“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.”
— E. Joseph Cossman
For decades, married couples have been told ‘never go to bed angry.’ But, now, collected research might lead couples to receive the advice to never share the same bed. Indeed, many couples are now undergoing a ‘sleep divorce,’ in which they keep separate bedrooms while still staying married.
Sharing a bed has always been a traditional part of married life, but many people are starting to reexamine this convention. Research has shown that sleep disturbances can lead couples to have increased levels of conflict the next day, and that many people report poorer sleep as a result of sharing a bed with their partner. No wonder many people are now opting for separate bedrooms, even leading to a new design trend of ‘master’ and ‘mistress’ bedrooms in home-building.
However, I think that couples should be cautious when considering separate beds.
Yes, sleep is very important for your mental and physical health, and yes, many couples have sleep disturbances as a result of their partner–but before you get a sleep divorce, you should be very careful to safeguard your relationship against the possible fallout.
After all, night time is one of the rare times couples spend together alone, especially if they have children and other family members in the home. Indeed, this is the most popular time for intimacy, and losing a common bed could mean losing out on your sexual connection.
So, if you’re desperate for a better night’s sleep and want a separate bedroom, by all means, give it a try but do so with a solid plan. For example, set a time each night where you and your partner will lay in bed together and snuggle – without the television on or your phones out—in which you can cuddle and talk and be intimate if you desire. Or make a plan to do so in the morning before you both start your day. You need to be proactive about carving out time for just the two of you if you are going to lose out on this nightly time together.
And, before considering separate beds, try and troubleshoot other ways to limit your sleep disturbances. This could mean updating to a better mattress, getting a sound machine, compromising on the thermostat, or even exercising and losing weight to help combat snoring. Talking to an ENT specialist to troubleshoot snoring problems is a great idea as well. Most importantly, talk to your doctor about issues like sleep apnea as this could be a sign of serious health concerns.
What do you think? Do you ever sleep separately from your partner, or is sharing a bed part of your beloved nighttime routine?
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