What would be the first thought that would come to your mind when you hear someone saying that they are having sleep divorce?
Oh no! Divorce can be so stressful but wait, what is sleep divorce and is it the same as the divorce that we all know? There can be many ideas rushing to your mind right now about its true meaning and why married couples are doing it.
Still curious about how this works and for what reason? Then read through.
What is sleep divorce?
When you hear the word sleep divorce, some may think that it’s all about sleeping with your husband during divorce process but it’s not like that.
Sleep divorce refers to the unusual sleeping arrangement of couples wherein they are sleeping in a separate bed. There are even couples who choose to sleep in different rooms.
According to many couples, this arrangement allows them to sleep peacefully at their own time and in an environment that suits their needs the best.
The idea here is to do whatever a healthy couple does, like have hobbies, eat together, watch movies together, and even cuddle but when you have to go to bed, you don’t sleep together in the same bed and instead, sleep in different rooms.
This is what sleep divorce meaning is all about. For someone who has heard this for the first time would even wonder about the reason why this is being done and if there are benefits to it.
What leads to sleep divorce?
This arrangement is starting to be a common practice for most couples due to a lot of good reasons.
For one, it is for their health. As mentioned, some people find it hard to sleep due to snoring (or even sleep apnea), night kicking, blanket hogging, and body heat. As a result, they wake up feeling cranky, exhausted and just plain irritable.
As we all know, getting quality sleep every day is vital for our health and not getting the amount of sleep that you need can cause you (and even your relationship) to struggle in a lot of ways.
In addition to health, another important reason would be the difference in schedules. Despite being together for so long, there is still a chance that you are working on different schedules. There will be times when your partner would like to sleep, but you still want to watch TV or need to work.
Another reason would be the difference in your partner’s sleeping preferences. Maybe your partner sleeps better in a soft bed, but you find it hard to sleep in that kind of bed because it is too wobbly for you. Or maybe your partner likes sleeping with the lights on, but that can be a hindrance for you.
What percent of married couples sleep in separate beds?
If you are wondering what percent of married couples sleep in separate beds, you’d be surprised to know that based on a recent survey, one in every four couples would rather sleep in different beds than sleep together with their spouses.
It may not be something that is being openly talked about but knowing how many married couples sleep in separate beds and finding the reason behind it is indeed a surprise.
Survey also shows that some marriages end up in divorce simply because they are sleep deprived or are being disturbed by loud snoring and frequent tossing and turning and even body heat. You can’t underestimate the power of an uninterrupted good night sleep.
Many couples who practice sleep divorce are amazed by how it has made them even stronger as a couple and if you’re wondering if this will affect their sexual intimacy – you’re wrong.
It just doesn’t give you great sex life but also gives you more time to cuddle because you practically miss each other’s hugs.
Who should consider a sleep divorce?
If you are facing certain compatibility issues in your relationship and wish to solve them, here’s why sleep divorce is the right choice for some time.
1. If you both need more room to move
So, let’s begin with the fact that we’re all different. Some couples love spooning and cuddling during sleep, and they may even feel comfortable on a standard Queen bed.
However, if you and your spouse prefer to stretch a lot, even the biggest mattress size might feel uncomfortable for you.
See for yourself:
The width of a King-sized bed is 76 inches. When you divide this number in two, you get 38 inches, which is how wide a Twin bed is! Twin could be an option in guest rooms or trailers, but it may not work as a regular sleeping place for an average adult.
Even if Twin seems big enough for you, consider that your partner doesn’t remain motionless on their side of the bed throughout the night. They might unintentionally occupy your part, leaving you less room for finding a comfortable position.
With that being said, getting a separate bed will allow you to sleep in whichever pose you like, without worrying about accidentally pushing your partner or kicking them out of bed.
“The modern tradition of co-sleeping isn’t that old: it has begun only after the Industrial Revolution, because of the rapid population growth in big cities. And before that, sleeping separately was quite a common thing.”
The next reason that may make you want to consider buying separate beds is the difference in mattress preferences. For example, you love more cushioning, and your partner is a fan of a firm bed.
