During a dinner with friends, one of the hosts of the American journalist made a confession: every evening, she collapses in her bed after sleeping children and wakes up around 4:30 am anguished by problems at work. Her husband, meanwhile, late home from work and did that to 23 hours. Another guest said that he collapses in front of the TV all night, not to mention the mother of family that likes to enjoy his coffee in the morning, quietly, when no one is left standing at home.

result for these couples to the nocturnal rhythms quite staggered: they see very little during the week and ask whether, in the long run, this shift would not harm their relationship. A question that makes sense when you consider that 60% of the world population is sleeping with another person. And when one has problems sleeping – snoring, insomnia, … – both can suffer tremendously because having interrupted sleep can make a very bad mood, according to these researchers advocate a rather short night, more restorative.

According to NYT , scientific studies have so far looked mainly on the sleep habits of individuals, but it is only recently that we s ‘interested in the beneficial and harmful effects of shared marital bed.

based Studies of couples of nocturnal habits have yet revealed a paradox. In people whose sleep had been analyzed (eye movements and brain activity), they noticed that they usually slept better when they were alone has next to their spouse. Yet when asked if they like to sleep alone, people say they are less satisfied.

In the 70s, explains the New York daily, the researchers made a distinction between “morning persons” (“morning people”) and those that are active in the evening rather, even night. Recent studies show that a part of one or another group is defined largely by the genetic as well as the age and gender. In a couple, one may very well be in the morning and one in the evening. Other individuals have needed them, only four hours of sleep a night.


Roennenberg Till, professor of chronobiology in Munich interviewed by the media, also explains that each person has a unique internal clock. There is no two extremes (the people in the morning and evening), but a much broader spectrum, almost infinite.

This is very complicated to ask your spouse to ignore its internal clock to spend more time with you. This is possible, but not effective, I think. If you do not sleep not for your own sleep window, you will not be present in society and also effective at work, and it is precisely your spouse is going to complain “warned the professor.

For Roennenberg, tolerance of our differences in terms of sleep patterns is crucial. And these differences can be very useful and even maintain a marriage. Roennenberg gives the example of a couple with a newborn. In this situation, both parents at opposite rhythms can easily take turns to look after the baby. One will be more effective the day and the other at night.

A recent study also showed that women had a less restful sleep than men. The cause: hormonal changes and stress of family life.

What alternatives are available to couples staggered hours? Heather Gunn, a psychologist at the University of Pittsburg is rather optimistic. For her, do not necessarily go to sleep at the same time to have a healthy and lasting relationship. She even suggests that couples who live successful shift to better solve their problems. However, she advises these people to make time to see, either in the morning at breakfast, a half hour before the other will go to bed or during the weekend.

But how then react when one partner insists that the other slips under the covers together with him? To shrink the spouse obliging the other to adapt to their sleep pattern actually asking something else: more security and proximity.