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Men! Grasp your manly cods and run for the spare bedroom! Because today it has been exclusively revealed that sleeping with the ladies leaves you stressed and unfit for even simple mental tasks -- while women (the crazy minxes), though they claim that they have more broken sleep with a man in their bed, suffer no ill effects from it whatsoever -- after all (says a leading sleep scientist), what with bringing up children, the menopause and the menstrual cycle, they've obviously adapted to need practically no sleep at all, so (if you're prepared to suffer the dreadful impaiment to your mental activities) go ahead, snore and kick away!

So tell me, Professor Gerhard Kloesch, how large a sample did you base these conclusions on? Eight unmarried couples in their twenties.

I'm sorry, could you repeat that? Eight unmarried couples in their twenties.

No, so that everyone can hear. Eight unmarried couples in their twenties.


The 20-day study (ten nights sleeping together, ten alone) also looked at whether sharing a bed made a difference to whether people remembered their dreams. "Typically* women remembered more of their dreams after sleeping alone while men recalled the most after sex."

*This may be a mis-use of the word typically.


( 28 worms — Feed the birds )
20th Jul, 2006 13:17 (UTC)
20th Jul, 2006 13:28 (UTC)
*This may be a mis-use of the word typically.

20th Jul, 2006 13:35 (UTC)
Worthy of the Metro
Can't talk. Laughing.
20th Jul, 2006 13:44 (UTC)
It might be a case of poor reporting. This might be a set of case studies leading on to something more comprehensive.
20th Jul, 2006 14:02 (UTC)
here's the new scientist article it's all based on:
20th Jul, 2006 14:15 (UTC)
Re: here's the new scientist article it's all based on:
They're not really hiding the fact of the small sample. To me it just seems typical of a small preliminary study from which you'd test out indicative possibles. Such early reporting in the more popular media would probably be more because it's one of those cute topics that appeals to the public rather than claims of its accuracy,
20th Jul, 2006 14:29 (UTC)
The report may not be hiding the small sample, but all of the headlines are.
20th Jul, 2006 14:31 (UTC)
Re: *shrug*
That's journalists for you.
20th Jul, 2006 14:45 (UTC)
isn't the internet fabulous?
Here's the abstract for The influence of bedpartners on the sleep-wake cycle by Kloesch G. , Dittami J. P. , Keckeis M. , Machatchke I. & Zeitlhofer J.

Introduction: So far only a few studies (e. g. Meadows et al 2005) have focused on the interrelationship between bedpartners and its effect on sleep and sleep quality. Previous studies were either restricted to women's perceptions and experiences of sleep (Hislop et al 2003) or to interaction between parents and children.

Method: The current investigation examined how sleep and sleep quality is influenced by the presence and absence of the bedpartner over a period of four weeks. Couples were young unmarried students (mean age: 25; range: 22 - 26) with no children and no history of sleep disturbances. All subjects filled in the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), a standardized sleep anamnesis inventory as well as the MEQ- questionnaire to evaluate morning- or evening- chronotypes. Sleep-wake patterns were continuously monitored by wrist-worn actigraphs and all subjects completed a sleep diary including a standardized self-rating scale for subjective sleep and awakening quality every morning. During the investigation period subjects were instructed to spend at least 10 nights together and 10 separately.

Results: Preliminary results from three couples (out of 10) show a significant reduction of subjective sleep and awakening quality in the co-sleeping condition as compared to the nights slept alone. This tendency was observed in females as well as in males. Co-sleeping also reduced objective (calculated by actigraphs) and subjective sleep efficiency (sleep log data) with a more pronounced reduction in females. When sleeping alone women have more sleep epochs associated with movements than men. In nights spent together in both females and males the mean activity score increased but the changes were not significant.

Discussion: The current investigation examines both gender differences during sleep/wakefulness and the physiological and psychological impact each partner has on the other during sleep.
20th Jul, 2006 15:44 (UTC)
Re: isn't the internet fabulous?
It's strange that the eight seems to have been replaced by ten. And the reported results are only from three.

I don't have any problems with the validity of the project itself (as far as I can determine based only on the abstract and the various reports) but I do think the language could have been more conservative in attribution of the results. I'd interpret that it's just the participants being referred to at this point, but I suppose it could be ambiguous.
20th Jul, 2006 16:28 (UTC)
Odd, isn't it? Perhaps it takes a long time to process the actigraph data, as he took the full moon study to press before any of the physiological data was in.

