In Defense of Sleeping Solo: Couples do sleeping situations in separate beds

Given that we spend a third of our lives sleeping (or trying to sleep), it’s a bit infuriating that society still considers sharing a bed with your partner as the norm for a healthy relationship, with any Any deviation from the standard is seen. as the gateway to separation – the great symbol of ‘uh oh, trouble in heaven’.

Despite the plethora of reasons why someone might be struggling to fall asleep – too much Netflix, noisy neighbors, stressful new job, SO snoring, or simply a clash time pattern – we are expected to suffer from our sleep because of the stigma attached to sleeping alone. It’s correct…

On her Happy Place podcast, Fearne Cotton has spoken openly about her struggles with panic attacks and insomnia, choosing to sleep away from husband Jesse Wood for the best chance of catching precious Zs. that price. Naturally, the tabloids see this as an opportunity to suggest that her marriage is on the rocks. Eyes. Roll.

In 2019, she took to Instagram to set records and defend her relationship. In a heartfelt post, she captioned a photo of herself and her husband: “Dear newspapers, (again) my marriage is NOT on the rocks. This is a picture of me in love with my husband. I’ve been talking about some sleep problems I’ve had lately like sometimes my insomnia is so bad I find it hard to sleep in bed with Jesse. Not because we’re on the rocks or struggling in our marriage, but because when my crazy head gets a little too tight, it likes to cling to weird behavioral or psychological patterns. Sometimes it’s panic attacks triggered while on the highway, sometimes it’s stress insomnia. I’ve really gotten rid of this particular nervous disorder recently and have been sleeping very well. Out of respect for my children and teenage stepchildren, I’d love to think twice about this kind of heartless headline. “

As society values ​​bed-sharing with peak marital happiness and stability, it’s not uncommon for couples with different bedtime routines to choose to keep such issues strictly between sheets. bedspread, fearful of other people’s opinions on their relationship status, however they are completely incorrect. We.

Happy couples share a bed and if it doesn’t, something is definitely wrong in your relationship. So we say: Bull. Dammit. It never harmed Victorians and sleeping in separate rooms served the Queen and Prince Philip perfectly throughout their marriage.

Just as sharing a bed is not a prerequisite for a happy and successful relationship, sleeping apart is not a sign of an impending breakup. It’s 2022 and getting enough rest is important. Damn, sleeping alone actually has the power to strengthen and *create* an inherent relationship, while sleepless nights can cause resentment and relationship damage.

When it comes to capturing those precious Z’s, there’s no one-size-fits-all method, with everything from changing jobs to circadian rhythms affecting how easily we drift into the land. nod. Sleep in different beds, simply not that deep.

To shed some light on what is often considered a rather taboo topic, we chatted with Alexandra, who was delighted to unsubscribe from the ‘shared bed’ model in favor of a good night’s sleep (here it is) and has since benefited. has its very own sanctuary to starfish and listen to their hearts.

Alexandra said….

Society not only normalizes sharing a bed with your partner, but also celebrates it as a standard for a healthy and happy relationship. How did you feel when you slept in your own bed before?

I also used to have the stereotype that it was a sign of a failed relationship or that it was weird. I quickly got over that when I realized that no one knows who and how you sleep in the same bed as I sleep so well alone!

It’s becoming more and more popular now, probably because people are talking about it and realizing that it’s not as big of a deal as society thinks it is. Do you know anyone else in your live circle who chooses to sleep alone?

No, I wish I did.

How did the conversation go between you and your partner, and why did you decide that sleeping alone is right for you as a couple?

The conversation came from me because I am someone who struggles to sleep in a shared bed. I tried and tried to share a bed but I was always miserable and tossing and turning and having a hard time sleeping and feeling horrible the next day. He was very supportive and said it didn’t bother him at all. I think he benefits now as well as I can be a nightmare where I can’t sleep all night and day when I’m more tired than usual which in turn affects him. He has said that he sleeps better without me. Win!?

Are you apprehensive about how it will affect your relationship before going into life?

I worried it would create distance between us and the romance/intimacy would go but that didn’t happen.

What would you say are the benefits of sleeping apart from your partner? How has it changed your relationship for the better?

