping alone while men recalled the most after sex.
Interestingly, most men were not aware that sharing their bed disrupted their sleep - and in fact believe having a partner there helped them drop off.
Women typically felt they slept better when alone, although this makes no difference to their mental performance the next day.
Professor Jim Horne, who runs the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University said: "Men would need a really bad night's sleep for their brain's performance to be impaired the next day.
"Also, couples who share a bed for years get used to each other so much that if they then spend a night apart they actually have a worse night's sleep alone than when together."
London, July 21, 2006
If you are a man and are not feeling very bright today, blame your wife or partner.
According to a new study, sharing a bed with a partner temporarily confuses men's brains and reduces their ability to think clearly.
Of course, women who share their bed donít have that problem. In fact, they fare much better because they sleep more deeply.
Research at the University of Vienna, led by Professor Gerhard Kloesch, said men, who spend the night with a bed mate, have disturbed sleep, whether they make love or not. This impairs their mental ability the next day and increases their stress hormone levels, the scientists reported in New Scientist magazine.
In their study of eight unmarried, childless couples in their 20s, the scientists discovered that sharing the bed reduced menís ability to perform simple cognitive tests. Comparatively, women were fresher than men even when both slept the same number of hours. They concluded that women sleep more deeply. Turning, tossing and snoring and hogging the duvet were cited as indicators of disturbed sleep.
The study also found that both sexes were equally to blame for keeping each other awake.
Professor Dr Neil Stanley, a sleep expert at the University of Surrey said, ďItís not surprising that people are disturbed by sleeping together. Historically, we have never been meant to sleep in the same bed. Itís a bizarre thing to do.Ē He also agreed with the Austrian scientists that women are pre-programmed to cope better with broken sleep: ďA lot of life events that women have disturb sleep ó bringing up children, the menopause and even the menstrual cycle.Ē ďSleep is the most selfish thing you can do and itís vital for good physical and mental health. Sharing the bed space with someone who is making noises is not sensible. If you are happy sleeping together thatís great, but if not there is no shame in separate beds,Ē Stanley said.
The moral of the story: If a man has an important day ahead of him, itís best that he sleeps in the spare room.
"I was drained totally after that heavy work in the day. I reached home to see that my whole house was in a mess because of my dog and my 5-year-old daughter.
My husband comes home late, and is up in arms with me, because of his missing files. We use words to worsen the situation. I go early to bed with my daughter and he is left with the dog to sleep outside on the sofa."
Isn't that a common phenomenon in most of our houses?
Bedtime behavior reflects the relationship
Tete-a-tete vs. Lovemaking:
Both the sexes look for love, warmth, passion, and intimacy. But the
way they choose to meet their needs are different. These differences lead
to frustration, rejection and finally drifts them apart.
The man's idea of love is more physical, in the sense lovemaking. But, woman mainly connects through conversations. She wants to feel the warmth of a good listener, who can listen even to her silliest story. But, when her partner fails to do so, and concentrates more on the part of sexual relationship, she begins to drift away gradually. To meet both the needs, first win the heart of woman. Be calm when you go to bed. Take some time to ask her, how her day was? Spend sometime in conversation about the family, friends and children. Get close to each other, by understanding each other meticulously. This will rally round in the growth of your relationship and fulfill both your desires. Bed need not be only for love making, make it also a place for love, sharing and caring. After a busy day this is the only place both of you spend most of your time together
Snoring is the most common problem, which most couples face. A recent survey shows 30% of all marriages go through this factor. This problem may even lead to divorce
Do no be rude to your partner and use words that will hurt them. Instead try and help to solve the problem. Losing some weight, cutting on alcohol especially at night, and avoiding heavy dinner are some of the methods to stop snoring. Experts suggest, that non-snorers sleep before the person who snores or nudge the partner and roll them over to one side if he/she is lying on their back.
Sleeping apart may not affect the relationship if, couples spend some quality time together before they go off to sleep. This may not hold good for all as sleeping together is just a physical convenience for some and emotional bonding for some. Today most couples working in shifts prefer sleeping apart, in order not to disturb the other.
