Separate bedrooms may not be the most romantic idea, but couples who sleep together in the same bed are more likely to suffer snoring, tossing, turning and other nocturnal disturbances. These sleep disruptions can lead to health problems, sexual dysfunction and even fights. The idea of separate beds to prevent divorce might be something to sleep on.
Did Lucy and Ricky Have it Right?
Should we return to the “I Love Lucy” days of separate beds? The idea is gaining fans. The more secure partners feel in their relationship, the more comfortable they tend to be with the idea of sleeping separately.
“Happy, long-term couples are more inclined to have well-developed communication skills and patterns, which are key to making separate sleeping arrangements work.”
A 2016 Paracelsus Private Medical University in Nuremberg, Germany, showed that sleep issues and relationship problems tend to occur simultaneously and that a partner’s sleepless night caused by snorting and other disturbances can result in conflicts in the relationship the next day.
In fact, a 2012 survey by the Better Sleep Council showed that one in four couples sleeps separately for a better night’s sleep. Yet 46 percent of Americans polled last year said they wished they could sleep apart from their partner.
Florida No-Fault Divorce
I’ve written about no fault divorce before. No-fault laws are the result of trying to change the way divorces played out in court. The official term for divorce in Florida is “dissolution of marriage”, and you don’t need fault as a ground for divorce.
Florida abolished fault as a ground for divorce. This means you no longer have to prove a reason for the divorce, like loud snoring. Instead, you just need to state under oath that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.”
In Florida no fault laws have reduced the number of sleep-deprived couples who felt the need to resort to exaggerations about loud snoring, lies about nocturnal kicking, and other false allegations about husbands in trial testimony.
Separate Beds & Counting Sheep
Some say that gender also plays a role. “It’s usually the wife or girlfriend who favors the idea of separate beds. Women are more sensitive to their bed mate’s bad habits and pregnancy and hormonal changes or problems can cause them to want to sleep alone.
The his-and-her bedroom backdrop from “I Love Lucy,” in the 1950’s, might have been one of the first times many saw a married couple in separate beds, but it is not an unusual concept for happy sleeping.
“We started sleeping separately when I was pregnant with our first child. I would toss and turn and not get enough sleep, so on occasion I would sleep in the spare room,” said one 41-year-old woman from Brisbane.
“Once I was pregnant with our second baby, one of us would sleep in the spare room to ensure we both got a good night’s sleep,” she said. “My husband’s snoring and blanket-hogging frustrated me when I was very tired and I would sometimes wake him up to tell him to stop, which of course he didn’t appreciate. It wasn’t until years later that it became more routine.”
Separate sleeping arrangements can include pairing side by side beds of similar size, having a smaller plus a larger bed in the room that the couple could share when they want to be intimate, or designating nights in a spare room. Separate bedrooms are another option.
Being open and honest with your partner about why you want to sleep separately is essential. “What’s equally as important to why you want to sleep apart is how you plan to ensure intimacy is retained in the relationship.”
Healthy couples who sleep separately can be as happy as healthy couples who sleep together. “They seem to have as good a sex life as couples who share the same bed. They feel very close to their partner. Maybe it’s because they respect each other’s personal space.”
For couples not ready for separate sleeping domains, a happy medium could be met with the right sleep solution. Investing in an adjustable mattress that accommodates both partners sleeping needs or pushing together two separate mattresses can help solve conflicts while still allowing a couple to remain close.
The New York Times article is here.