5 Ways to Know About Sleeping Separately and Living Happily Ever-After
He snores. She reads. He hogs the blanket. She tosses and turns. Couples can share everything very happily and have trouble sharing a bed. Here are 5 things to consider about sleeping in separate rooms and making it work.
The Reason. If you want to try sleeping in separate rooms, it needs to be to improve the quality of your sleep – not because you’re fighting or having sex issues. If marital issues – not sleep issues – are your reason for the move, it’s going to harm the relationship, not help it. However, better sleep can make your relationship better. It can have you both waking up more rested and happier. More importantly, it can keep resentment over your partner’s sleep habits from growing and hurting your relationship.
Forget The Myths. You may feel like moving out of the shared bedroom is somehow a failure. After all, don’t good marriages want to share everything including the bed? And, what will your friends think? One survey found that almost 1/4th of couples who sleep in separate rooms don’t talk about it because they’re afraid people will think their relationship is failing. Get over it. The National Sleep Foundation found that more than 1/3 of respondents said that their partners disturb their sleep. That’s a lot of people who may be sleep deprived. Know you can have a great marriage and a good night’s sleep. Susan Heitler, PHD and clinical psychologist said, “I see lots of clients who sleep in separate bedrooms and have better marriages as a result.”
Decide Together. You wake up and your partner is gone. You start the search. Not on the couch. Not on the floor. Oh, in the guest bedroom! Going on a search may feel a bit like desertion. The best way to decide on separate bedrooms is to do it together. Have a frank talk about what’s keeping you awake which can be anything from different work schedules to different body clocks. Know who is going where and how you’re going to work it out. Solving the problem together is going to strengthen, not harm, your marriage.
What About Cuddle Time? And, that other elephant in the room – sex. Sleeping in separate rooms doesn’t mean losing the good parts of sharing a bed. This is part of what you and your partner are going to discuss. For example, you may set aside a time when you go to bed together. This is the time when you share your day and your thoughts. It’s time for pillow talk. It’s cuddle time. And, time for, well, you know what. However, when one partner rolls over to go to sleep instead of turning on that disturbing reading light or the TV, the other partner retreats to his or her room.
Talk About The Morning. Just as you’ve worked out a bedtime routine, work out a morning schedule. Do you reunite for coffee under the covers? Does one person get to sleep in while the early riser enjoys a quiet cup of coffee and the morning paper before returning for some together-in-bed time? Again, know your expectations and protect the closeness you share. You can bookend together time around your actual sleep time. Be on the same page so there are no hurt feelings.
If you and your partner decide that snoring or restless leg syndrome or opposite schedules make sleeping separately a good idea, remember you both need a good mattress. No fair sending someone off to the guest room and the mattress that used to belong to your grandmother. You can both have the comfort level you like best – firm, medium or soft – and the full support of a latex mattress while you save money by shopping on the Internet. Best of all, your new – or two new – mattresses will be delivered to your door.