Gestures of love:
Showing thoughtful gestures of love during the day reflects when you are in bed. After few years, of married life, men forget to show gestures of affection. It may be for the fact that they think, when the woman is theirs there is no need to shower extra love. Or perhaps he thinks that he has crossed his teens. This on the contrary may lead to unrest. You will often find her complaining, that you are not the same and even suspects that you are dating someone else. Why be a cause of all those suspicions and anger? Repeat the gestures that one her in the beginning, give her flowers when you get back home, open the car door for her, help her in the kitchen, take her for a long drive. Make her feel special.
Women are not an exemption. As years roll by they too forget to recognize and thank their partners. He may not be giving you flowers, but will surely be doing something for the family now and then. Appreciate him for his thoughtfulness. Thank him for being there when needed. Tell him he is the best man in the world. And there is none in comparison to him.
If you aren't able to show these gestures during the day, try to do it before you go to bed. These are the simple gestures that will build up your bedtime behavior.
Sleeping with the child:
Children up to the age of five, need mother's care. Men prefer sleeping at the sides for the fear that they may roll over the baby. Place the baby on a cradle near the bed, so that is easy to nurse when required.
The birth of child changes every aspect of living of the couple including the hour of sleep and lovemaking. The child interrupts them all the time. It's advisable to put the child to sleep and indulge in that lovable conversation that you don't want the child to hear. Help the child to learn to sleep alone and become independent. In this way you will help the child and even yourselves.
The way you spend the day with your partner does reflect when you are in bed. To have a goodnight's sleep with your partner build a relationship. Make them feel special. Learn to share a bed despite odds to overcome differences. Goodnight, sleep tight; let not all the odds bother.
CPSC Warns Against Placing Babies in Adult Beds; Study finds 64 deaths each year from suffocation and strangulation
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning parents
and caregivers about the dangers of placing babies to sleep in adult beds.
A CPSC study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics
and Adolescent Medicine found that placing babies to sleep in adult beds
puts them at risk of suffocation or strangulation. This is a danger of
which many parents and caregivers are unaware. The study revealed an average
64 deaths per year to babies under the age of 2 years placed to sleep in
adult beds, including waterbeds and daybeds.
Media Advisory from the SIDS Alliance on CPSC Report which strongly discourages bedsharing with infants under 2 years of age. "A review of the current scientific literature demonstrates that not only has bedsharing not been proven to be protective against SIDS but that it can, under a number of conditions, actually be hazardous."
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999
Bed sharing is a very interesting issue, which has received a lot of media attention in the last few years.
Throughout the ages, most babies slept with their mothers. This has led some researchers, notably Doctor James McKenna now at Notre Dame University, to ask if there is any survival advantage to a baby sleeping with his/her mother. This question prompted some very interesting research from his group, and others. He has found that when babies sleep with their mothers, there is an incredible amount of interaction which occurs between the two. There are more arousals (waking up during the night) of both mother and baby when they sleep together vs. sleeping apart. Any new mother could probably tell us that. There has been a suggestion that arousal may be an important mechanism to rescue babies from potentially dangerous situations during sleep. Thus, increasing arousal might be a good thing. Doctor Peter Fleming from the United Kingdom, has done similar studies, but he believes that it is usually the baby who wakes the mother, not the other way around. Thus, this would not likely have a protective effect on the baby. However, to date, there are no scientific studies which come close to proving that bed sharing, or these increases in arousal, or other aspects of bed sharing, may have any protective effect at reducing the risk for SIDS. Doctor McKenna has shown that infants who bed share are more likely to breastfeed. However, even breastfeeding, by itself, has not been shown to reduce the risk for SIDS. Therefore, any potential benefits of bed sharing with respect to SIDS remain only speculative. They have not been proven. There is currently no study which indicates that bed sharing reduces the risk for SIDS.
