It’s certainly important that you and your older man spend quality time together in order for your May-December romance to grow and flourish, but it doesn’t end when you call it a night. Many studies have shown that what happens under the covers is equally important—and we’re not just talking about sex. Everything from your sleeping positions to what happens immediately after sex can actually have a significant impact on your May-December romance. Here are a few things to keep in mind once the lights go out.
• Sleep Distance: How far apart you and your older man sleep may be an indicator of how satisfied you are with your May-December romance. According to a recent scientific study, couples who sleep closer together (less than one inch apart) are much more likely to be happy compared to couples who sleep farther than 30 inches apart.
• Power of Touch: The same study above that looked at sleep distance also revealed interesting findings about how touch can impact your May-December romance. Overall, touching while sleeping drastically improved relationship satisfaction, regardless of sleep position (back to back, facing each other, or facing the same direction.) A whopping 94% of couples who made physical content during sleep reported feeling happy with their relationship, compared to only 68% who didn’t touch in the middle of the night. Couples who slept face-to-face while touching were found to be most satisfied with their relationships. Keep in mind this is when you first fall asleep—so it’s OK if you end up moving apart throughout the night.
• Snuggling after Sex: A 2013 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior showed that couples who were affectionate after sex, including cuddling, kissing, spooning, or expressing love for one another, felt more sexually satisfied. This can in turn result in feeling increasingly satisfied with your May-December romance overall. In other words, more post-coital affection means a happier relationship. As one of the co-authors of the study said, couples should “be aware that the period after sex could be particularly important for bonding.” So if you really want your May-December romance to last, stay in bed a little longer.
• In-Sync Bed Times: Having similar sleep schedules can affect how satisfied you are with your May-December romance, according to a 2010 study published in the academic journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Researchers discovered that when the women went to bed at a different time than their partner, they reported feeling less satisfied with their relationship afterward. According to one of the study’s authors, women tend to link relationship functioning with sleep because they’re “more sensitive to the highs and lows of relationships.”
Bernstein, E., “Couples of Different Sleep Schedules Can Expect Conflict—and Adapt,” The Wall Street Journal web site, September 9, 2014; http://goo.gl/u8f2EF.
Heid, M., “How Your Sleep Style Affects Your Relationship,” Shape web site, December 8, 2014; http://goo.gl/3trzYi.
Moriarty, K., “Science Proves Cuddling After Sex is Crucial,” Women’s Health web site, April 30, 2014; http://goo.gl/a6xJTL.