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Did you know going to bed at the same time as your partner is "biologically irrational"? That's according to sleep physician David Cunnington, who says our preferences for sleep timing whether we're early birds or night owls and sleep environment are largely genetically determined.
But many of us like or would like to share a bedtime. It's a chance to recap the day and connect on an emotional and physical level.
We asked those who crash at the same time and those who don't: what works for you and why? Then we put it to the experts.
Adrian Parody, 37, and his wife Christie, 32, say going to bed at the same time nurtures their physical connection. The couple from Bunbury, WA, say it's routine to call it a night together, except for the odd occasion when someone stays up late watching a movie or studying.
Christie agrees, saying it "heightens the chances of keeping our physical connection strong". It was only when Kylie Carberry began to experience insomnia and anxiety that she and her husband Graeme started to go to bed at the same time.
Before then, she was getting to bed early in readiness to wake up for their young children throughout the night. Now the kids are grown, she says her body clock is "in sync" with hubby, and advantages include feeling closer to one another and getting to sleep easier.
Adi Galimidi says she would feel lonely if her and husband Peter Mamo, both 36, didn't hit the sack at the same time. The busy d spend a lot of their time running around after toddler Wilco — and appreciate the chance to touch base at the end of the day. Bec will spend time reading a book, messaging friends or scrolling social media while Phil stays up working.
On the weekends it's a different story — they share a bedtime because the stress of work isn't as present. The lure of a good night's rest is why Katie Laird, 32, and her partner Stuart, 36, go to bed at different times — in separate rooms.
But because he is a deep sleeper and Katie is the opposite, Stuart says they both sleep better apart "which makes us happier and nicer towards each other". Stuart's snoring used to keep Katie awake, and her tossing and turning meant his sleep was also interupted. But quality sleep gives Katie the ability to function better during the day — and they've both come to enjoy the space. Despite it being "biologically irrational" to share a bedtime with your partner, Dr Cunnington says it's about compromise.
It's nice to have the "quiet time talking", comfort and intimacy of a shared bedtime, which he says makes it worth working towards. Most research on the topic reflects this, saying going to bed at the same time keeps couples connected through pillow talk and regular intimacy.
But like with Katie and Stuart, there's also anecdotal evidence to show it's overrated. Dr Cunnington says it's "absolutely OK" for couples to sleep at different times or apart. Get our newsletter for the best of ABC Everyday each week. ABC Everyday helps you navigate life's challenges and choices so you can stay on top of the things that matter to you. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.
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Print Cancel. Others value the time on their own. It's a hot topic among couples — and for some the cause of arguments. The case for a shared bedtime Keeping the physical connection strong. address.
Posted 25 Feb 25 Febupdated 19 Aug 19 Aug Giving your partner the silent treatment isn't harmless — it can be devastating. Your ideal bedtime is in your DNA. I don't ever feel like sex, think about it, or even get turned on ever. Can a couple survive if they sleep in separate beds?
What changes when you have kids? Cat cuddles and pillow speakers: Your hacks for a good night's sleep. Back to top.