With so many quality Netflix series to binge, addicting game apps to play, and news headlines to keep up with, it can be hard to get a solid night’s sleep. But what if we told you there’s something you and your partner can do to up your odds of getting a full eight hours (and wake up feeling beautiful)? According to a recent but not-yet-published study presented at a Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference, pillow talk may be the key to getting some serious shut-eye.
As defined in this research, “pillow talk” is the simple process of sharing positive news from your day with your partner right before you turn out the lights and fall asleep. While we hear a lot about the detrimental effects of venting to your S.O. about the negative aspects of your life, researchers from Gonzaga University say this study is one of the first to focus on what happens when you discuss the good stuff.
Each partner of the 162 participating married or cohabitating couples was asked to complete an online survey every day for 32 days. The questions prompted the individuals to describe the highlight of their day and whether or not they shared it with their partner before going to bed. If they did, they were then asked to describe how their S.O. responded. All participants were asked to share how they felt about these interactions and how intimate they felt with their partner. The following day, they were asked how well they slept the previous night.
The team at Gonzaga analyzed the responses and found that subjects who shared good news and reported that it had been received in a supportive manner fell asleep faster and slept better throughout the night than subjects who did not engage in positive pillow talk and whose partners brushed off their comments.
“When you share something good and the recipient of information is actively happy for you, it heightens the positive experience for both parties,” says lead researcher Sarah Arpin. “However, when someone ‘rains on your parade,’ that can have negative consequences.”
Based on this research, it’s to our benefit to both initiate pillow talk and to be good listeners when our significant others have their own news to share — and as we all know, higher quality sleep is associated with better long-term health. Given that logic, the positive effects of these kinds of conversations are even further reaching for you and your partner than simply feeling more rested.
Is your pillow talk game a little rusty? Here are some easy prompts to help you get in the habit of sharing positive news with your sweetie before you fall asleep. It may seem a little too easy, but if the research shows that it will help improve our sleep then, hey, we’ll give it a try!
- What was the best thing you ate today?
- What was the best or funniest conversation you had today?
- What was the nicest compliment someone paid you today?
- What was a nice memory you had of your S.O. today?
- What are you most excited about for tomorrow?
- What was the best people-watching you did today?
- What was something healthy you did today?
- What did your S.O. do for you today that you most appreciate?
Do you and your S.O. have regular pillow talk? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)