In recent years there has been a growing trend toward couples sleeping in separate beds during the night. I remember when television couples slept is separate beds. Do you remember Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore? How about Dezi Arnaz and Lucille Ball? Both of those popular television personalities slept in separate beds on the screen. Their reasons had more to do with the culture of the day, rather than any personal incompatibilities.
However, in 2005, the National Sleep Foundation did a survey in which 25% of the couples polled said that they sleep in separate beds or bedrooms. Speaking as someone who suffers from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) I can testify to the reality of frustration my wife experiences when I have a difficult night of symptoms. In fact, there are many nights that I end up on the couch or in the guest bedroom so that my wife can get a good night’s sleep. Here are some thoughts on whether or not it is healthy for a relationship to have partners sleep in separate beds or rooms.
Do Separate Beds Affect Intimacy?
A big concern is about what will happen to intimacy if we don’t sleep in the same bed? Well, for one thing, simply sleeping in separate beds does not mean that you can’t start off in the same bed. Not only that, but intimacy need not always occur before bedtime. There are other creative ways and times to inject intimacy into a relationship. We are talking about sleeping, not sex.
Can Separate Beds Benefit a Relationship?
Let me ask you some questions. Have you ever slept in the bed with a partner who snored loudly all night long? Have you ever been kicked repeatedly by a spouse who flails around in their sleep? Have you ever woken up frozen solid while your partner lays wrapped up in the blankets they pulled off from you?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then I would say that there is at least a chance those things are creating stress in the relationship. Again, I have experienced my wife’s bad mood as a result of my legs jumping around for hours after she is trying to go to sleep. RLS leads to a restless condition and the constant movement of your legs to alleviate the symptoms can definitely keep your partner awake. Therefore, it could definitely be worth peace in the relationship to sleep in separate beds.
Separate Beds, Separate Rooms?
There is no reason to assume that separate beds means that you must be in separate rooms. It could work out very well simply to have two separate twin beds in the same room. Let’s face it; when you sleep in the same bed, you don’t get much more than a twin bed sized area to sleep on anyway, so what difference would it really make.
Not the Best, but not Necessarily Bad
I am not saying that sleeping in separate beds or bedrooms is the best thing for a relationship. I am saying that there are times when it may simply be the best thing at that time. It would be far better to sleep in separate beds and wake rested, then to struggle to sleep with a partner who is incompatible only to wake up irritated and sleepy. Separate beds don’t make or break a relationship. Commitment is the necessary ingredient to any relationship, and if you are committed to loving the other person, then your sleeping arraignments can be overcome quite easily.