Benefits of Sleeping Next to Someone

May 28, 2024 | Casper Editorial Team

Fact checked by Jonathan Eilenberg, CPE

Not only does sleeping next to someone help you sleep better (which can improve everything from blood pressure to mental health), but it can also strengthen the emotional bonds between you and your partner.


It can be daunting to take the next step in your relationship by sleeping in the same bed. What if your partner snores, or recites poetry in their sleep? 

But overwhelmingly, sleep studies show that bed-sharing isn’t something to snooze on. 

Here’s the complete list of benefits of sleeping next to someone from the expert team at Casper.

Enhances Sleep Quality

You can actually get a more restful night’s sleep when you lay your head down next to someone else.

Syncs Sleep Cycles and Rhythms

Researchers have studied how couples sync their behaviors while they’re awake, but they’re just beginning to learn how these dynamics play out during sleep.

One study found that your sleep cycle naturally syncs with your partner’s when you sleep in the same bed: couples typically spend about half the night in harmonious sleep synchrony.1

Synced sleep cycles are only as beneficial as the quality of sleep you and your partner receive. But as you’ll see, partnered sleep can help with that, too. 

Increases REM Sleep

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is a mysterious yet essential part of the sleep cycle. It’s the period during sleep when you’re closest to wakefulness, and often when you dream.2

Researchers are still studying the significance of REM sleep, but currently, it’s thought to activate the brain’s centers for memory formation, processing, and social cognition, which is essential for developing and improving your socialization skills.1

One sleep health study found that sleeping next to a partner has positive impacts on REM sleep. Compared to single sleepers, co-sleepers1:

  • Get 10 percent more REM sleep overall
  • Experience fewer REM disturbances
  • Stay in REM sleep for longer periods

This increase in REM sleep quality and duration creates a positive feedback loop for social relationships: the more often you sleep next to a partner, the more REM sleep you get, the more capable and present you can be in relationships.1 Learn more about how to increase deep sleep in our blog.

Boosts Mental Health

Most of us have heard about the relationship between better sleep and mental health in the last decade. Does partnered sleep play a role? In a word, yes. 

Lowers Anxiety and Depression

Partnered sleep means better sleep, and quality sleep means better mental health.3 Here’s why:

  • Undisturbed REM sleep (increased by sleeping next to someone) can protect you from sleep deprivation and sleep disorders such as insomnia, which are known to increase your risks of developing depression and other mental health conditions.1
  • Depressive disorders often impair your ability to navigate social situations and relationships, but partner synchronization, both during wakefulness and sleep, can help combat this.1

Enhances Emotional and Psychological Well-Being

The enhanced REM sleep you experience when you share a bed with someone may also contribute to better emotional processing and resilience. REM sleep1

  • Lowers emotional stress
  • Promotes emotionally-salient memory formation

Emotionally salient memories contribute to your sense of self, so the quality of these memories can benefit your overall psychological well-being. 

Strengthens Physical and Emotional Intimacy

Wouldn’t you like to strengthen your bond with your partner without even being awake? Sleep science says you can.

Promotes Physical Closeness Through Touch

When you share a bed with someone, you’re bound to share some skin, too. It’s these close quarters that ignite both physical and emotional intimacy in romantic partners. 

Regular touch, like hugging, cuddling, and hand-holding, can4:

  • Lower stress by reducing your cortisol levels
  • Raise oxytocin levels, which elevates your mood
  • Reduce symptoms from medical conditions, including insomnia

Physical touch is essential to your general well-being, but it’s especially important for a healthy relationship. In conjunction with other forms of intimacy, touch makes you feel more appreciated and loved.4

Check out our blog about common couple sleeping positions and try something new with your SO tonight!

Deepens Emotional Bonds

Sometimes, what happens before you fall asleep is just as important to your relationship as the sleep itself. 

Pillow talk is a common part of intimacy for bed-sharing couples. It’s known to increase oxytocin levels (your feel-good hormones) and strengthen emotional bonds through honest communication.5 

Improves Overall Health and Well-being

Good sleep hygiene and sleep quality are important markers of your overall health. 

Sleeping next to a partner leads to better sleep, which can6:

  • Lower blood pressure and keep your heart healthy
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Elevate mood, alertness, and cognitive function

So if you’re ever feeling under the weather, sleeping next to someone can be part of your get-well routine.

Promotes Longevity and Restorative Sleep

One theory for why you sleep is that it allows your body to restore itself to take on a new day. Restorative sleep processes include7:

  • Growth and repair of muscle and tissue
  • Removal of neuron waste from your system

Sleep is also one of your main defenses against the cognitive effects of aging as well as Alzheimer’s disease.8 Learn more about the correlation between aging and sleep in our blog.

The most restorative sleep phases are slow-wave sleep (SWS) and REM sleep, both of which are increased and improved by bed-sharing.1

Enhances Relationship Satisfaction

The benefits of sleeping next to someone you love extend out of the bedroom and into your waking life. When your sleep syncs up, your waking behaviors do, too.1

Syncing your behavior with others has a wide range of benefits. It can9:

  • Strengthen social bonds and increase trust
  • Improve communication and connection
  • Make you happier and more content

Remember, you spend about a third of your life sleeping. It’s important to make the most of it — with loved ones by your side. 

Choosing the Right Mattress for Couples with Casper

What’s better than sleeping next to the person of your dreams? Sleeping on the mattress of your dreams. 

Casper can match you with a mattress, bed sheets, and pillows that will enhance the nighttime harmony between you and your sleep partner. Take our quiz to find your perfect fit. 
And for even more personalized guidance, visit an in-person Casper Sleep Shop or speak to one of our expert Sleep Specialists today.

Sources: 

  1. National Library of Medicine. Bed-Sharing in Couples Is Associated With Increased and Stabilized REM Sleep and Sleep-Stage Synchronization. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7330166/ 
  2. National Sleep Foundation. What is REM Sleep? https://www.thensf.org/what-is-rem-sleep/ 
  3. National Library of Medicine. Improving sleep quality leads to better mental health: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8651630/ 
  4. The Family Institute. The Often-Overlooked Importance of Physical Intimacy. https://www.family-institute.org/behavioral-health-resources/magic-touch 
  5. Healthline. How to Up Your Relationship Intimacy with Pillow Talk. https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/what-is-pillow-talk 
  6. NIH News in Health. The Benefits of Slumber: Why You Need a Good Night’s Sleep. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2013/04/benefits-slumber 
  7. Harvard Medical School. Why Sleep Matters: Benefits of Sleep. https://sleep.hms.harvard.edu/education-training/public-education/sleep-and-health-education-program/sleep-health-education-41 
  8. American Psychological Association. The power of restorative sleep. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2017/10/cover-sleep 
  9. Quanta Magazine. The Social Benefits of Getting Our Brains in Sync. https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-social-benefits-of-getting-our-brains-in-sync-20240328/