University of Vienna Austria researcher Gerhard Kloesch arranged for childless couples to sleep 10 days together and 10 days apart. Both wives and husbands slept more poorly together and men suffered more degraded performance than the wives did.
While men thought they slept better with a partner, and women believed they didn't, actually both sexes had more disturbed sleep, even when they did not have sex. Lack of sleep led to increased stress hormone levels in men, and reduced their ability to perform simple cognitive tests the next day.
Women can handle interruptions more easily. The reason is probably Darwinian: Natural selection selected for females that can handle the interrupts of babies and children. Whereas men spent more time out concentrating on one task at a time such as hunting.
Dr Neil Stanley, a sleep expert at the University of Surrey, said: "It's not surprising that people are disturbed by sleeping together.
"Historically, we have never been meant to sleep in the same bed as each other. It is a bizarre thing to do.
"Sleep is the most selfish thing you can do and it's vital for good physical and mental health.
"Sharing the bed space with someone who is making noises and who you have to fight with for the duvet is not sensible.
Once the sex becomes infrequent (or so married men assure me) why not sleep apart some of the time?
Marriage doesn't just make men dumber. It also takes away some of their drive. Previous research has shown that getting married lowers male testosterone and having kids lowers it even further.
Gray studied testosterone in saliva collected from 58 men (48 of them Harvard students) between the ages of 20 and 41. Half were married, and of those, 15 were married with children. He took four saliva samples from each man: two in the morning and two in the evening. The subjects also completed questionnaires about their demographic, marital, and parenting backgrounds. Among other things, the questionnaires asked how much time the men spent with their spouses (instead of hanging out with the guys) on their last day off from work, and measured the effort they expended caring for their children. Analysis showed that marriage, fatherhood, and longer periods spent with wives and children were all linked to lower testosterone levels. Fathers in particular had levels significantly lower than those of unmarried men. Researchers also observed that hormone levels in the morning samples were high and relatively even among the men; the differences appeared at night.
On the other hand, the lower testosterone might reduce the risk of prostate cancer and reduce the general rate of aging.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2006 July 23 03:24 PM Brain Sleep|