So, the next question is, "is bedsharing harmful"? This is more controversial. As far back as the Middle Ages, many people were worried about "maternal overlaying"; that is, the parent who sleeps with a baby might roll over on the baby and suffocate him/her. This probably does not happen frequently. Epidemiological studies came out in the 1980's which suggested that bedsharing might actually be associated with an increased risk for SIDS. That is, bedsharing might be dangerous. This was especially true if the parents smoke cigarettes (even if they do not smoke in bed). Since then, several studies have emerged. Some suggest an increased risk from bedsharing, and some do not.
As has been suggested on this Discussion forum, the answer probably lies in between. There can certainly be situations where bedsharing can be dangerous. Examples would include where parents are intoxicated or obtunded, perhaps somewhat obese, and they may roll onto a baby, but not be able to awaken in response to a baby's movements. Thus, bedsharing should not be done in combination with parental drug use, alcohol, etc. Bedsharing may also occur in an unsafe bed, such as a waterbed, or bed with soft padding. If a family decides on bedsharing, it should be done with all the recommendations for infant beds in mind. Thus, pillows, quilts, etc., should be removed. The mattress should be firm. Overheating should be avoided, and so on. However, it is important to recognize that sufficiently motivated families with resources probably can create a safe environment where bedsharing can occur, and the risk for SIDS would not be increased. In some cases, especially in lower socio-economic situations, bedsharing may occur in a dangerous setting. Many children may share a bed, which is soft, has multiple blankets or quilts, and may be associated with cigarette smoke, drugs, or alcohol. The term chaotic bedsharing has been used to describe this form of bedsharing, which is unsafe and likely to increase the SIDS risk.
With respect to SIDS, I think the following can be said about bedsharing. There is no evidence that bedsharing is protective or reduces the risk for SIDS. There are some theories, which are worthy of continued research, and which may provide us with more information on this issue. There are some situations where bedsharing is clearly dangerous. However, for families sufficiently motivated to share their bed with an infant, close attention should be paid to avoiding other known risk factors for SIDS.
I hope this is helpful.
Thomas G. Keens, M.D.
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
University of Southern California
7/25/97 Media Alert from SIDS Alliance on AAP Issues Policy and New
Study Released on Bedsharing
Several studies have shown a low SIDS rate in countries/cultures where co-sleeping is a common practice. Some of these have to be looked at carefully because of differences in SIDS definitions and that sort of thing. However, even after allowing for such differences, it does seem that some countries in which co-sleeping is commonplace also have a low SIDS incidence.
In addition, several studies have looked specifically for an association between co-sleeping and SIDS and have not found one. Other studies that have found a correlation between infant/parent co-sleeping and SIDS have found it to be linked with other factors, such as smoking. Several articles have been published that collected reports of babies dying in what were called "dangerous sleeping environments", including adult beds. These are not epidemiologic studies but they do make the point that some sleeping environments *can* be dangerous. Finally, the CPSC study looked at this and reported widely, in numerous press releases (1995), that up to 30% of SIDS deaths may have been related to bedding material that is inappropriate (potentially harmful) for infants. On the other hand, some researchers point out that there are potential benefits of co-sleeping, with respect to breast feeding, parent-infant bonding, and other care-practice issues.
Recently strong recommendations have come out against co-sleeping. Articles written for medical practitioners have stated flatly that doctors should recommend to parents "NEVER let your baby sleep in an adult bed" (or something to that effect). It seems that the argument runs something like this... Yes, there may be some benefits of co-sleeping... however, there clearly are potential dangers of having infants sleep in beds and on bedding materials designed for adults. So, until the issue is cleared up, it is recommended that infants sleep in properly designed, CPSC-approved cribs, with approved mattresses, with bedding material designed for infants, and without potentially hazardous materials such as bumpers, thick blankets, comforters, pillows, etc.
Someone pointed out (I don't recall the reference) that co-sleeping in other cultures differs considerably co-sleeping in the USA. Putting a baby into a double, queen, or king-sized bed, 2-3 feet off the floor, with a soft mattress, mattress pads, thick covers, blankets, pillows, comforters, etc... may be quite different from co-sleeping as practiced in Asian countries for example. It may well be the case that infant-parent co-sleeping can be safe when we know how to do it safely. Americans may need to *learn how to co-sleep with an infant safely* before it can be recommended.
