Cuddling Science Has Good News About Sleep For Men And Bad News For Women

Spooning leads to forking.

by Jillian Rose Lim
Originally Published: 

The next time your wife rejects your manly invitation to be her personal heater in bed, try not to get offended — it may just be that she knows she’ll sleep better, un-cuddled. That’s the finding of a recent study in the journal, Behavioral Sleep Medicine.

The researchers had 15 couples wear sleep trackers to record things like quality, duration, and mid-sleep awakenings for 5 nights and in 4 different setups: separate beds, a shared bed, with their partner and without their partner. While both genders reported sleeping better when paired up and cuddling, the trackers revealed otherwise: Men slept longer and later when paired up and cozy, while women were misremembering what data indicated was a less-good night’s sleep (maybe they were just tired). Cuddling should release oxytocin — the hormone thought to promote bonding — in both genders, so it’s unclear why only men would show a sleep benefit from that.

Credit: Kevin Jaako

Then again, the study has a junior-sized sample and a California king-sized margin for coincidences. Women are known to be lighter sleepers in general, and men are known to be way worse snorers than women, and maybe the guys in this study were just big teddy bears to begin with. Either way, if your wife shows an increasing desire to be less of a spoon than a knife, look on the bright side: Cuddling your dog might have similar effects.

[H/T]: Van Winkles

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