My husband and I have lived together for 8 years, and for 7 of those years, we have slept in different beds. No, it’s not because we fight a lot or because we have kids; we don’t. It’s just how we like it. It seems like it’s not a big deal, right? Who cares if you sleep in different rooms or don’t take trips together? Happiness is the most important thing. But when you make your own rules for your marriage, you might run into stereotypes that make you feel like you’re doing everything wrong.
On the bright side, I’ve decided to talk about why we like to sleep this way and what benefits it gives us. I’ll also talk about how our friends and family have reacted to it.
How everything began
My husband and I have been sleeping in different rooms for 7 years, and we’re happier for it.
I once woke up alone in my bed. And I was sure that I had gone to bed with my boyfriend. When I sneaked into the room next door, he was sound asleep on the couch. I said to myself, “Okay, I’ll deal with this in the morning.”
The next morning at breakfast, we talked about:
I couldn’t find you last night. Why did you go to the other room?
I couldn’t sleep, you know. You were turning and twisting and breathing loudly, and every time you moved, you woke me up.
Hmm, okay. I had no idea. I breathed so loud.
The next night, the same thing took place. We went to sleep together but woke up on our own. So I knew we needed to talk about it.
During our talk, we realised that we had trouble sleeping together. My boyfriend could remember all the times we fought because he hadn’t slept enough: he snored, I woke him up, he hadn’t slept enough, and he was angry. When I snored, he sometimes woke me up, and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Often, one of us would wake up because it was too hot or because the other got up to drink some water. Once, I had a weird dream in which I poked my boyfriend right in the eye.
Also, we found out that we slept at completely different times. I had a very flexible work plan at the time, so I was most active in the evenings and nights. I could watch films and read books until midnight, and I got up between 9 and 10 in the morning. And my boyfriend had to be at work by 9 a.m., so getting a good night’s sleep was very important. But because sleeping together caused problems, neither of us could sleep more than 6-7 hours at a time. Because of this, he and I both got more angry, tired, and nervous.
So we decided it would be best for us to sleep in different rooms. Luckily, we had enough space. I’ll be honest: at first, I didn’t agree with my boyfriend that we should sleep in different rooms. I was used to people sleeping together, so it was a little strange for me. After 25 years of marriage, my parents started sleeping in different rooms. And my boyfriend felt great. He went to sleep faster, woke up easily, made us breakfast, and went to work with a smile on his face.
Finally, we quit fighting almost completely. Most of the things that made us fight went away, and we both became much calmer in general. Also, we started working together a lot better. Before, it was hard for both of us to get up and get ourselves together.
What the science says
I chose to read something scientific about this question, and I found a book called Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing by sociology professor Paul C. Rosenblatt. He came to the conclusion that sleeping together often leads to psychological problems and can even cause insomnia or other illnesses. The scientist talked to a lot of married couples and found that the bedroom is often the “centre of tension in the house.” So, couples often fight about little things like whether or not it’s okay to let pets sleep in the bed or whether or not it’s normal to eat or smoke in bed.
A lot of fights also start because someone is sleeping, watching TV, fighting over the blanket, or their phone screen is too bright. Lastly, couples often argue about how hot or cold the bedroom should be. Some people like it hot, while others like it cold. The professor says that most problems can be easily solved by sleeping in different rooms, but people can’t get over the idea that it’s more natural to sleep together.
Dr. Neil Stanley, another sleep expert, spoke at the British Science Festival and said, “Sleep is selfish. Don’t tell anyone else.”
Psychologists also say that sharing a bed with someone is an annoyance for men’s minds. It is in their nature to keep an enemy away from where they sleep. So, if a man is sleeping with someone, he can’t fully unwind. When people sleep together, their nervous systems can’t rest, and they can’t get a good night’s sleep. And it’s not as bad for women as it is for men. It’s easier for women to deal with these problems than for men, who find it much easier to sleep alone. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but my boyfriend found it to be true.
The horrors of women’s boards
People still think that if a husband and wife sleep in different beds, it’s the first sign that something is wrong with their marriage. Or, having different blankets is the first sign that this relationship is over, and having different beds is the clearest sign that it is.
I found out this from online groups for women, where everyone agreed that sleeping in different rooms is a terrible idea. How did the talks go? “What about sex?” What about using a spoon? Here’s a standard answer to this kind of question:
After reading a lot of these notes, I realised that we still hold on to the old ideas about sleeping together. Our grandmothers believed in different signs and myths that could break up a marriage. Some people will remember this for sure: don’t go to sleep until you’ve found peace. They tried to use a simple rule of thumb: if most people do it, it must be right. It’s a shock to sleep in different rooms or not go on vacation together.
I used to think that nothing could surprise me about relationships in the 21st century, but I was so wrong! Still, it’s very important to sleep in the same bed with the same blanket.
The cases of well-known peopl
Also, it turns out that a lot of people in the US want to sleep in different rooms. A study showed that about 31% of the people asked would like to sleep in different rooms. According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, almost one in four American couples sleep in different bedrooms or beds.
I also learned that many famous people like to sleep alone. George and Amal Clooney, for example, choose to sleep in different rooms. George snores very loudly, and Amal never gets a very deep sleep.
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones also chose to sleep in different beds. Catherine once said that she didn’t want to look ugly in front of her husband, so she and Michael agreed to sleep in different rooms. Who knows? Maybe this is why they’ve been married for 19 years and are still happy.
Changes that are good
In the seven years that my husband and I have been sleeping in separate rooms, our lives have gotten a lot better, and our relationship hasn’t gotten worse. Plus, we got married after about 5 years of sleeping in different places. I think that having our own rooms not only helps us sleep better but also makes us more independent, since everyone sometimes wants to be alone.
I really don’t think I could fall asleep while touching someone at this point. Even if I love someone, that doesn’t mean I want to sleep in the same bed as them. For me, sex and sleep have nothing to do with each other when it comes to sex. I don’t know where the idea that you should have sex before bed came from. But before we go to sleep, we usually go into each other’s rooms, kiss each other, and say goodbye. Also, we just lie in bed and hug all day to make up for not being able to touch each other.
If we are going on vacation, we don’t book two separate rooms; we sleep in the same room. But if we can, we try to book a place with two single beds. Also, when you’re on vacation, it’s not as important to get enough sleep. You can always take a nap on the beach or at some other time.
What about the people we know? They are broken up into two groups. Some of them were pretty doubtful and said it would be hard for them to fall asleep without hugging their partner. “Wow, this is cool!” said the others. We can’t try that because we live in a small flat.”
With our family, it was a little harder. My husband’s mother was very sad and said it’s too bad that we can’t sleep together anymore. My mother told me, “You can live however you want, but if you come to visit us, bring two sets of bedsheets.”
The most important thing I’ve learned is that every couple is different and that there is no one right way to start a family. If you don’t feel good and you know how to make things better, talk to your partner. Talk a lot, but don’t get upset. Explain your position. Just don’t do it in the middle of a fight, because that will only make things worse.
I know this may seem like a no-brainer, but many people have forgotten how important it is for a couple to talk about things. Make sure your partner knows that your choice has nothing to do with him or her and that you just prefer it this way. Try to get your partner to understand you. If one person in a relationship doesn’t like this idea, you might try to find a middle ground, like sleeping in different beds a few nights a week.
What do you think about sleeping this way? Tell us what you think in the comments area.