In fact, some mattress manufacturers allow you to solve this issue:
By buying a split mattress that consists of two separate, customizable halves;
By purchasing a double-sided mattress, where each half has its own firmness and overall feel.
One of these solutions may help you eliminate the difference in preferences; but if your partner is a restless sleeper and you’re a sensitive one, chances are sooner or later you’ll accumulate sleep debt.
Chronic sleep deprivation may pose a lot of threats to your health, such as obesity, hypertension, and even increased risks of a heart attack.
Both of these conditions require treatment. But the fact is, if you or your partner snore it’s harmful to both.
The measured snoring loudness usually falls in the range between 60 and 90 dB, which is equal to normal talking or the sound of a chainsaw respectively.
And no one wants to sleep next to the working chainsaw.
Thus, sleeping apart can be considered if you or your partner is a loud snorer. But note that it should be a temporary solution combined with the treatment of this condition.
“The National Sleep Foundation survey showed that about 26% of respondents lose some sleep due to their partner’s sleeping problems. If your spouse is a loud snorer, you may lose about 49 minutes of sleep per night.”
4. If you want to revive your sex life
Separate sleeping scares away many young couples who believe that it would adversely affect their intimacy.
But things are quite interesting here:
If you’re sleep-deprived, the last thing you want to do is to have sex. Sleep deprivation decreases libido in both men and women and may be the reason why couples might lose interest in each other over time.
Proper rest, on the other hand, gives you more energy to turn on the love connection.
Last but not least, you might even become more creative in your romantic fantasies. Sleeping apart may eliminate the feeling of annoyance — which many couples get during the years of sleeping in one bed — and can become the magic potion that recharges your sex life.
After all, kings and queens have done this for ages, so why shouldn’t you?
5. Different chronotype? Problem solved
Marriage changes a lot of things in your daily life, but not your circadian rhythms.
There are two main chronotypes:
Early birds, or larks — people who tend to wake up early (often at sunrise) and go to bed in early hours (before 10-11 pm);
Night owls — these individuals usually go to bed at 0 – 1 am and tend to wake up late.
Typically, women are more likely to be larks than men. However, researchers consider that everyone can become a lark in a month, given proper conditions.
Anyway, if sleeping habits of couples collide, this can ruin the day for both the partners. Even if you try to be quiet and not to wake up your loved one.
In this case, sleeping in separate beds — or even rooms— can be the right solution for the impending sleep crisis.
6. Cooler sleep is better sleep
One more thing to make you consider sleeping apart is your partner’s body temperature. While this can come in handy during colder seasons, you will hardly be excited about cuddling on hot summer nights.
Well, hot sleeping can lead to sleep disruptions because our body temperature usually drops during the night to allow melatonin production. If it doesn’t happen, you may experience more prolonged sleep onset and even insomnia.
So, if your partner is a hot sleeper and a big hugger, then it may be challenging for both of you. That’s where couples sleeping separately come in.
3 Signs that you need sleep divorce
If you are someone who knows how hard it is to have a good night’s rest and you’re thinking that sleeping in different beds would work best for you and your spouse, then check out the signs that you’re indeed ready for the practice of sleeping in separate bedrooms divorce.
You have different sleeping schedules
Either one of you prefers sleeping in the morning and the other one early at night. Sleeping together can be hard when your spouse is turning the lights on to read or tossing and turning. Couples sleeping in separate beds won’t have this problem because they can get the peace and quiet that they need on the time they need it.
One of you suffers from disrupted sleep, snoring etc.
Ever wonder how hard it is to sleep if your spouse snores loudly or have you experienced waking up in the wee hours of the night because of your partner’s tossing and turning or just the irritable feel of body heat in a hot night?
Disrupted sleep can have drastic bad effects in our health.
Different preferences in your sleeping environment
What if you like sleeping lights on and your partner hates that? Who would adjust? What if you like sleeping with lots of pillows and your partner gets irritated by it? We all have different sleeping preferences and having your partner or spouse get irritated by it can cause problems as well.
Is sleep divorce healthy for your relationship?
It is healthy and welcome if both the partners agree and are facing some issues together.
