AirTalk for June 24, 2013

Is sleeping apart good for couples? (Poll)

Pam Gradwell/Flickr

Could sleeping in separate beds be better for relationships?

Whether it's because of differing sleeping schedules, uncomfortable beds, or the classic snoring problem, more couples are asking for their own sleeping space. 

National Sleep Foundation surveys have found that the number of couples who sleep in separate bedrooms is increasing. In fact, it's estimated that 25 percent of U.S. couples don't sleep together

We’ve asked our AirTalk listeners to chime in and share their experiences about whether sleeping apart from a significant other has its perks or downsides.

Christopher from Northridge explained to AirTalk that he’s on the other side of the spectrum when it comes to couples sleeping in separate beds for a more restful sleep. He says he is able to get a much better, deeper sleep when he is with his significant other, possibly because of the sense of security or body warmth.

“I guess the reason for that would be is I like the body heat and the warmth – just the connection of someone else. I guess deep REM, it puts me in a much deeper sleep state.”

But there are also couples who have resorted to sleeping in separate beds for the purposes of avoiding loud snores and sensitivity to noise. Marney in Studio City shared her own experiences about sleeping in separate beds:

“My husband and I have slept apart for over 10 years now. It initially started because he was just so temperature-wise very warm. […]  Then he was a snorer, so then he got a CPAP.” 

To get a better night’s sleep, Marney decided to sleep downstairs, causing the couple to not have sex for the past 10 years.

“We don't have sex. Haven't had sex for 10 years. A very lonely [existence], but that's just the way it goes. I think there's a lot of other good things we have and that's one of the collateral damage from it all.”

John in Ontario said he has been sleeping alone for the past three weeks, since his wife was out of the country. He said he has struggled to sleep alone. 

“My wife was out of the country, and she came back yesterday, and I finally got some sleep. This morning I woke up two hours late for work, because I finally slept. It's just not the same when she's not there. In the beginning, we had different sleeping patterns. We developed and became the same. When she came back, it made a big difference to have someone next to you.”

Debbie from Hollywood explained that she and her husband will start off sleeping in the same bed, but they’ll gradually move to another room if they have difficulty sleeping.

“My husband and I will often start in the same bed, and he'll wake up and decide he can't fall asleep and go into another bedroom. So we'll wake up in different rooms, but I don't have any problems with it. I think people do sleep better when they are alone." 

What's your experience of sleeping apart from your spouse or significant other? Is it better for your relationship or does it create distance? Do couples sleep better apart?

With contributions from Monica Luhar 


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