Throughout history, people have been searching for that one secret to a perfect marriage. Well, it might not be what you think!
A recent segment on ABC’s Good Morning America showcased the growing trend of couples sleeping apart in separate beds, and some even in different rooms. The success of those infomercial-heavy sleep number beds should give you a clue: two bodies in one bed can make it hard to get the rest you want.
Often, different bedtime preferences, like the temperature or the hour of “lights out” (not to mention the snoring!) can make sleeping with your mate a real source of stress. While sharing a bed is necessary for certain other… ahem… marital activities, some couples are tossing the conventional wisdom that says you have to fall asleep together.
Arianne and Nate, newlyweds from Portland, told Good Morning America they sleep separately to “protect each others' solitude.” In fact, the couple says, it keeps them close. The arrangement allows Arianne to read as late as she wants, and Nate can play guitar in his own “sanctuary.”
This couple is not alone! A recent study from Ryerson University in Toronto found that 30 to 40% of couples are sleeping apart. The study also monitored brain activity during sleep, concluding that couples who sleep together actually don’t get as deep of sleep when there is someone moving around next to them.
This trend is on the rise. BBC News has reported that the National Association of Home Builders predicted that by next year, 60% of home builders will request two master bedrooms.
Hollywood is on the bandwagon as well, where some big-name couples are rumored to be sleeping apart (or used to). These are stars like Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, Ryan O’Neill and Farrah Fawcett, and Kevin Jonas and Danielle Deleasa.
(Be warned, though – sleeping separately might not be the fix-all: the now-divorced Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes also reportedly retired to their own private sanctuaries while married.)
Perhaps the most difficult barrier to couples sleeping apart is the notion that to do so means a loss of intimacy, or at least an outward sign that the marriage is struggling. Yet consider that if one sleeps better on their own due to less distractions or interruptions, they will wake up rested and happy! Sleeping in separate beds or even rooms may be the sign of a modern couple who does what is best for themselves as well as their partner.
Anyone who sleeps with a partner knows that despite the sweet cuddling and intimate night-time chats, snoring, tossing and turning and even sleepwalking can interrupt a good, restful sleep! Well, now you know you’re not alone if you think separate beds or rooms might be the solution. Keep those lights on and play your guitar to your heart’s content – just keep communicating!