After spending many years in Japan, I saw a lot of couples sleeping in separate beds. While it seems common in Asia, couples in the West would feel embarrassed to express that they're sleeping in separate bedrooms. With a low rate of divorce, maybe there is something to learn from this habit in Japan.
What if I told you that it can actually be beneficial for couples to sleep apart? Would you feel more at ease with the idea? It might even boost your libido and improve your sex life!
It's time to free ourselves from the shame and guilt attached to sleeping in separate bedrooms.
Reasons why couples are sleeping in separate bedrooms
For a lot of couples, sleeping apart helps their relationship thrive. Some people just need more time and space to relax at night. Others might find it hard to have quality sleep when they are next to a partner.
Here are a few reasons why couples might choose to sleep in separate beds or separate bedrooms:
Snoring. A partner sensitive to noise might find it hard to fall asleep next to a snoring partner and thus wake up irritated.
Restlessness. Sometimes when anxiety kicks in, it becomes hard to stay still and fall asleep. Moving often in bed might disturb your partner's sleep.
Parasomnia. Sleep terrors or sleepwalking are some of the sleep disorders that might scare and awaken your partner at night.
Frequent trips to the bathroom. If for example, you've had your prostate removed or if you're menstruating, you might want to go frequently to the bathroom.
Heat. Having another warm body next to us makes it sometimes difficult to fall asleep, especially in summer.
Incompatible sleep schedules. Last but not least, some partners can't go to bed at the same time so they want to sleep in separate bedrooms.
Guillermo and Amelia have made the choice to sleep apart for themselves.
Amelia relates, "my husband and I sleep in separate rooms. We do love each other very much and have a passionate sex life. However, we chose to sleep apart. Guillermo is a musician and he’s sensitive to the slightest sound. I tend to move a lot at night and I don't want to wake him up. Better sleep apart than him being grumpy the next day.”
They are one of these many couples who choose to sleep apart. 1 in 4 Americans sleeps in separate beds.
Sleeping in separate bedrooms or in separate beds?
You can choose to share the same bedroom and sleep in a separate bed. This solution works well for couples who just need space, a cooler body temperature, or the freedom to move around in bed.
Or, you could choose to sleep in separate bedrooms. This solution is better for partners whose rest is disturbed by snoring, parasomnia, or need to get out of the room often.
Discuss with your partner and decide what's best for both of you. If you have kids, consistently provide them with assurance since they might wonder why you started sleeping apart.
Are you sleeping in separate bedrooms for the right reasons?
If your relationship is hanging on by a thread and you're sleeping in separate bedrooms, divorce may be right around the corner. If you haven't already, examine and discuss your thoughts, feelings, and needs around the issue or seek help from a couple therapist. Communication is always better than keeping things for yourself and pretending it’s all good.
However, some people who sleep in separate bedrooms have no relationship problems. This choice made their relationship thrive and sustain the stress of daily life. These couples have made this decision out of the comfort and care for the well-being of their partner.
It is time to stop the stigma of sleeping apart and enjoy a good night’s rest!