Many people think that was if a couple sleeps separately, it means they’re having problems. But that’s far from the truth. Sleep is extremely precious – it’s hard to be happy when you’re not well-rested. Without it, we turn irritable and unsatisfied. Our perception of reality becomes distorted, and our body literally starts shutting down. If we’re not taking care of our sleep lives, then our love lives will suffer accordingly.
Sleep is Vital — Sleeping Together is Not
The idea that all couples can harmoniously sleep together is a fantasy. While it sounds ideal to be able to cuddle your partner and wake up together, our individual habits rarely make that a reality. After all, we’re human. We kick, and snore, and talk, and even walk in our sleep. Going to bed at different schedules can also be disruptive. When your partner and you are constantly waking each other up and start the day with a ton of lost sleep, it’s bound to cause or at least add to regular marital problems.
Still, we put ourselves through this ordeal because there’s a stigma attached to it. Couples are afraid to venture to separate beds because they’re afraid it will kill intimacy and turn them into two ships passing in the night. But even though sleeping separately does have its side effects, most of them can be dealt with if you maintain open lines of communication and honesty.
Real Honesty Can Lead to Real Intimacy
By remaining honest, this can be seen as an opportunity to love more deeply and authentically, rather than being seen as another “problem” in the relationship. Sleeping separately requires doing the work and not phoning it in. This isn’t easy, especially when work and kids are part of the equation. Conversations are necessary, otherwise, your sleep divorce might lead to a real one.
And in a way, your sex life can be enhanced by sleeping on your own. It gives you the option of being more intentional and carving out time for intimacy, rather than creating an expectation around bedtime when we’re sometimes stressed, tired, and have other matters on the mind.
Outside of sleeping and intimacy, make an effort to connect for date nights. On weekends, consider sneaking into bed with your significant other in the early morning, or surprising them with breakfast in bed. Perhaps you prefer to have a movie night and fall asleep together, but go into your own bed when you’re ready.
Doing What is Needed for Relationship Health
I’ve been a life-long insomniac and sharing a bed with others has always been difficult for me. My husband is a chronic snorer and night owl, while I’m a consistent early bird. We’ve always lived in small city apartments, so sleeping by oneself wasn’t logistically the easiest. But when our slumber truly suffered, we did what had to be done, so that we wouldn’t be grumpy and take it out on each other the next day. We always remembered this: dozing off on your own doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice affection or intimacy.
And while I would definitely recommend a second bedroom for optimal sleep health, what I really want to focus on is the added pressure of its stigma in society. Drop the self-judgment and embarrassment. Conventional sleeping setups aren’t for everyone, and not falling asleep together doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. In fact, with the right conversations, it can guarantee even more longevity. This doesn’t just apply to sharing a bed. Any feelings of resentment that build up over time in your relationship are potentially destructive.
We all require space and self-care for personal development and relationships. Getting enough beauty rest is the foundation of that. Just remember to keep an open-door policy and get comfortable with long talks. Most importantly? Expect some mixed reactions from others who find out, and take it with a grain of salt. There’s absolutely no shame in reclaiming that much-deserved space.