To sleep, perchance to dream … perhaps to thrive, science says

Emerging science suggests that couples that sleep together enjoy better health and live longer.

As researchers explained to Andrea Petersen of the Wall Street Journal, shared slumber may lower stress hormones, boost oxytocin and ease anxiety.

“Sleep is a critically important health behavior that we know is associated with heart disease and psychiatric well-being,” Wendy M. Troxel, an assistant professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, told the paper. “It happens to be this health behavior that we do in couples.”

Peterson says the new findings challenge studies — not to mention anecdotal evidence — that women don’t sleep as well with a partner and both men and women move around more when sleeping together.

“The psychological benefits we get having closeness at night trump the objective costs of sleeping with a partner,” Troxel said.