I grumble at both studies producing controversial results from limited data:

1. Contrary to popular belief, the full moon does not disturb sleep.

2. Contrary to popular belief, co-sleeping is bad for men and not for women.

Pfff, well. Funding for a larger study may follow, given the press excitement it's generated. All the "well I'd better kick the wife out of the bed then" comments on the Daily Mail article suggests it's research very much in the public interest ...
20th Jul, 2006 18:30 (UTC)
I suppose what I find a bit sad, really, is the banality of the research that 'the public' will supposedly find interesting enough to be reported in the popular press.
20th Jul, 2006 18:58 (UTC)
Agreed ... I just wonder when someone will fund research into this sort of thing.
20th Jul, 2006 14:13 (UTC)
ah, it's probably a bit harsh of me to criticise him
After all, his last bit of research (seeing whether the full moon had an effect on sleeping disorders*) used a sample of 391.

* It doesn't.
20th Jul, 2006 14:17 (UTC)
ah well
Publishing research is about putting it out for critique in any case.
20th Jul, 2006 14:20 (UTC)
Eight unmarried couples in their twenties? And where they were from? I also could ask questions about control groups and so on but that would be just my nitpicking.

I wonder if this will end up in improbable_blog?
20th Jul, 2006 15:26 (UTC)
Ah, that explains why I'm so clear-thinking at work these days, with Larissa thousands of miles away ... no, I don't think of her at all during the day, nope, not at all. Ridiculous!
20th Jul, 2006 16:53 (UTC)
>Historically, we have never been meant to sleep in the same bed as each other. It is a bizarre thing to do.

Not shy of loading a rather odd evolutionary argument (pluckd from prejudice rather than evidence) onto it, is he?
Is car-driving also contra-indicated, since 'historially' we didn't do that either? Not that I do, but by the same reasoning, blogging itself is unnatural and bizarre. No wonder we're all a bit confused.
20th Jul, 2006 18:21 (UTC)
to be fair
that wasn't anyone connected to the study. Neil Stanley's a local sleeping expert with a powerful media presence. That said, I did think the quotes he gave in the article were pretty bizarre -- I mean, sleeping in beds together (and, indeed, sharing beds with pets, farm animals and incontinent aunty mabel) is something people used to do more than they do nowadadays.

20th Jul, 2006 16:54 (UTC)
I have known about the evil succubi effect for some time. It's not Lorna's fault of course, and I am not convinced sex would help.
20th Jul, 2006 19:56 (UTC)
Wow! More Totally Scientific Proof that women are not only evil, we can undermine men WHILE WE SLEEP.


I also wonder, see, that since, well, from the people I know who've participated in sleep studies, and considering the age profile of this lot, how many of the participants did it to fund more bong hits?
21st Jul, 2006 14:56 (UTC)
This ludicrous piece of research shall fit in with my current mode of 'not getting any', until it no longer serves its purpose.
23rd Jul, 2006 09:41 (UTC)
Is it the men or is it the women?
They need to determine whether it is women sucking out men’s brains, or just that men cannot sleep in company? They need to do control studies with men sleeping with men to see if their brains leak out regardless of the sex of their co-sleeper, and women sleeping with women to see whether the brain suck works on both of them simultaneously or cancels out or what.
25th Jul, 2006 22:31 (UTC)
Re: Is it the men or is it the women?
23rd Jul, 2006 15:37 (UTC)
Are you as stupid as you sound?
Hello. I just read your jeering post about Professor Kloesch. I see in your picture that you look like someone at the local convenience store.

For your information, women suck the energy out of men while they sleep. Your succubi comment, which you think is funny, is exactly factually correct.

If you were smart, you would take that knowledge and employ it in your life to protect yourself. Reading your blog post, I am certain that you will look for other people who know much more than you do so you can ridicule and jeer them.

You really ought to be smarter before you go shooting your mouth off.
25th Jul, 2006 22:41 (UTC)
Just a troll?

Disappointing. Last time I got researchers and everything.

.... and if you'd looked through the comments rather than just shouting your mouth off, you'd have seen that we discussed research methodology, the stage the research was at, whether or not the top-line results published were optimistic, and reproduced the abstract of the paper in full.

And, like most people, I do spend time in convenience stores -- although I don't need to wear mad goggles to do so.
26th Jul, 2006 12:53 (UTC)
Looking at that post and especially this:
"Your succubi comment, which you think is funny, is exactly factually correct......If you were smart, you would take that knowledge and employ it in your life to protect yourself"
it reads like he's, er, confused about your gender. Also batshit insane in a worrying god-tells-me-to-kill-women kind of way.
24th Jul, 2006 09:21 (UTC)
Happy Birthday
AND Happy Birthday (1)
( 28 worms — Feed the birds )