BOSTON (CBS) – For some couples shopping for a bed is easier than sharing it. Stealing the covers, battling over the temperature, or wanting to watch TV, there are a lot of reasons that can keep people from getting a good night’s sleep. And at Jordan’s Furniture in Reading, the Sleep Techs often get an earful from customers. “We hear it all. We have customers say they only sleep three or four hours a night and the only way they can sleep is if they kick their partner out of the room,” says Rob Walsh, a store manager.
About a quarter of couples are now sleeping alone. Some new homes are even being built with two master suites. “It doesn’t surprise me because people are realizing that sleep is very important,” says Walsh. But despite all the complaints experts say there’s evidence we’re actually programmed to want to sleep in the bed beside someone.
“I think, psychologically we benefit from closeness with another human being at night. When you think about sleep it’s a really vulnerable state to be in,” says Dr. Wendy Troxel of Rand Corporation. Another sleep expert, Dr. Daniel Buysse says, “probably in the course of our evolution we were really designed to sleep together with other people.” The pair of doctors are now studying how in sync couples are as they sleep by using bracelets that track a couple’s sleeping habits. The goal is to find out if couples who can get a sound sleep side-by-side also get along better.
Sometimes, finding a sleep solution is simple. “Moving from a queen size to a king definitely helps,” Walsh tells his customers. And if your partner’s snoring keeps you up at night, maybe try some earplugs. But the experts agree, if you do sleep apart, it’s important to find another way to be close together, day or night.