Separate Bedrooms, Better Sleep

It sounds so cold. How can I not share a bed with the man I live with? Why wouldn’t every cell in my body cry out to go to sleep and wake up with the love of my life?

It bucks conventional wisdom. It mocks the very idea of living together. So how on Earth did I get here?

Could it be that I kick in my sleep? Or that I snore? Or that he snores? Or hogs the covers? Maybe it’s that we both want to sleep in the middle of the bed. Maybe it’s my tendency to watch TV in the middle of the night. Or even my inability to sleep if I’m touching someone. As you are no doubt surmising, neither one of us is a good SLEEPER.

I spent many nights in the first year of our relationship (before we moved in together) trying to resolve this. I would lie awake in silence because I wanted to watch TV. Or the sound of snoring was literally boring through my soul. I was down to about 1/8 of the mattress and almost rolled off when I moved. For whatever reason, it was just not working. By morning, I was exhausted. So what could we do?

I’ll tell you. Separate bedrooms. It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

According to one survey from the National Sleep Foundation, almost 25% of married couples sleep in separate beds. What the hell is going on here?

I think I know. Let me elaborate on the top 10 benefits I have discovered:

  1. I can go to sleep when I want without being disturbed when he comes to bed.
  2. I can toss and turn without feeling bad about it.
  3. I can get up to pee without waking him.
  4. I can sleep in the middle of the bed (or diagonal) if I want to.
  5. I can use all the pillows.
  6. My restless legs don’t bother anyone.
  7. My snoring does not wake him up and vice versa.
  8. I can wake up and watch TV in the middle of the night without waking him.
  9. I can go to bed mad and not have to share my space when I’m cranky.
  10. I can sleep in without waking up if he gets up before me.

How has it affected the relationship? It’s all good. No impact on our love life (if anything, there are twice as many beds to cuddle in). Nothing but feeling rested in the morning. And I have my own space to go and recharge if I need some me time.

Is it selfish? Maybe.

Is it unusual? Definitely.

But does it make for a better, healthier relationship? Yes. Yes it does.

If you listen to Fox News, they say it will ruin your marriage. But lets face it…they don’t get much right. What would they know about normal human beings?

In fact, it is working so well that we have separate bathrooms and 2 TV rooms, as well. You would think we never spend time together…that isn’t the case. But now, the time we spend together is by choice. Taking time away from each other for a couple of hours at a time is like hitting a reset button. A place to retreat and find quiet — especially to sleep — is becoming a key part of a successful relationship with the person I very much want to spend my life with.

Sure, it’s a delicate balance. Nothing is good if the pendulum swings too far in one direction. But today, this week, this year, it’s working.

It doesn’t mean we can’t share a bed when we want to. It doesn’t mean we aren’t as intimate as other couples. It just means we are smart enough (and honest enough) to admit that we have different needs. That we want our own space sometimes. And clearly that we don’t watch Fox News.

So if you’re like me, you’re thinking pretty hard about this right now. It’s a delicate conversation. But if your significant other feels the same…imagine how this little bit of separatism could bring you closer together.

Weird. Separateness leads to togetherness.

Togetherness leads to happy.

 

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