A study that was presented last week at SLEEP 2009 in Seattle, Wash., examined the effect of marriage on sleep.
The study involved 360 middle-aged women with an average age of 51 years. They reported their relationship status at annual visits. Their sleep also was monitored for three nights.
Results show that women who were stably married had better subjective and objective sleep than unmarried women. Women who lost a partner during the eight-year follow-up period had the worst sleep.
The sleep of women who gained a partner during the study was similar to that of women in stable marriages. But study author Wendy Troxel, PhD, told the AASM that newlyweds were more restless.
“We discovered that these women had more restless sleep than the always married women,” said Troxel. “We speculate that these findings may reflect a ‘newlywed effect.’ These women may be less adjusted to sleeping with their partner than the ‘stably married’ women.”
Earlier in 2009 Troxel published a study linking sleep to marital happiness. Results show that happily married women reported fewer sleep disturbances.