I sleep much better. As a result, I have more energy to be a better partner with him. I didn’t feel annoyed or upset with him when he was sleeping well and I didn’t (when we tried to sleep in the same bed). Everyone is happier with more sleep!

Due to the stigma associated with sleeping apart, people tend to assume it means something is wrong in your relationship or jump to the wrong conclusion. How do people react when you tell them you don’t share a bed with your partner?

Honestly, I don’t broadcast the truth, it’s a private matter. I sometimes joke that I’ll end up in the spare bed if I can’t sleep but I’ve never admitted that it’s every night. I’m a bit embarrassed about the situation and that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I’ll work on that and try to be more honest and open.

Why do you think there’s still a stigma associated with it and the weight of other people’s opinions and social norms that used to keep you from telling people about your sleeping arrangements?

I’ve seen reviews from sleep doctors/psychologists about how they sleep apart from their partner, and how that can really benefit some people. That reassures me that I’m not alone / it’s a meaningful step. They say double bed for 2 is very small, you have less space for each person than baby cot or single bed. I think a larger bed might help us but we don’t have room for anything but a double bed at the moment. I think people equate bed sharing with sex and intimacy. And if you don’t share a bed, you automatically don’t have either. This is not the case. You can make an effort to do those things even after sleeping separately. I’m pretty sure some women leave in their spare bed at night because they can’t sleep, so why not save yourself the trouble?!
It’s amazing how much value society places on sharing a bed!

How do you deal with unsolicited comments?

I mentioned things in a vague sense to some of my friends and mom and they responded supportively. I am fortunate to have never encountered unpleasant, unsolicited comments. If I do, I’ll explain that it’s better for me to sleep alone and that it won’t affect our relationship.

How has it affected your intimacy and quality time as a couple?

Don’t you think the fact that you’re well-rested and less irritable actually strengthens your relationship in the bedroom, huh? We have certainly benefited from less fatigue. We spend the evening relaxing / reading / on the iPad / dozing off / intimate time together in our master bed and then we are ready for sleep, we go our separate ways . We do all the usual things a couple can do before bed before we separate for bed. I don’t understand why it’s so weird to sleep without your partner, you’re literally unconscious!

What would you say to anyone else/other couples who are thinking about sleeping in their own bed but they’re not sure how to approach the topic or are perhaps influenced by social norms?

Do what’s best for you. If you’re particularly tired and have trouble sleeping, try sleeping alone if you can and gauge the benefits. If you feel great then you will soon lose weight with perception and other people’s point of view. How you sleep is nobody’s business. Sleep is very important and affects a lot in our lives. One step to improvement can literally change lives.

Is there anything they should know about how it could change their relationship?

You may have to adapt and learn to deal with the twists and turns of separation at night when it comes to intimacy. But your partner is never far away, you can always visit! On the plus side, you may have more energy into your relationship, which can only be a good thing!

Now, what does your bedtime routine look like?

We spend the evening relaxing / reading / on the iPad / dozing off / intimate time together in our master bed and then we are ready for sleep, we go our separate ways . We do all the usual things a couple can do before bed before we separate for bed. I don’t understand why it’s so weird to sleep without your partner, you’re literally unconscious! We sometimes sleep together for a while before I finish sneaking around. It’s all about pressure free time, we do what we want and what works for us.

If your circumstances were different, would you go back to sharing a bed if you could? Is there something you missed about it or won’t come back now that you have experienced the unparalleled joy of getting a good night’s sleep?

I really wish I could share a bed with anyone. It’s not just my partner, I struggle to share a bed/room with anyone as I’m very picky about noise/light and I just can’t stand snoring. That made the holidays/weekends away/visiting difficult because I was always tossing and turning with a restless sleep. That’s when I felt I was the weirdest. There is an expectation that both of you have to sleep in a double bed. No questions or changes. It’s hard when you’re on vacation and obviously paying for 2 rooms is impossible. We have a holiday coming up and we have booked two single beds side by side. I expected to sleep less than usual. But at least it will be a relaxing time. I miss cuddling in the night and sleeping together but what difference does that make when you’re already asleep? I can spread out like a starfish at night, it’s the best feeling. We try to cuddle and say hello in the morning so we still have that intimacy.

Any farewell words of wisdom?

Do what’s best for you! Better sleep is very important.

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