Things in the 1950s looked so pleasant. Coke was sold in cool glass bottles, cars had wings, and couples slept in separate twin beds partitioned by a well-appointed table that had a wind-up alarm clock, a porcelain lamp, a triangular lace tablecloth, and two half-filled glasses of water. The bedroom of the '50s really spoke to me. It looked so fair. So comfortable. So individual yet codependent. Then everything changed. The prudish two-bed style quickly fell out of fashion and we've been relegated to sharing beds with our beloved men persons ever since.
His tossing and turning, his snoring, his sheet-stealing, his cold feet, his dagger-like toenails, and his farts may all be worth it, though. According to a new study, there are health benefits for women who co-sleep with men.
Despite all the obstacles a man throws your way in bed, I suppose you can't argue with research that says:
Shared sleep in healthy relationships may lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Sharing a bed may also reduce cytokines, involved in inflammation, and boost oxytocin, the so-called love hormone that is known to ease anxiety and is produced in the same part of the brain responsible for the sleep-wake cycle.
Apparently it's because women feel safer and more secure with a protector present and, therefore, sleep better. All the monsters, figurative and literal, are a non-issue when you've got a partner to fight them for you, I suppose.
So what does this mean for the single ladies? Don't sweat it, friends, I have a plan. If all women need is a little psychological comfort at bedtime in order to get some serious REM going, let's all get dogs. Big ones like German Shepherds and St. Bernards and this one. No need to troll the bars for boyfriends or beg someone online to marry you, take charge of your health and your sleep by adopting a pet. I'm sure they'll do just as much if not more to an intruder than some guy ever would. I mean, have you ever seen a man bite another man's face off? Wait. Never mind.
Moving on. If you're single and happened to be cursed with a dog allergy, then do not underestimate a body pillow and your imagination. Fool yourself that you're not sleeping alone and watch the stress just melt away.*
Women in relationships should quit griping about their lousy men who kick them in their sleep because, after all, those men are ultimately doing them a favor. And single women should get a dog.
Who needs the Wall Street Journal and that thing called science? Pretty sure I just solved everyone's problems. Phew. All that thinking's tired me out. Now where's my body pillow.
Do you like sharing a bed with your man? Why or why not?
*New stress acquired from realizing you've successfully tricked yourself into thinking a body pillow provides protection has not been accounted for.
Photo via love maegan/Flickr