Why More Couples Are Sleeping Solo
Updated: Jul 26, 2019
You start the night in the same bed, but retreat to different rooms when the struggle sets in. Or you’ve fallen into a pattern of only sleeping together on the weekends, when it doesn’t matter how refreshed you are in the morning. You may wonder if this is normal - but an estimated one in four couples sleep in separate rooms or beds. Here’s why more couples are choosing to sleep solo.
Your partner seems to make as much noise as possible getting ready in the morning, or just needs to flick on the lights at dawn. If you and your partner have different or even opposite schedules, it may be impossible to find a middle ground. Sleeping apart squashes a very avoidable fight each morning. Plus, it can offer a rare moment of free time for busy couples. Many end up using that extra hour to exercise, pursue passion projects or get ahead on their day - which is just energy you’ll bring back to your relationship.
One of you prefers the room pitch black while the other likes dozing off to Netflix. Or maybe your beloved insists on jacking up the AC just to pile on the blankets. It doesn’t help trying to ignore body heat or getting your circulation cut off from cuddling. If you wake easily, have insomnia, or simply fall asleep under different conditions, you may find yourselves choosing to sleep apart.
Snoring is one of the most consistent complaints about sharing a bed. It’s often caused by enlarged tonsils or adenoids, nasal polyps, deviated septum, allergies and inflammation. Snoring can lead to headaches, confusion, and interrupted sleep for both you and your partner. Many may feel like they have to put up with snoring to have a normal relationship - something that just sows resentment when you’re falling asleep at your desk.
When ScaryMommy contributor Caila Smith revealed that she and her husband sleep in separate beds, she was unapologetic in saying doesn’t exactly crave human contact after wrangling the kids all day. And it’s not just married people and parents: thanks in part to the insane real estate market, many young couples find themselves grappling with how to blend lives. And more are finding that they like keeping some things, like personal space, the same as before.
Why Good Sleep Is So Essential
It’s said that falling asleep next to someone makes you happier, healthier and protects you against early mortality, and the conversations that happen in bed are critical to building trust. (Oxytocin has enjoyed a reputation in the press as the cuddle hormone because it’s thought to promote feelings of contentment and bonding.) But lack of sleep - often resulting from the compromises we make every day - has myriad consequences for health and wellness.
Cognitive function: Lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep is proven to hurt memory, concentration and performance on daily tasks.
Blood pressure: It also predisposes you to a host of diseases and early aging, including hypertension.
Mood: Everyone knows what it feels like to wake up refreshed versus not. In addition to regular irritability, chronic sleep issues have been linked to depression and anxiety.
Is it Okay to Sleep Separately?
Many wonder if it’s normal to sleep in different rooms, and are thus less likely to discuss it. They may feel like friends will think there’s trouble at home. There’s also the assumption that if you’re not sharing a bed, you’re not sleeping together - or at the very least the spontaneity has left your sex life. But as numerous trend pieces will point out, you feel even more connected with your spouse when you’re not sleep-deprived.
One partner may fear asking for a "sleep divorce" will signal deeper problems to their significant other. In some cases, sleeping apart could be putting off a conversation about other issues. (For one thing, it’s easier to storm off when you don’t have to share a bed later.) What’s most important is that the decision be mutual and beneficial to both parties. As people feel less like they have to explain themselves and conform to prescribed norms, more couples are creating the kind of home life they truly want.
Breathe your Best
Using a nighttime breathing aid can reduce snoring and help you (and your partner) get better sleep. Here at HALE, we’re developing a product for improved nasal breathing that works day and night. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram @wear_hale, Twitter @wear_hale, and sign up to our mailing list to follow our progress to launch!