How well you think your partner understands and cares for you may be linked to the quality of sleep you get, a new study has found.
“Our findings show that individuals with responsive partners experience lower anxiety and arousal, which in turn improves their sleep quality,” said Emre Selcuk from Middle East Technical University in Turkey.
One of the most important functions of sleep is to protect us against deteriorations in physical health. However, this protective function of sleep can only be realised when we have high quality uninterrupted sleep, known as restorative sleep, researchers said.
According to them, how well you think your partner understands and cares for you is linked to how well you sleep. Restorative sleep requires feelings of safety, security, protection and absence of threats.
For humans, the strongest source of feelings of safety and security is responsive social partners – whether parents in childhood or romantic partners in adulthood, researchers said. “Having responsive partners who would be available to protect and comfort us should things go wrong is the most effective way for us humans to reduce anxiety, tension and arousal,” said Mr Selcuk.
Past research has shown connections between partner responsiveness, physical health and psychological well-being over several years.
“Taken together, the corpus of evidence we obtained in recent years suggests that our best bet for a happier, healthier, and a longer life is having a responsive partner,” said Mr Selcuk.
The findings were published in the journal Social Personality and Psychological Science.