Do you ever find out that a couple doesn’t sleep in the same room and the first thing that springs to mind is ‘Uh Oh’. Also known as a sleep divorce, separate sleeping arrangements are a common occurrence in marriages. We tend to presume that a relationship is going south and perhaps some misunderstanding has occurred. But how do couples even get to this sleep arrangement and is it all truly bad news? In this blog we dive into why couples sleep in separate rooms and what does this mean for one’s relationship.
One of the most common reasons couples start sleeping separately is due to one enormous argument that they have yet to find a resolution for. However, these usually don’t go on for too long once both parties have made peace and choose to move forward with their lives. If this situation isn’t resolved, it may eventually lead to couples continuing their separate sleep arrangements thus causing lower intimacy and eventually, drifting apart from each other. In the West, it is usual that sleeping separately is perceived as a symptom of a divorce.
According to a book entitled “A Place Where You Can Be Yourself: A Deeper Look into Houses and Families as Seen in Territorial Studies”, Japan has an unusual percentage (26%) of couples who have separate sleeping arrangements. These percentages peak up to 60% among the age group of those 60 years and above. The author goes on to state that these arrangements set in when mothers start sleeping with infants after childbirth, a long-practiced tradition, and eventually, they never seem to return to the original arrangement. While sleep divorce is a big deal in the West, in cultures like Japan, it’s normalcy.
From our research, we found that most couples stop sleeping together simply because their sleep is being disrupted! This piqued our intrigue, as here in Naturenite, sleep means a great deal to us. What kind of sleep issues could potentially lead to sleep divorce?
One of the most common reasons couples stop sleeping in the same room is that they simply can’t stand their significant other’s loud snores! As adults, every minute of sleep is precious and it’s only natural if one opts for a sleep divorce due to the disruption of noise.
Solution: We advise that you seek medical treatment as snoring could be caused by sleep apnea; also known as blocked airways. Snoring could also be caused by one’s body weight (overweight) and this may require you to lose some pounds. Other solutions would involve your pillow’s height whereby choosing the right pillow, especially an elevated one, could solve snoring. Adjusting your sleep position by sleeping sideways could also be handy. Talk to our pillow specialist to get a recommendation on which pillow is suitable for you!
Your partner is slowly drifting into dreamland and suddenly she feels your bed moving! ‘There goes my sleep!’ A common cause of sleep divorce is when a partner is restless during sleep and tends to move (toss and turn) or start shaking their legs. This especially is a deal-breaker if one is a light sleeper and their partner’s constant movement keeps them awake.
Solution: Restlessness could be an indicator that your partner is dealing with restless leg syndrome which is a symptom of many other conditions like iron deficiency, insomnia, and peripheral neuropathy. Hence, seeking medical help, again, would be of top priority. If your partner generally tends to move a lot, we’d advise opting for a motion reduction mattress. This way, their constant movement goes unnoticed and you can both achieve a win-win situation and avoid a sleep divorce all together!
You feel a kick, an occasional slap, and your partner’s hands are all over your face. A common cause of sleep divorce is when one’s partner tends to hog the bed space during sleep unintentionally.
Solution: There really isn’t much one can do about a sleep hog. If you’re a new couple, we’d advise you to give it some time to allow your partner to adjust with an additional person on their bed. If you’re sleeping on a queen-sized bed, maybe it’s a call for an upgrade!
It’s a warm day outside and sleeping with your partner (especially if you tend to snuggle) the heat has been cranked up even more! The ideal temperature for optimum sleep is 15-22 degrees Celsius and anything above could disrupt both you and your partner’s sleep.
Solution: Set up your air-conditioner temperature or if you don’t have one yet, perhaps it’s time to invest. Using thin blankets could also aid with temperature problems. We personally believe that sleeping on a mattress with good air-ventilation is important.
Now that we’ve discussed what could potentially cause a sleep divorce, let’s look into the pros and cons of a sleep divorce.
A sleep divorce isn’t all bad news and for some couples, it’s actually healthy. If you’ve tried all that you possibly can and your sleep arrangement together isn’t working out, then sleep divorce is optimum. Make sure to communicate with your partner and that both parties are agreeable to the new sleeping arrangement. Every couple is unique in their own way so feel free to make amendments in your relationship that is healthy for you. As we are true sleep-enthusiasts, we support decisions that one takes to ensure they get a good night’s rest. Being sleep deprived opens up to a whole new set of problems, so it’s always advisable to put in the effort and be proactive in ensuring your sleep is taken care of. Here’s an article by HuffPost on how couples have benefitted from a sleep divorce to understand further on how sleep divorces can be good news.
Sleeping together comes with many benefits and by opting for a sleep divorce, you and your partner could be missing out. Sleeping with a partner releases serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine chemicals in one’s body; all of which help boost moods, reduce anxiety and depression and curb inflammation. Sleeping together could also strengthen a couples’ bond and intimacy.
If you’ve decided that a sleep divorce brings more benefit to you and your partner, we suggest that you and your partner make relationship arrangements that still ensures you’re both spending quality time and not forgo your relationship’s intimacy. Communication is key! Taking naps together, spending some time with each other before bedtime are some of the initiatives you can take as a couple.
We care about our community’s sleep qualities and hope that through this blog, we’ve provided some insight on how to create a good relationship with your partner and with sleep. We hope you’ve enjoyed this read and the next time you hear a couple has started sleeping separately; let’s not judge them harshly. Here are some accessories that can improve your overall sleep experience.