Some find it strange, or even unhealthy. While others swear by it. We are talking about Sleep Divorce. Whether you have heard about it or not, this is a trend that has been around for quite some time. In most cultures long term couples and married couples are thought to share their beds. While this is the common belief, more and more couples are choosing to sleep separately in order to improve the quality of their sleep.
Unlike the name implies, Sleep Divorce when done right, has the potential to not only get couples better rest but also bring them closer together and improve their relationship as a whole. Keep reading to learn more and decide whether sleeping separately is a good idea for you and your partner.
Why Sleep Separately
All couples are different and out of all of the stories we have heard, they all vary a bit as to the reasons why they have chosen to sleep separately.
The reasons typically are a mix of one person becoming a light sleeper due to age, pregnancy, or hormone shifts. With the other typically having issues with snoring, poor sleep hygiene, or a different sleep schedule. It may even be as simple as someone having different preferences in temperature or mattress comfort as their sleep partner. Either way typically both parties mutually benefit from the new sleeping arrangements.
Across the board the leading benefit behind sleep divorce is getting better sleep. Whenever you experience continuously interrupted sleep, your cortisol levels are raised throughout the day making you irritable and stressed.
This can quickly cause extra unnecessary friction between couples. So a typical side effect of getting better sleep is having more patience and less stress between couples. Which is definitely a nice benefit.
Want to know more about the effects of not getting enough sleep? Then you may enjoy reading our post The Importance of Sleep to learn more.
Unhealthy Reasons To Sleep Apart
There are plenty of healthy reasons to sleep apart. However, we believe it is important to note that in order to make a Sleep Divorce happy and successful. The driving reasons behind choosing Sleep Divorce is just as important as how you do it.
If sleeping together has simply become impossible. (Due to constant sleep disruptions, or the inability to fall asleep in the first place due to your sleep partners habits.) Then that is a healthy reason to sleep separately.
However, if you have ill intent (reaching out to others outside the marriage when separate, sneaking out of the house, etc.) or if you are simply sick of spending time with your partner. Then this is likely due to much deeper issues than lack of sleep that need addressing.
How To Bring It Up
If you are unhappy with the quality of sleep you’re getting, and you are considering bringing up the concept of Sleep Divorce to your loved one. Just remember that timing is important. Make sure you are both fully awake and comfortable before broaching the topic.
Attempting to discuss changing sleeping arrangements in the middle of the night when you’re annoyed from being woken up yet again from your partners snoring, is definitely the wrong time. Just like with any other potentially touchy subject, it is important to bring up the concept when you are both even tempered and have the time to discuss it fully and in detail. If either of you are in an emotionally unstable state it may come off as a threat or hurtful to your spouse. Which is (hopefully) not your intent.
If you or your partner have brought up the idea of sleep divorce and either or both of you are feeling uncomfortable about it. Then it may be helpful to seek guidance with a counselor that is familiar with the concept. They may be able to help you both discuss the idea and decipher whether it is a healthy choice for you both.
Intimacy & Sleeping Separately
We so closely relate sex with sleeping, when in fact these are two separate acts. The term “sleeping together” is even used as a phrase in place of having sex with someone. This might blow your mind, but it is possible for couples to sleep separately while continuing to have an active sex life. Some couples have even reported that when sleeping apart they experienced a healthy dose of missing one another. Which allowed them space to yearn for one another and even increased their sex drive.
However, if a couple decides to begin sleeping apart. Then we do suggest taking an active approach to regaining that “lost” intimacy elsewhere. Make a conscious effort to spend extra one on one time together. You could spend your mornings together for breakfast, or have drink together before bed.
It is also important that you both happily welcome one another in your separate bedrooms. By making your sleeping space a welcoming environment to your significant other during waking hours, you are letting them know that it is just the sleep you want to separate from them and not other aspects of your relationship.
Want to continue getting busy in bed? Well we have an article all on the best mattresses for making whoopee. Check out our page Best Mattresses For The Best Sex to read all about it.
How To Do It?
This is truly up to you and your partners discretion. Make it work for the two of you. Just because you sleep separately one night doesn’t mean you have to the next.
You can choose to sleep in separate rooms only on nights before important days that you want to get a lot of rest. Or if you simply want to sleep I Love Lucy style and have two smaller beds side by side. Be open and honest with your needs and figure out what works best for both of you.
How To Avoid It (If You Want To)
While some couples are very secure and comfortable sleeping separately, others are not. Which is totally fine. The good news is there may be other ways to improve your sleep before you completely move to separate bedrooms. We are going to list out a number of different struggles that are often reasons for sleep divorce and then list first steps that might be worth a try before you completely split to different rooms to sleep.
If you’re looking to stay in the same bed, then you might want a mattress made for couples. Check out our list of Best Mattresses For Couples.
The Struggle – Potential Fix
Blanket Hog/Different Heat Preferences –
Try having different top blankets. One for you and one for your love.
Different Comfort Needs –
His & Hers Mattresses either in a Split King or in separate Twin beds.
Motion Sensitivity –
Change mattress to one that is extremely motion transfer dampening. Or separate mattresses may be all you need.
Some people simply enjoy getting a bit of alone time while falling asleep. If you want to sleep in the same bed still, then maybe choosing alternating bedtimes will give you the privacy you desire. Again, talk to your partner honestly about your own desires and needs to determine what works best for both of you.
Difficulty Falling Asleep –
If you have a hard time falling asleep, but after you do you can sleep through anything. Then try to shift your schedules around to allow you to fall asleep first and then your partner can come join you after.
If your partner is a bit stinky, or sweats heavily at night, it isn’t always very fun to sleep next to them. (Sorry sweaty lovers) We suggest requesting your partner showers before bed, this way even if they sweat throughout the night, at least they smell nice.
Want a way to make it more fun? Offer to shower with them. You can even turn it into a nightly couples ritual.
With so many “snore-cures” out there. Most of which are noneffective and expensive. Snoring is one of the leading reasons why couples choose to sleep separately. If you want to keep searching for an alternative solution, then we suggest temporarily sleeping apart only important nights when you really need your rest. Then on all of the other nights you can attempt sleeping next to each other while using one of the many other methods for preventing snoring.
However, we will say that sleeping separately is a fool proof way to get a full nights rest away from loud snoring.
Not getting the sleep you really desire? Check out our blog Sleep Optimization to learn how to get better sleep.
Sleep Divorce – Should You Try It?
The term sleep divorce is far more negative than it needs to be. Whether you’re sleeping in different rooms, different beds, or in the same bed. Sleep divorce only effects your marriage as much as you allow it to.
Falling asleep and staying asleep can be difficult. If your sleep is being interrupted by your partner, then sleeping in different beds might be beneficial to you both. If you and your partner think it might be something worth trying, then we say “go for it!” As long as you stay open and honest with each other, then it just might be a great way to get more rest and potentially even improve your relationship.
Have your tried or are trying out Sleep Divorce with your partner? We would love to hear all about it. Send us an email through our Contact Us page, we would love to hear from you.