You love your significant other and it’s your differences that make everything work. Their hatred of tomatoes means you get extra in your salad, and the fact that they’re always warm means they can give you their jacket. But differences stop being cute when sleep is involved. He’s a furnace, she’s a blanket hog. She snores, he moves too much. Suddenly, you’re watching I Love Lucy and dreaming of the days when couples had separate beds.
Many Americans, an estimated 30%, are getting a “sleep divorce.”
A sleep divorce isn’t as scary as it sounds. Couples are kissing each other goodnight and heading to separate rooms more often these days to enjoy a quality night’s sleep alone. In fact, there was a 50% increase in requests for a double-master suite in homes built in 2016 and though there are other reasons to consider, it would seem that there is a correlation. It may seem drastic to some, but it can actually save relationships. An estimated 10% of people say that they have ended or would end a relationship over irreconcilable sleep habits, says Bed Times Magazine.
Before taking the plunge into your own bed, identify the issues. Everyone falls asleep differently. Some people like to read in bed before calling it a night, others need to fall asleep with the TV on. Maybe a sleep mask or ear plugs are all that’s needed? Maybe there’s a compromise to be made on your wind-down habits? If not, don’t worry, there are tons of benefits to sleeping alone.
Benefits of Sleeping Alone:
- Sleep studies that measure brain-wave activity show that couples who share a bed tend to have worse quality sleep when compared to their single-sleeping counterparts.
- A lack of sleep can have negative effects on your relationships. Research shows that people who have low quality sleep show less gratitude, are more likely to show signs of selfishness, and have less appreciation for their partners overall.
- Beyond that, the benefits of a good night sleep encompass so many aspects outside of your relationship. Everything from weight gain to brain function can be tied to your sleep habits.
Benefits of Sleeping With A Partner:
But there’s definitely still a case for sharing a bed. Research shows that sleeping with your partner helps with much more than just getting a good night’s sleep.
- It lowers stress hormones, which helps to elevate your mood.
- Increases feelings of intimacy.
- Help’s to produce hormones like oxytocin, known to increase bonding and feelings of love.
- Men are shown to sleep more soundly when next to their partner and women are more likely to fall asleep faster when snuggled up to their sweetie.
Despite the rise of interest and the apparent benefits, there’s a taboo associated with sleeping apart. It seems to send up red flags to people outside of the relationship. A lot of it has to do with our cultural short hand. In media, couples who are shown sleeping apart are doing so due to relationship issues. A small fight and the husband will camp out on the couch, something more and one half of the couple will move into a separate bedroom. If you think that a sleep divorce is the right choice for your relationship then give it a try. Between the potential benefits and the studies supporting it, why not? And if you get lonely, your partner is just a bedroom away.
If you want to read a firsthand account, The Chicago Tribune has a fantastic article about a couple who are happily married while being sleep-divorced.