Can sleeping in separate beds actually do good for your marriage, instead of harm? A group of British researchers has questioned the traditional view that married partners should sleep in the same bed, stating that there is no reason that a couple can’t cuddle and talk in one bed, and then move over into a separate bed or room to go to sleep. If they feel rambunctious during the night or morning, there’s also no reason why they can’t just hop over into their spouse’s bed for a little playtime.
Counselors say that it is good to fall asleep after making some kind of physical contact. This helps express mutual attraction and reduce feelings of abandonment or rejection, and in some cases can be a form of sexual release for a couple who’s too tired to actually do the deed. They also say that it promotes mutual feelings of closeness, which will allow a couple the chance to initiate deeper talks and have more opportunity to share intimate and personal thoughts before sleep, or immediately upon waking.
Marriage counselors say that sleeping apart pushes relationships towards the “roommate zone,” while researchers bring up the fact that it was the pre-industrial revolution that required couples to sleep together in the first place in order to save space. Today, with family homes stretching beyond 3,000 square feet, there is no reason that we can’t retire to our own sleeping quarters. Here are a few statistics showing the prevalence of couples sleeping in separate rooms.
• 1 in 4 couples will sleep in separate rooms (sofa, dog house, etc.) on occasion, due to an argument or disturbance of sleep in one form or another.
• 3 in 10 couples, according to a National Sleep Foundation poll, sleep in separate rooms the majority of the time.
• 40 percent of couples age 70 and older sleep in separate rooms in order to ensure the best night’s sleep possible. Researchers suggest that the security of these long-time relationships resists any feelings of rejection or loneliness.
• 60 percent of all new homes built in 2015 will feature accommodations for two master bedrooms, so that each individual in the relationship can retire to their own sleeping quarters at the end of the day. This statistic comes from the National Home Builders Association.
The final message here is that if your relationship is suffering from sleep disturbances, then sleeping in separate rooms may just save your marriage… or even your life! In extreme cases, where one individual is disturbing as much as an hour of sleep per night of their partner, their risk of stroke, heart disease, depression and even divorce can practically double.
However, with that said, don’t be fooled into thinking that you can solve other relationship difficulties by separating your beds. These might include loss of attraction, disinterest in sex or gradual feelings of falling out of love. These are quite separate problems in a relationship, which will only get worse if you turn away from your spouse. Separate beds are a last resort for couples having troubles getting a good night’s rest, but should never be a crutch for an already crumbling marriage.