It’s safe to say that stress and anxiety has been high for many across the globe over the past two years. Everything about our day during the pandemic was turned upside down, from where we work, where our kids do school to, yes, even our sleep. “Sleep divorces” became more and more common during the pandemic.
According to a UK-based survey, many decided that sleeping in separate beds during this time was best for them. In another survey, nearly 35 percent of Americans said that the pandemic was the reason they considered buying a separate bed. During those initial days of heightened anxiety and working from home, many couples realized sleeping separately was the answer to getting better rest.
Up until the 1950s, sleeping in separate beds was actually the norm. In fact, Victorian doctors warned patients that sharing a bed could drain the energy of the “weaker” sleeper. Today, this arrangement is typically associated with less intimacy, lost love and a damaged relationship. However, the pandemic quickly rebranded this definition.
Sleep specialist Sophie Bostock, PhD. explains that “Sleeping alone is associated with less movement during the night and fewer awakenings. The quality of sleep and relationships are closely linked. Couples who sleep well are less likely to argue, whereas sleep deprivation makes you more likely to have conflict.”
However, as the world begins to return to “normal” and people resume work at their offices and kids are back in school, couples may find these sleep arrangements leave them feeling disconnected from each other. Now is a great time to re-establish sleeping together and ending the “sleep divorce”.
If you feel sleeping apart is driving a wedge in your relationship, experts say these few tips will help you strengthen your relationship while also supporting good sleep habits.
- Pinpoint major issues. Ask yourself, are there issues that are making it difficult to sleep together? Insomnia? Sleep apnea?
- Be willing to modify. If an issue like snoring or temperature is behind poor sleep, there might be ways you can adjust so you can both sleep well. For example, you could find a mattress that allows you to modify comfort levels.
- Test out sleeping arrangements. If one arrangement is not working well, try another. For some couples, continuing to sleep separately may simply be the best solution.
All in all, any arrangement that allows you both to sleep well – while also fortifying your relationship – is the best arrangement. There really is no one-size-fits-all sleeping arrangement for all couples. In the words of Lauri Leadley, clinical sleep educator from Arizona, “A good night’s sleep is paramount to a productive day.”
Blair Thomas has been a music producer, bouncer, screenwriter and for over a decade has been the proud Co-Founder of eMerchantBroker, the highest rated dating merchant account processor in the country. He has climbed in the Himalayas, survived a hurricane, and lived on a gold mine in the Yukon. He currently calls Thailand his home with a lifetime collection of his favorite books.