Why Sleeping Separately Could Help You Save Your Marriage
Sleeping together has long been a symbol of love, unity and prosperity of a relationship. When we first start dating someone that we really like, we all incline towards that moment when you both move in together, start sleeping in the same bed and waking up next to each other. It’s really romantic when you think of it that way – and that is exactly the problem. Romanticism has potentially done more harm than good when it comes to relationships, because it doesn’t really work in the real world.
Sure, a lot of couples are able to get by just fine sleeping in the same bed, and kudos to them. But whatever the reason may be that it’s getting you thinking that you might want to start sleeping apart from your partner, you’re not as crazy as you might think. The truth is, a lot of happy couples are perfectly content with sleeping in separate beds, and their married life hasn’t suffered because of it at all. Today I want to explore that particular topic a bit more, and in doing so I will hopefully help you make a decision that could improve the quality of your married life and get even closer with your spouse.
The Prejudice Involved
Humans are social creatures, and this means that it’s natural to care what other people think. No one wants to be branded a freak and a weirdo, which is why many people aren’t inclined to even suggest to their spouse that they might be better off sleeping together. Once you make this decision and start telling people about it, you’ll probably get a lot of weird looks, and immediately the conversation will go to your sex life (because, you know, the only place you and your partner are allowed to have intercourse is the bed – before bedtime).
This can be very uncomfortable for a lot of people, especially since the social pressure for sleeping together is so great. You see it everywhere, on TV, on all kinds of advertisements – a happy couple in bed is the default symbol of happiness within a relationship. However, if you really want to improve the quality of your married life, and sleeping with your spouse is keeping you from doing that, you shouldn’t care what other people think, and here are just a few reasons why you should consider doing it.
The Importance of Sleep
Getting enough sleep, especially when the kids come around is paramount to maintaining a healthy, functional relationship, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or have no idea what they’re talking about. Scientists don’t yet know why we require sleep at all and why we need so much of it, but it is obvious from empirical evidence that depriving ourselves of it is a bad idea.
First of all, a lack of sleep affects your immune system, which means that your body isn’t as good at fighting off viruses and bacteria and so you’ll ultimately get sick if you don’t sleep enough. This is why we always feel tired when we catch a bug – our bodies are telling us to rest and strengthen the immune system as much as possible, so we can get rid of the illness as fast as possible.
Sleeping less than five hours per night has shown to have a profoundly negative effect on heart health, so if you have a history of heart disease in your family losing sleep is something you definitely don’t want to be doing. And let’s not even get started how your mind and psyche suffer from a lack of sleep; have you ever tried to go to work after pulling an all-nighter? I have, and I can tell you that even the most mundane and simple tasks like adding up a few numbers become a struggle, simply because your mind hasn’t had time to rest from all the stuff you’ve had to focus on the previous day.
If you’re suffering from any or all of these ill effects that a lack of sleep can cause, it becomes very difficult to hold down a functional relationship. And if sleeping with your spouse is the cause of that lack of sleep, then it makes perfect sense to decide on sleeping apart from each other.
Snoring, “Active Sleepers” and Different Bedtimes
There are several reasons why some couples decide on sleeping apart. The first and most obvious one is snoring. For the last fifteen years I’ve been living a very healthy lifestyle; I’m eating well, I’m sleeping as much as I need to, I stay away from situations that cause excess stress, I spend a lot of time outside, I get a lot of exercise – and yet, I can’t stop snoring no matter what I try. Now this is not a big problem for me, but it was for my husband before we decided on sleeping in separate rooms. My snoring is so loud at times that I’ve actually gotten complaints from my neighbors! I’m not kidding.
Needless to say that it’s almost impossible for someone to fall asleep next to me if I start to snore like this, so the only solution for our particular situation was to set up another bed in the living room, which my husband now sleeps in. We still have cuddle time and we’re extremely affectionate with each other, and we even lay in the same bed until we decide that we want to fall asleep, at which point he leaves the room and goes to sleep in his own bed. This has done only good things for our relationship, so I really don’t see anything wrong with it.
The second reason is that one of you might be just a bit too active during sleep, tossing and turning so much that the other person can’t get a minute of shut eye. I’ve heard stories of people actually getting physically hurt, getting kicked in the groin or in the teeth by their overly active, unconscious spouse. This can be very troublesome, and no matter how big the bed is, this kind of stuff can still happen.
And finally, even if none of you snore, even if you’re perfectly peaceful while you slumber, maybe it just isn’t practical for you two to sleep in the same bed. Maybe you work opposite shifts or simply have radically different bedtimes. Sleeping in the same bed can cause a wide array of problems in such a situation, such as the other person not being able to do virtually anything in the same room because the other person is sleeping while you are awake. This is especially problematic if you don’t have a dedicated bedroom and sleep in your living room or something along those lines.
Sleeping in different beds as a married couple is definitely not one of the most popular ways to handle that particular situation, but it can be extremely effective, and from personal experience I can say it could help you improve the quality of your marriage and develop a more intimate bond with your spouse. It’s understandably hard to stray away from all the prejudice about not sleeping together, but just remember that it is, indeed, prejudice and nothing more.
No two relationships are the same nor do they work the same, so even if you’re the only two people in the world who sleep apart (you’re not), if it works for you, then why should you care what other people think? Your health, your happiness, and ultimately even the happiness of your children is what matters the most, and nothing should get in the way of that. I wish you the best of luck and hope that your marriage thrives, whether you decide to split the beds up or keep them together. Until next time!
Vanessa Davis is a former personal trainer, mother of two and blog writer at www.diet.st. When she isn’t writing she usually spends her free time playing with her children and her dogs.