For sure, a practical divorce is not and must not be the solution but if both the partners have certain compatibility issues and are willing to make things work, this arrangement can help them on many levels without having to worry a lot about the future of the relationship.
6 Benefits of practicing sleep divorce
Now that you’re beginning to see just how cool the arrangement is, you’d be surprised to know the many benefits that this can give not just to you but to your health and marriage as well.
Sleep divorce can give you amazing results. Who could have thought that sleeping in different beds can give you and your marriage so many benefits?
Rule is, your bed and your sleeping time – your rules. This is why this arrangement has been developed. Imagine getting a good 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep? Imagine being able to choose whether the light is on or off? Wouldn’t that be inviting?
It can also give couples a time-off too. When you’re having arguments or just plain irritated with each other, sleeping together and hearing them snore can escalate the issue but if you are not sleeping in the same bed. This gives you the needed space and time for that feeling to go away. Tomorrow, you’ll wake up refreshed and happy.
If you are practicing such a divorce then you’re most likely to have a habit of sleeping a full 6-8 hours of sleep then what would you expect?
Expect a livelier, more energetic you! This can already do wonders for your health and this is something that couples who practice this are so happy about.
Expect a steamier sex life. This is true! Expect it to be more exciting because you’re not sleeping together in one bed and that ultimately makes you miss each other. This may be something to be considered as a bonus of not sleeping together in the same bed.
Even if you already have a wife or a husband, there will still come to a point when you would crave for some “me” time. No matter how amazing your relationship is, you still need a time out from time to time.
A night sleeping away from your partner may give you the alone time that you need.
How do you have a successful “sleep divorce”?
A note to remember for those who will practice sleep divorce.
Make sure that you still bond together as a couple and make sure that you don’t drift apart while practicing it.
The reason for this is because some people might take this in a different way where they are no longer connected with each other and might start drifting apart from their partner.
Couples need to understand the reason and role of this action. Sleep divorce is just allowing a married couple to sleep in different beds or better, in different rooms where each one can choose when to sleep and how they sleep.
You may not be sleeping in the same bed but your marriage should stay stronger than ever. Dr. Phil McGraw shares his tips for a successful and happy marriage and how relationship therapy is an important aspect of the solution.
Also watch: Dr. Phil’s Secret to a Happy Marriage
Tips for keeping intimacy alive while sleep divorce
While you both are sleeping in separate beds or are planning to, you might fear this would kill the intimacy between you two. Fret not. The purpose is to keep the passion and intimacy alive and if you both are convinced, things will definitely work in your favour.
Here are a few things to keep the intimacy alive during such a divorce:
Make sure you get cosy during the awake time. This will ensure a healthy intimacy and avoid the mess when one partner is feeling sleepy during the night
Talk about the relationship. The more you talk about the relationship, the more you’ll understand the weaknesses and work on it.
Continue your usual routine just the way you did earlier. Go on dates, movies, adventure parks and keep the thrill alive.
Always greet your partner with sweet words and ‘I love you’ before signing off to bed.
Every once in a while, make sure you go to your partner in the morning and give them a nice cuddle to wake them up
When you sleep together, all you have to do is to roll over and your partner is already there. The intimate moments would not be too special anymore since your partner is always just there.
When you sleep in separate beds, you will intentionally look for opportunities to touch and be intimate with one another. You will exert more effort in seeking out your husband or wife for intimacy and each intimate moment will be a lot more special than before.
Sleep divorce may seem unnatural but believe me when I say, that this will lead to more passionate sex. After all, your energy levels will be high.
With all of that being said, it may look like separate sleeping is a universal solution.
Well, not exactly.
Sleeping apart is a choice, not a necessity
Although it can polish some edges in your relationship, sharing a bed remains one of the best ways to get intimate and enjoy the company of each other, especially if you have kids or different working schedules.
The key to a good relationship is to experiment with your partner. Try out different things to see which would work out for you. Do what works best for both of you. Overall, it’s all about what makes you feel happy and comfortable.
As long as you are both in agreement, you do not have to worry about what other people have to say!
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.