Marissa Higgins
Updated August 17, 2016

If there’s one thing every single one of us can agree on, it’s that sleep is pretty much sacred. Not only is sleep necessary to stay alive, getting enough sleep is imperative for you to have a healthy body and mind. When you’re not getting enough sleep, or your sleep isn’t restful, this can lead to a lot of negative side effects. Of course, various aspects of your life can cause you to sleep poorly: stress, illness, changing schedules, and mental health can all come into play.

Plus, according to a new study released in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal, if your partner is keeping you up at night, this could be a sign of a problem within your relationship.

Mind you, if your partner is keeping you up by snoring or moving while asleep, that isn’t cause for concern. In fact, these findings don’t have anything to do with your partner’s body at all. As far as lead researcher Dr. Emre Selçuk (a developmental and social psychologist at Middle East Technical University in Turkey) is concerned, these results suggest implications that go beyond your partner snoring too loudly or hogging the covers.

As Dr. Selcuk explains, “Having responsive partners who would be available to protect and comfort us should things go wrong is the most effective way for us humans to reduce anxiety, tension, and arousal.”

Unsurprisingly, feeling safe and secure leads people to a better, deeper sleep. As Dr. Seluck continues, “Our findings show that individuals with responsive partners experience lower anxiety and arousal, which in turn improves their sleep quality.” So a dreamy relationship will essentially lead to even sweeter dreams.

And this study is no joke, either. The research team surveyed 698 married or cohabiting adults between the ages of 35 and 86, suggesting that they got a diverse sample size for their results. All participants filled out surveys about their partners’ responsiveness, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and sleep problems. Taking the study a step further, researchers then had 219 participants participate in a week-long sleep study where researchers could monitor how restful their sleep was. Pretty intense, right?

If you sit back and realize you haven’t been sleeping all that well lately, and none of the usual suspects seem present, it might be time to have a little conversation with your partner – to see if something deeper is on your mind.