John L. Carroll, M.D.
The Johns Hopkins Children's Center
As I stated in my earlier response, I am not convinced that co-sleeping, in and of itself, either is protective or carries an increased risk for SIDS. Please note that this is just my opinion at the present time, and I could be wrong. Some Asian countries, such as China, Hong Kong, and Japan have a low reported SIDS rates and predominately co-sleeping for infants. Your question, I assume, is are these causally related?
First, these countries also have almost universal back sleeping, which is also associated with a lower risk. Which of these has the greater influence may be difficult to sort out. However, we do have good epidemiologic evidence that back sleeping is associated with a reduced SIDS risk.
Second, I think there are a number of other issues which may play a role in the reported SIDS rates from these countries, and I would submit that we may not have an accurate idea of their SIDS rates.
A specific example is Japan. I was privileged to be invited to Japan in September, 1995, and had the opportunity to spend some time with Japan's leading SIDS researcher, Professor Hiroshi Nishida. His belief was that the SIDS rate in Japan was not as low as reported. Because the Japanese did not believe that SIDS was a problem there, they did not make the diagnosis. With his efforts, and the efforts of others, to increase public and professional awareness about SIDS, the SIDS rate has risen. Thus, there are differences in diagnostic standards and the use of the diagnosis. One of the goals of the Pathology Working Party of the SIDS Global Strategy Task Force is to develop a death scene and autopsy protocol which would be used world-wide, to improve the uniformity of how the SIDS diagnosis is made. Then, statistics between different countries may be more comparable.
I hope this helps. Thank you.
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
I believe that some of the most innovative research on bed sharing (or co-sleeping) is being done by Doctor James McKenna (Pomona College) and his collaborators at the University of California, Irvine. At the Fourth SIDS International Conference, they presented work suggesting a slight possible increase in apneas in babies who sleep in the same bed with their mother, vs. the same baby sleeping alone. I do not think the increase was clinically significant. Ultimately, I predict that there will be no effect (beneficial or detrimental) of bed sharing on SIDS or apnea.
Researchers from New Zealand have found in epidemiological studies that bed sharing AND cigarette smoking is associated with a marked increased risk for SIDS. Bed sharing alone (with non-smoking parents) is probably not associated with an increased risk. They found no protective effect of bed sharing.
Historically, there has been concern that bed sharing might result in "maternal overlaying", where the adult sleeping in the bed with an infant may roll over and smother a baby. It continues to be debated whether this really occurs. However, if an adult in bed with an infant is obese (a lot of tissue to mold over the baby's face) and is obtunded (drunk or drugged) so that the adult does not react to an infant's struggles, overlaying is a 'theoretical' possible cause of death.
Doctor McKenna's work did show that the MOTHER had increased arousals in response to the baby during sleep with bed sharing. Interestingly, the baby's arousals were not increased. Thus, bed sharing may not have the hypothesized effect of increasing a baby's arousals to prevent SIDS. However, the apparent heightened awareness of the mother to the baby in bed with her appears to make 'maternal overlaying' a very rare event.
I hope this helps. Thanks.
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
I think an important point about co-sleeping, that many fail to mention, is the fact that co-sleeping infants tend to sleep on their backs not their stomachs. This way they have easier access to the food source, their mother's breast. As we all know back sleeping reduces the risk of SIDS, and that may be why we see less SIDS in co-sleeping cultures. It could also be the results of poor data collection and misdiagnosis or other factors not fully understood yet. Dr. James McKenna's research addresses that fact that co-sleeping infant spend less time in the deep stages of sleep than infants who sleep alone. Since SIDS occurs in the deeper stages of Sleep, he seem to think that this may be a protective factor for infants. I think the important fact is that no one can say for sure that co-sleeping prevents SIDS - they can only quote statistics. One more point is that babies do die of SIDS while sleeping with their parents.
I personally practiced co-sleeping with both of my children and found it to be a wonderful experience. However, co-sleeping is not for every family, anyone who feels uncomfortable with it should not co-sleep, nor should they be made to feel guilty or be called a bad parent. Good parents raise their children in many different ways.
