can change, sometimes easily and sometimes with difficulty.
"My boyfriend was almost appalled when we spent our first night together and I wanted to share my comforter with him," said 29-year-old Katja from Hamburg. But despite his reaction, she didn't get the guest comforter out.
"Today we almost always sleep under one cover."
Stefan and Maja in Duesseldorf have been sharing one cover for 12 years. Nothing else would suit them. "It's so cozy," they said glowingly.
Their agreement on the matter, however, is unique among couples.
"Most marriages should fail based on the fact that individual partners have different biorhythms," said Heinrich Becker, leader of the sleep laboratory at Marburg's university clinic.
Christoph Schraivogel, who runs the Internet portal www.schlafkampagne.de, is convinced that it is wishful thinking that two people can sleep restfully under one cover.
And there are good reasons for that.
"For many people, closeness during sleep is simply uncomfortable and it affects peaceful sleep," said Werner Cassel, a psychologist at the Marburg sleep laboratory.
Many people are extremely restless at night and suffer from restless leg syndrome, which causes pain and constant twitching in the legs. Their muscles also become sore.
Basse said it could be very bad for relationships.
"People who don't sleep well overnight and feel knocked out when they wake up possibly will direct their irritability toward their partner," he explained.
That's why sleep experts highly recommend a sleep routine.
"Particularly when the sleep habits are very different, partners can reach an understanding that they go to bed together, cuddle for a while and then slide over to their respective side of the bed and under their own cover," Cassel advises, adding that separate bedrooms are not disastrous to a relationship.
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