“After 7 Years of Sleeping in different beds, We Are Happier as a Couple”

It is important to understand that sleeping apart can also have disadvantages. Sleeping apart can make it difficult for some couples to maintain key aspects of their relationship, such as physical intimacy and closeness.

For seven of the eight years that my husband and I have shared a home, we have slept in separate bedrooms. No, that’s the way we like it; it’s not even because we argue a lot or because we have kids (we don’t). It doesn’t seem like a big deal. Who cares if you don’t go on vacation together or sleep in different bedrooms? The most important factor is to be happy. However, when you set your own rules for your marriage, you may encounter misconceptions that may lead you to believe that you are doing everything wrong.

I decided to discuss why we choose to sleep this way, the benefits it offers us, as well as the reactions of our friends and family, especially for the Bright Side.

How it all began

I once woke up in bed alone. And I was sure beyond any doubt that I had slept with my boyfriend. He was fast asleep on the couch when I crept into the room next to him. Okay, I’ll deal with it in the morning, I told myself.

The next day at breakfast we had a conversation along these lines:

I couldn’t find you last night; why did you go to the other room

You know, I had trouble falling asleep. Every time you turned, twisted, or breathed loudly, I was surprised to wake up.

— Okay, hmm. I didn’t know I let out a loud breath.

The following night the same event happened. We both went to bed at the same time and woke up independently. That’s why I understood that we need to discuss this.

During the chat, we found out that it is difficult for us to sleep together. Because he didn’t sleep, my partner was irritable during all our arguments. He was snoring, I woke him up and he was tired as a result. Sometimes I would snore, and he would wake me up and I couldn’t get back to sleep. Often one of us woke up from the heat or from the other getting up to get a drink of water. I had a strange dream once and I punched my partner in the eye.

Additionally, we found that our sleep schedules were completely different. I had a very flexible working schedule which meant I was most productive in the evenings and at night. I could watch movies and read books until midnight and I got up between nine and ten in the morning. And it was essential for my partner to get a good night’s sleep as he had to be at work by 9 am. However, neither of us could sleep more than 6-7 hours because of the problems that came with sharing a bed. As a result, we are both exhausted, tense, and irritable.

What science says

As a result, we decided it would be best for us to sleep in separate bedrooms; luckily we had plenty of room. I’ll be honest: I first didn’t think my partner and I should sleep in separate rooms. Being used to people sleeping together made it a bit strange for me. It wasn’t until our 25th wedding anniversary that my parents started sleeping in separate rooms. And my lover felt great. He went to bed much quicker, woke up easily, made us breakfast, and was cheerful when he left for work.

In the end, most of the reasons for our disagreements simply disappeared and we both became significantly calmer. We also started working together much more effectively. It used to be hard for both of us to get up and pull ourselves together.

I decided to study a book that looked at this issue scientifically, and eventually came across Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing by sociology professor Paul C. Rosenblatt. He concluded that bed sharing often leads to psychological problems and can even be the cause of insomnia or other disorders. According to a researcher who spoke to many married couples, the bedroom is often “the center of conflict in the family.” As a result, spouses often argue over seemingly insignificant issues such as whether dogs are allowed in bed or whether it is acceptable to eat or smoke in bed.

In addition, many arguments start with snoring, watching TV, and arguing over a blanket, or a flashing smartphone screen. Fourth, couples often argue about the temperature in the bedroom, as some prefer hot and others cold. The professor says that in most cases the problem can be solved simply by separate sleep, but it is difficult for people to overcome the impression that this is more natural.

Dr. Neil Stanley, another sleep specialist, said in a speech he gave at the British Science Festival, “Selfish activities are sleep. Don’t tell anyone.”

According to psychologists, the request to share a bed with someone irritates the psyche of men. They have a natural tendency to defend their sleep from potential adversaries. The male, therefore, finds it difficult to relax at night when someone is around. The problem is that when people sleep next to each other, their nervous systems cannot relax and sleep well. And it is not so unpleasant for women, because they cope with these problems better than men, because sleeping alone is much more comfortable for them. It may or may not be true, but it was true for my guy.

The idea that separate beds for a husband and wife is the first sign that something is wrong with their marriage is still very common. The first indication that this relationship is doomed is different blankets and different bedrooms are the clearest evidence.

Sleeping apart is uncomfortable, everyone on the women’s forums I frequented agreed. What about sex? was one of the reasons. What about using spoons? Here is the traditional answer to this kind of question:

After reading a few of these comments, I realize that we still have outdated myths about bed-sharing. Our grandparents had various superstitions and signals that could end a marriage in their thrall. Don’t go to bed until you’ve made peace – that’s something some people will no doubt remember. They tried to use a straightforward logic that says, “If most people are doing it, it must be the right thing to do.” The shock is having separate beds or not traveling together.

I truly believed that nothing about relationships in the 21st century could shock me, but I was so wrong! The importance of sleeping in the same bed with the same blanket cannot be overstated.

By the way, a lot of Americans seem curious about sleeping apart. Indeed, the study revealed that 31% of respondents preferred to sleep separately. This is in line with data from a National Sleep Foundation survey, which revealed that approximately one in four American couples have separate bedrooms or beds.

I also learned that many famous people prefer to sleep alone. To illustrate, George and Amal Clooney prefer to sleep separately. Amal never sleeps very deeply and George snores extremely loudly which is the cause.

In addition, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones decided to sleep in separate rooms. Catherine once said that she and Michael decided to sleep separately because she did not want to appear unattractive in front of her husband. Who knows, maybe that explains why they had a happy 19-year marriage.

Best possible changes

My husband and I have been sleeping in separate bedrooms for seven years now, and our lives have greatly improved in that time. Our marriage did not deteriorate either. What’s more, after almost five years of separation, we got married. Separate bedrooms, in my opinion, help us sleep better and become more independent, because everyone wants to be alone sometimes.

To be completely honest, I doubt I could fall asleep hugging someone these days. Even if I love someone, it doesn’t always mean I want to share a bed with them. For me, sex and sleep are two completely unrelated activities. I have no idea where the myth that people have sex before bed came from. However, we have a habit of entering each other’s bedrooms right before bed, kissing and saying goodbye. Plus, during the day we just lie in bed and cuddle to make up for the loss of tactile contact.

When we go on vacation, we don’t book two separate rooms; instead, we share one room. If possible, we request a room with two separate beds. It’s also not that important to get enough sleep on vacation because you can always take a nap on the beach or at other times.

What about our friends? They are grouped into two. Some of them expressed skepticism and claimed that they would have a hard time falling asleep without their partner’s hug. Others said, “Wow, that’s great! We can’t try that because of our small apartment.”

With our family, it was a little more complicated. My mother-in-law expressed her sadness and regretted that we could no longer share a bed. Live as you like, but bring two sets of bedding when you come to us, Mother advised.

The most important thing I learned is that every relationship is unique and that there is no one right way to start a family. Talk to your partner if you are uncomfortable and have a clear plan to make things better. Keep your cool and talk a lot. Describe your attitude. Simply avoid it during a heated argument as it will only make the situation worse.

I realize this may seem a bit simple, but many people have forgotten how crucial it is for couples to communicate. Make sure your partner understands that your choice has nothing to do with him personally and is simply what makes you more comfortable. Try to make your partner understand you. If one partner in the relationship does not like this idea, you can try to find accommodation, for example, sometimes sleeping in different rooms.

Couples may also experience pressure from society and cultural norms to believe that their decision not to share a bed or bedroom is inappropriate. It is ultimately up to each individual couple to decide what sleeping arrangements will best suit their relationship and individual requirements, as what works for one couple may not work for another.

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