You might think the day you and your partner sleep in separate beds signal the end of your relationship. But experts now suggest that ‘sleep divorces’ are the key to a happy partnership.
Before we go any further, let’s quickly discuss what that means exactly. Sleep divorce is viewed differently by every couple. Some might prefer different beds or to sleep in separate rooms altogether. It’s worth noting that it DOES NOT mean the end of romantic relationships!
With that said, having separate bedrooms or adjusted sleep habits between couples has certain benefits, although sleep specialists quickly note that it’s still in the early stages of research.
Sleep plays a hugely important role in our well-being. Not getting enough of it can lead to irritability, loss of focus and overall distress, which translates to our relationships. Whether your partner is the cause of your sleep deprivation or not, when one or both of you aren’t getting enough shut-eye, you immediately jeopardise your relationship.
What is a Sleep Divorce?
A sleep divorce involves couples taking to separate beds to get a good night’s rest. It may eventuate from one partner raising the issue of wanting their own space or be a mutual decision. Either way, if both partners are happy with the decision and believe they’re getting better sleep, relationship experts believe separate sleeping could be the key to long-term happiness.
Causes For a Sleep Divorce
Loud and persistent snoring can prevent partners – particularly light sleepers – from falling asleep for hours and wreak havoc with harmony in the bedroom. What begins as a polite request to hush up can turn into a sleep-deprived rage, causing nocturnal conflict between couples.
With the stresses of day-to-day life already complicating many relationships, the last thing you need is to be barking at each other in the middle of the night or throughout the next day.
As much as 20% of the Australian population suffers from significant insomnia. That means one in five of us cannot fall asleep at night – yowza. Insomnia can be difficult for partners sharing a bed, as one of you is often up late reading with the light on, scrolling on technology, watching TV or restlessly tossing and turning.
The best sleeping environment can help prevent insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. However, your idea of what that environment looks like might differ from your co-sleeping partner. In that case, it’s best to try sleep separation.
Ah, children – the one thing that can single-handedly destroy a couple’s harmonious sleeping arrangements. Once you bring your bundle of joy home, your sleep schedule changes forever, and the effects can leave couples opting to sleep separately.
Whether one of you works night shifts or is particularly fond of watching Game of Thrones re-runs until the early hours, different sleep schedules can cause couples to decide a sleep divorce is on the cards. If an early bird is coupled up with a night owl, it could be time to set up the guest bedroom.
Different temperature preferences
When one person sleeps hot, it can result in a particularly long game of duvet wars in the middle of the night. While one of you needs a thicker, snugglier option to keep out the winter chill, a hot sleeper will find themselves waking regularly feeling flustered. These differences of opinion often lead to the separate beds discussion.
While cuddling and exchanging body heat might seem the sexier option, if you feel that your quality of sleep is affected by your partner’s preferred room temperature, it’s possible to try sleeping separately.
How Does a Sleep Divorce Improve Your Relationship?
Psychologists have found that sleep deprivation makes us more selfish, meaning when we’re tired, we put our own needs above our partner’s. Two tired partners fighting for themselves can make for a lot of conflict in an otherwise happy relationship.
Sleeping separately also encourages couples to actively spend time together and be more present when they are in the same bed or in the same room. By cutting out that limbo time in bed before falling asleep, couples can get on with getting a decent night’s rest and enjoy one another’s company at other times.
Once you break down the stigma of sleeping separately, many find considerable benefits to the new trend.
Does Sleeping Separately Improve Your Sex Life?
Ah, the big question. How do you have sex if you’re sleeping in different rooms? First, a good night’s sleep and being generally well-rested improves one’s sexual desire and makes one more open to some sweet lovemaking. A UK research shows one in four couples are sleeping apart, and 34% said they were having better sex – and more of it.
Many couples said they had started to schedule sex to maintain regular intimacy. Losing out on the skin-to-skin contact before falling asleep meant some couples did find themselves having sex and cuddling less often, so without sounding too much like a sexual Filofax, diarising intimacy could be the key to keeping the flame burning.
Deciding When to Sleep Separately
It’s really a case of personal preference when it comes to sleeping in different rooms or separate beds. It’s a societal norm that we must sleep with our partners, but if it doesn’t work for you, don’t feel you have to.
You know your relationship best, and if you were a better wife, husband or partner when you got better sleep, then you do you. Likewise, if you have no trouble sleeping with your partner, or you still value nighttime closeness above a solid night’s sleep, don’t go setting up the spare bedroom in the hope of improving your relationship. Sleep divorces act as a problem-solver for those experiencing bedtime discord. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
If you do decide to set up camp in the spare bedroom, optimise your night for the best sleep ever with the Ecosa mattress. After all, if you’re sleeping alone, you want it to be worth it, right?