How Sleeping Separately Boosts Relationship Bliss
Some people believe in the concept of a “sleep divorce,” where couples choose to sleep in separate bedrooms for the sake of better sleep quality. This idea has gained the attention of various individuals, including famous actress Cameron Diaz. “To me, I would literally, I have my house, you have yours. We have the family house in the middle. I will go and sleep in my room. You go to sleep in your room. I’m fine,” she said.
Specialists explain why you need to sleep separately.
Sleep specialist, Wendy Troxel, notes a growing trend of couples exploring the benefits of sleeping separately to enhance their overall health. Lack of sleep, as highlighted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is associated with a range of health risks, including diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and dementia.
Troxel emphasizes not only the physical but also the emotional impact of sleep deprivation on relationships. It affects mood, frustration levels, tolerance, empathy, and communication. Dr. Raj Dasgupta, another sleep specialist, adds that sleep loss can lead to reduced empathy and emotional regulation, resulting in miscommunication during conflicts.
You can consider sleeping separately as a “sleep alliance”.
While the idea of a sleep divorce may seem unconventional, Troxel suggests that it can have significant upsides. Research indicates that well-rested individuals are better communicators, happier, more empathic, and even funnier—qualities that are crucial for developing and sustaining strong relationships.
However, before considering a sleep divorce, experts advise ruling out underlying sleep issues. Partners can play a crucial role in identifying sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, or medications that induce insomnia. If a sleep divorce seems imminent, Troxel recommends viewing it as a “sleep alliance” rather than a separation. A well-rested person, according to her research, contributes to a healthier and happier relationship.
Try different ways of sleeping together before a “sleep divorce”.
For those committed to sleeping together, coping tips include elevating the head to reduce snoring, using earplugs or white noise machines, sleeping under different blankets and experimenting with sleep scheduling. Turning a snorer to their side or exploring FDA-approved devices may also help.
Ultimately, if all attempts fail, couples can consider separate bedrooms. Troxel suggests maintaining a connection by establishing pre-bedtime rituals, spending quality time together, and expressing gratitude. A “sleep divorce” doesn’t necessarily mean a permanent separation; couples can customize their sleep strategy based on their unique preferences and needs.
Sometimes people are ashamed to tell a partner that they want to sleep separately.
A lady on Reddit shared that she goes to bed early with her husband, who has to wake up at 4:30 am. She usually doesn’t need to get up until 7 am. “For the past few weeks I’ve been coming to bed with him and laying down until he’s asleep, and because I have a harder time falling asleep, I’ll come out to the living room and scroll through social media, so I avoid waking him up.”
Once she feels tired, she sneaks back into the room, gives him a kiss, and goes to sleep. He hasn’t noticed yet. She thinks that going to bed with him and making sure he’s comfortable has made him more affectionate.
She’s unsure if she should tell him she only goes to bed with him because it makes him happy. It turned out that she is not the only one who cuddles with a partner before sleeping and then goes to sleep separately.
Ultimately, whether a couple chooses to sleep together or not, the key to a thriving family dynamic lies in fostering peace and ensuring everyone enjoys a good night’s sleep. The quality of relationships and overall well-being should take precedence over conforming to traditional sleeping arrangements. Open communication, understanding, and a shared commitment to each other’s comfort contribute significantly to a healthy family life. By prioritizing everyone’s need for restful sleep and maintaining harmony within the household, couples can create a nurturing environment that supports both individual happiness and collective well-being.
The evolving conversation around sleep and relationships underscores the importance of prioritizing individual well-being to nurture a healthier and more fulfilling partnership. Couples are encouraged to explore various strategies, keeping in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving a harmonious balance between shared and separate sleep spaces.