New Better Sleep Council Canada survey uncovers a battle of the sexes in
TORONTO, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - When the clocks turn back on November 2nd for
Daylight Saving time, we all have a precious extra hour that night. But what
will we do with it?
New Better Sleep Council Canada research shows that given the choice,
44 per cent of Canadians would choose to get some extra sleep while an equal
44 per cent would choose to use the hour for more sex. But when it comes to
gender, more than half of women (55 per cent) would opt for sleep compared to
31 per cent of men, while nearly six-in-ten (57 per cent) of men would prefer
to be having sex (versus 32 per cent for women).
"The battle of the sexes has become a battle over sleep or sex," says
couples counsellor Karen Hirscheimer, on behalf of the Better Sleep Council
Canada. "This is a common theme in many relationships, and left unchecked it
can turn the bedroom into more of a battleground than a love den. Canadians
should take this time of year to think about what they can do to make the most
of their time in bed, whether it's for sleep or sex."
"What is surprising is that we so often hear about people feeling
dissatisfied with their sex life, and 45 per cent of Canadians say having more
time would help them have better sex. But now with an extra hour, many are
turning it down in favour of more sleep. This speaks to how sleep deprived our
culture has become," says Hirscheimer.
Sleep and sex: a vicious relationship cycle
According to the survey, a whopping 81 per cent of Canadians say they are
disrupted by their partner's sleep behaviour, and three-quarters (73 per cent)
say their relationship is affected by a poor night's sleep. Just under half
(45 per cent) said they are likely to be rude or impatient with their partner
after a bad night's sleep.
The tension continues as women believe they are more mindful of their
partner's ability to get a good night's sleep - 75 per cent believe so,
compared to just 23 per cent of men who believe they are more considerate than
Given that more than half of women (58 per cent) say they are less
interested in sex after a poor night's sleep (compared to 43 per cent of men),
infringing on the other's ability to sleep does not help the matter.
"In a healthy relationship, sleep and sex should work together," said
Hirscheimer. "I see this with my patients all the time. If you're not having
sex, you lose energy and intimacy and become more irritable. And if you're
tired all the time, there's a good chance you'll be too tired for sex.
It's a vicious cycle. Not only is sleep important for your health, it's a
key factor in your relationship."
Bedroom as sanctuary...or is it?
Seven-in-ten (68 per cent) Canadians consider their bedroom a sanctuary
from life's demands, suggesting that part of the solution to the sleep/sex
dilemma is to focus on the bedroom itself.
But almost one third of Canadians are already sleeping separately from
their partner all or some of the time to get a better night's sleep -
11 per cent are permanently in separate beds and 20 per cent sometimes move to
the couch or another bed during the night.
Sixty-two per cent say a better bed would improve their quality of sleep,
and a full quarter of Canadians say a better bed would improve their sex life.
Since the bed is typically the focal point of your room, and Canadians
spend one-third of their lives on top of it, this suggests more attention
should be paid to this critical piece of furniture.
"Your bedroom should be designed for sleep and sex, that's it," says
Hirscheimer. "So get rid of the stairmaster, laptop and turn off the TV. And
because sleep is so important to maintaining a good mood and high energy
levels, if a couple's bed isn't comfortable or big enough for both of them,
they need to address this. It should help you sleep when you need it and have
the most enjoyable sex when you're having it."
Hirscheimer offers the following tips for better bedroom time:
- Be mindful of your partner's sleep habits. Try to synchronize your
internal clocks by going to bed at the same time each night, and even
on weekends. Figure out the best sleep positions that won't wake each
- Talk about your needs. If one wants to sleep and the other have sex,
talk about it and find a compromise.
- Find ways to wind down before bed. Turn off the day's worries with
bedtime rituals that will make you more relaxed and inclined to sleep
or be intimate, like taking a bath or listening to music.
- Keep conflict out of the bedroom. The old saying of not going to bed
angry really applies here.
- Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Your bedroom should be used for sleep
and sex, that's it. Get rid of the clutter, decorate with soothing
colours and make sure it is cool, dark and quiet; the best conditions
- Invest in your bed. Check it regularly to ensure it's comfortable
enough that you'll want to spend quality time in it when you can. A
mattress should be replaced every 8 to 10 years.
Other survey results
- Women consider themselves to be more mindful of their partner's
ability to get a good night's sleep - 75 per cent believe so,
compared to just 23 per cent of men who believe they are more
considerate than women.
- Those in Ontario (49 per cent), BC (48 per cent) and Alberta
(47 per cent) are most likely to prefer sleep), while those in Quebec
are most likely to prefer sex (52 per cent).
- Women (71 per cent) are more likely to agree that their bedroom is a
sanctuary (versus 55 per cent of man).
- What would make Canadians' sex lives more exciting? Top 5 include:
more time (45 per cent), less stress (43 per cent),
no kids (15 per cent), bigger bed (11 per cent), better mattress
(8 per cent).
To learn more about how to get a better night's sleep, visit
Attention Editors and Photo Editors:
- Regional poll results available
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ANIK F2C3B from 1:25 - 1:55 p.m. EDT
About the survey
The survey was conducted for the Better Sleep Council Canada by Leger
Marketing. As part of a national Omnibus survey, 1670 Canadian adults answered
an online survey between October 7th and October 13th, 2008. Results from a
sample this size can be considered accurate to within +/-2.4%, 19 times out of
About the Better Sleep Council Canada
Established in 2002, The Better Sleep Council Canada is committed to
educating Canadians about the importance of sleep to good health and quality
of life and to promote the value that a better quality mattress and foundation
can bring when regularly replaced within the sleep environment. The Better
Sleep Council Canada is comprised of over 450 manufacturers, retailers and
component suppliers from the mattress industry.
For further information:
For further information: Catharine Marion or Meredith Adolph, Environics
Communications, (416) 969-2809 or (416) 969-2667, firstname.lastname@example.org,