Why Sleeping Separately Can Improve Marriage
As people get older, things can change a lot in their lives, especially for couples. There are some unexpected issues like changes in the body, snoring, and sleep problems that can really impact how well both partners sleep. When these things happen, some couples might decide that sleeping together isn’t helping them anymore. When married partners start sleeping in separate beds, it’s sometimes called a “sleep divorce.” This idea is supported by many celebrities, such as Victoria Beckham and Cameron Diaz.
Specialists explain why you need to sleep separately.
Sleep specialist, Wendy Troxel, notes a growing trend of couples exploring the benefits of sleeping separately to enhance their overall health. Lack of sleep, as highlighted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is associated with a range of health risks, including diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and dementia.
Troxel emphasizes not only the physical but also the emotional impact of sleep deprivation on relationships. It affects mood, frustration levels, tolerance, empathy, and communication. Dr. Raj Dasgupta, another sleep specialist, adds that sleep loss can lead to reduced empathy and emotional regulation, resulting in miscommunication during conflicts.
You can consider sleeping separately as a “sleep alliance”.
While the idea of a sleep divorce may seem unconventional, Troxel suggests that it can have significant upsides. Research indicates that well-rested individuals are better communicators, happier, more empathic, and even funnier—qualities that are crucial for developing and sustaining strong relationships.
However, before considering a sleep divorce, experts advise ruling out underlying sleep issues. Partners can play a crucial role in identifying sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, or medications that induce insomnia. If a sleep divorce seems imminent, Troxel recommends viewing it as a “sleep alliance” rather than a separation. A well-rested person, according to her research, contributes to a healthier and happier relationship.
Try different ways of sleeping together before a “sleep divorce”.
For those committed to sleeping together, coping tips include elevating the head to reduce snoring, using earplugs or white noise machines, sleeping under different blankets and experimenting with sleep scheduling. Turning a snorer to their side or exploring FDA-approved devices may also help.
Ultimately, if all attempts fail, couples can consider separate bedrooms. Troxel suggests maintaining a connection by establishing pre-bedtime rituals, spending quality time together, and expressing gratitude. A “sleep divorce” doesn’t necessarily mean a permanent separation; couples can customize their sleep strategy based on their unique preferences and needs.
A couple should take into consideration the pros and cons of sleeping separately, but it only them to decide.
Even though sleeping apart might sound unusual to some, this unexpected choice can actually bring many advantages. For couples looking to enhance their sleep, maintain their marriage, and boost their health, sleeping separately can be a game-changer.
Some potential perks of sleeping apart include:
- Feeling more rested
- Having more time alone
- Enjoying more space in bed
- Uninterrupted sleep cycles
- Heightened desire for intimacy
- Reduced arguments about sleep differences
People shared their experience of sleeping separately.
- It was the best decision we ever made. My husband and I are utterly incompatible when it comes to our needs for sleeping. Basically, I need some light in the room and some white noise, and he needs complete darkness and silence. We tried to find a middle ground for years, but there simply wasn’t one. One of us was always cranky and tired. We finally decided to try the separate bedrooms thing and it appeared to be absolutely life-changing. A lot of people think our marriage is in shambles because we sleep in different beds but we don’t give a shit. © Unknown author / Reddit
- Lived together for almost 10 years now and have taken to sleeping in separate rooms for the past year or two. It’s great for the most part. I’m a very light sleeper so him even turning over wakes me up. So much less tired now. I don’t understand why people are so loathe to do this. How much are you actually hanging out with your so in the middle of the night anyway? Separate rooms saves relationships people! Plus you each get your own room to have your own space and decorate how you want! © flyaninnocentlife / Reddit
- I 100% recommend it. My wife and I started sleeping in separate rooms probably seven years ago. At first, we felt guilty about it, as if there was something wrong with our marriage, but the fact is, we are both light sleepers, and my wife likes to zone out on her phone in bed, which kept me awake, and I would start to get anxious about getting enough sleep. We even invested in a king-size bed, which only yielded a marginal improvement in our sleep quality. Then someone gave us a queen-sized bed which we put in our guest room, and I started sleeping there, and instantly our quality of sleep and quality of life improved. It took a long time until we told anyone about it because we didn’t want to be judged but now, we have made peace with it. © dirtybadgermtb / Reddit
The concept of couples sleeping in separate beds or bedrooms is not new. In fact, until the 1970s, fictional couples on television were commonly shown sleeping in separate twin beds instead of sharing one double bed.