Elsa Weber, M.S., CHES.
Health Education Specialist
In 2002 my wife and I visited the UK primarily it was to see my mother who was on her death bed and suffering in many ways.
During the visit we also took the time to visit Bhaktivedanta Manor, Soho Street temples and Govinda's restaurant of course and met a few old friends.
Thinking of some old friends we managed to contact the parents of an old friend who I'd preached to way back in 1978 who even joined the temple at Bhaktivedanta Manor for about a year just after we left the UK. After some time he opted to leave, fell back into some of his old ways, but eventually married a nice girl and settled down. He was still a devotee at heart but had a few habits he was attached to.
Anyway, we found his phone number from his parents and gave him a call. On a nice Sunday after visiting the Manor and getting some fancy prasadams to take with us from Radharani's kitchen we headed off in our rented car to see him.
It was really nice to see him and we had some nice talks about all the different things we had both done in the last 25 years that we had been separated.
Then came an emotional revellation of an incident that had happened just a couple of years previous, when one evening he returned home late, his wife was tired and exasperated from the demands of their small baby daughter. The wife put the child in the care of her husband, my friend Steve and went to sleep in the spare room. Somehow during the night my friend rolled over on the child in his sleep and suffercated her without even knowing. When they prepared to face the new day in the morning and the wife came in to wake Steve and the baby she found the dead body of the child laying there next to Steve.
They underwent counselling and so many things, but it was all too much for her. She left him, and he went down hill after that too, returning to drugs and drink to try to numb his pain.
Certainly we can say so many things and lay blame this way and that,
but this is one sad example of the dangers of sharing a bed with an infant.
From the time three-year-old Sarah was a newborn, she slept comfortably at her mom and dad's side. When her younger sister Ellie was born, mom and dad were ready to move Sarah to her own bed. Sarah was excited about having her own "big-girl" bed. However, each night when bedtime came, she would cry and scream if her mom didn't lay down with her. Eventually, this nightly ritual began to wear on the patience of Sarah's mom and dad. Changes had to be made. It took nearly six months of battling with Sarah each night before she would finally go to sleep on her own. If
only her mom and dad had insisted Sarah sleep alone from the beginning, they may have prevented months of bedtime-routine stress.
To many parents, sharing a bed with their child is comforting and nurturing. However, over time, many, like Sarah's mom and dad, discover it can cause problems for the child as well as parents.
Once a child gets into the habit of sleeping in his parents' bed, the
habit can be very difficult to break. To prevent bed-sharing, follow these
tips as early as infancy:
Never rock an infant to sleep. Always place the child in her crib while she is drowsy, but not asleep. This will teach the child to put herself to sleep on her own.
When an infant awakens in the night, make feeding brief and boring.
By three or four months of age, an infant should be moved to his own crib in his own room.
Once an infant turns six months old, encourage him to adopt a soft toy or special blanket as a security object during sleeping time.
After age two, do not allow the child to leave his bedroom at night except to go to the bathroom.
If bed-sharing is already a part of your child's sleeping routine, consider
these helpful tips for breaking the habit:
Explain to your child that she has her bed and you have your bed. Tell her she is too old to sleep in your bed and she must start sleeping in her own bed beginning tonight.
Enforce a strict bedtime routine. For example, eat dinner, take a bath, eat a bedtime snack, brush teeth, read a story, and go to bed.
When your child leaves his room, take him back to his bed right away. If he continues, tell him you will close the door until he has returned to his bed.
If your child comes to your bed in the middle of the night, tell her she must get back into her own bed. If she refuses, take her back to her bed, but do not speak to her.
If you awaken and find your child in your bed, take him back to his own bed. If he resists, close the door until he gets back into bed.
Of course, breaking the bed-sharing habit will be emotional for you and your child. Tears will be shed by your child and possibly by yourself as well. However, keep in mind that if you do not give in, eventually your child will learn to go to sleep on her own and you will finally get the much-deserved sleep your mind and body need.