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You like a firm mattress. He prefers a pillow top. You stick to your share of the comforter. She monopolizes it like a zero-sum game. If these or other nighttime disturbances and sleep differences are keeping you awake, it might be time to consider a sleep divorce.
It’s not as dramatic as it sounds. A sleep divorce just means you’ve agreed to sleep in separate spaces for the sake of getting deeper, more healthy sleep. And it’s surprisingly common. According to our research, more than 25% of couples are opting for this arrangement. For some, that might mean moving into individual beds in the same room; for others, it could mean sleeping in different rooms to maximize those 40 winks.
Think Lucy and Ricky Ricardo slept in matching twin beds because of strict network television censorship alone? Think again. Believe it or not, as recently as the 1960s nodding off in separate beds was considered in vogue. And if that seems strange, consider that prior to modern times whole families and often their livestock would hit the hay in one place to stay warm and conserve space. Throughout the eras, whatever worked best seems to have been the rule of thumb.
Hoping your love alone will get you through the night? Studies show that over time the benefits of sleeping together can turn negative if healthy sleep is sacrificed. A 2016 study conducted by Paracelsus Private Medical University in Nuremberg, Germany found that sleep issues and relationship problems tend to happen at the same time. Chainsaw snoring that keeps one person up won’t be easily forgiven and forgotten the next morning. Even seemingly smaller incompatibilities like amount of lighting, mismatched schedules or temperature preferences can build up resentment and lead to conflict.
That animosity isn’t unfounded. We all need good sleep to be at our best. Deep, restorative sleep is essential for short-term and long-term health. When we sleep well at night, our body gets to work healing and repairing itself, promoting healthy cognitive functioning and bolstering and supporting our immunity. Without it, a host of issues can emerge. Poor sleep and sleep deprivation can lead to lowered immunity, depression, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, emotional health issues and even car accidents.
No matter what you decide, it’s important that you’re both happy with the situation and feel respected. If you decide to pursue a bedroom breakup, try following the points below:
If you’re still on the fence, consider taking smaller steps instead.
You might be surprised at the big results these small changes can bring.Breaking up in bed could be the answer to a better night’s sleep and a better relationship. Learn why from @BetterSleepOrg.
This blog provides general information about sleep and sleep products. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified heath care professional. This blog should not be construed as medical advice or used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care professional. This blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not be relied upon to make decisions about your health or the health of others. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or elsewhere on bettersleep.org. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
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