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Sharing bed makes men dull

If you are a man and are not feeling very bright today, blame your wife or partner.

tabloid Updated: Jul 21, 2006 19:46 IST
Vijay Dutt

If you are a man and are not feeling very bright today, blame your wife or partner.

According to a new study, sharing a bed with a partner temporarily confuses men's brains and reduces their ability to think clearly.

Of course, women who share their bed don’t have that problem. In fact, they fare much better because they sleep more deeply.

Research at the University of Vienna, led by Professor Gerhard Kloesch, said men, who spend the night with a bed mate, have disturbed sleep, whether they make love or not. This impairs their mental ability the next day and increases their stress hormone levels, the scientists reported in New Scientist magazine.

In their study of eight unmarried, childless couples in their 20s, the scientists discovered that sharing the bed reduced men’s ability to perform simple cognitive tests. Comparatively, women were fresher than men even when both slept the same number of hours. They concluded that women sleep more deeply. Turning, tossing and snoring and hogging the duvet were cited as indicators of disturbed sleep.

The study also found that both sexes were equally to blame for keeping each other awake.

Professor 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. It’s a bizarre thing to do.” He also agreed with the Austrian scientists that women are pre-programmed to cope better with broken sleep: “A lot of life events that women have disturb sleep — bringing up children, the menopause and even the menstrual cycle.” “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 is not sensible. If you are happy sleeping together that’s great, but if not there is no shame in separate beds,” Stanley said.

The moral of the story: If a man has an important day ahead of him, it’s best that he sleeps in the spare room.