According to a 2015 survey by the US-based National Sleep Foundation, one in four couples sleep in separate bedrooms. This figure can actually be higher if it weren’t so ‘taboo’ to disclose that you and your partner do not share a bed. Is this a sign of marriage trouble though, or could it be the best thing that ever happened to you as a couple?
Bottom line, sleep is instrumental to your smooth day-to-day operation. It’s widely known that sleep deprivation causes irritability, mood swings and at times resentment towards the other person for disrupting your night’s sleep.
Not convinced it’s a good idea? Here are some arguments in favour and against.
SLEEP SEPARATELY IF...
You have different body clocks
You may be waking up around the same time that your partner is just about managing to sleep. A disconnect in your sleep/wake times can ruin each other’s rest.
One of you snores intensely
This is probably the primary cause of irritation among couples sleeping in the same bed. If one of the two of you snores, or you both snore and happen to be woken up by the other person’s snoring, it’s near impossible to get the amount of rest you need. Sleeping separately can avoid feelings of frustration and resentment.
You have different sleeping styles
Does your partner like tea and biscuits in bed while watching TV? Do you hate the thought of rolling around in food crumbs while trying to get some shut-eye in a noisy bedroom? Consider how much better you’d both feel if you didn’t make each other feel bad for enjoying different bedroom habits.
There are issues of temperature
He might boil over while she freezes to death, even with a thick quilt and layers of fleece. Contact with fleece causes him to itch and the layers of insulation are making him break into a sweat while she cradles a hot water bottle under all those covers. Sounds familiar? Differences in body temperature are difficult to align, so the best solution here would definitely be separate beds, unless you’re willing to invest in a bed with a magical ability to adjust to different body temperatures.
You need your own space
Social norms dictate that a married couple should sleep in the same bed, but what do social norms know about your need to hang on to your own sleeping space for mental clarity? This means no disrespect towards you partner, in fact, it might actually be a good thing. A good night’s sleep means you’re likely to wake up with a better attitude, which means you’ll argue less and do away with the conflict that comes with your different sleep needs.
DON’T IF YOU THINK IT WILL…
Extinguish your sex life
Sleeping in separate beds should not be the only reason for dwindling bedroom activity, but it also doesn’t necessarily encourage it. Plus, sleeping apart might make you miss out on spontaneous pre-lights-out sex.
Kill your quality time
Sleeping next to each other helps build emotional comfort and closeness that is beneficial to relationships, and time together in bed in the evening might be the only time in the day that you actually get to enjoy some alone time together.
Hamper morning conversations
Not everyone is a morning person so perhaps this doesn’t apply to all couples, but waking up next to your partner each morning is a good way to foster morning conversations, enabling you to connect as a couple.
Discourage conflict resolution
Many couples make it a point to solve issues between them before sleeping to avoid a repetitive pattern of waking up angry at each other. Sleeping apart can cause you to avoid thrashing out your issues before sleeping with the belief that sleeping in separate beds will solve the issues for you.
Make you miss cuddling
One of the best things about sleeping next to each other is that you can cuddle and snuggle liberally and at your own will. Such affectionate gestures helps your brain create oxytocin, which is also a soothing, stress-busting hormone.