In recent years there has been a growing trend toward couples sleeping in separate beds during the night. Do you remember Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore? How about Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball? The characters played by these popular television couples slept in separate beds. Of course, 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 slept in separate beds or bedrooms. Here are some thoughts on whether or not it is healthy for a relationship to have partners sleep in separate beds or rooms.
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.
Have you ever slept in the bed with a partner who snored loudly all night long, been kicked repeatedly by a spouse who flails around in their sleep or woken up frozen solid while your partner lays wrapped up in the blankets?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then there is at least a chance those things are creating stress in the relationship. 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 be worth the tradeoff for peace in the relationship to sleep in separate beds.
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-size area to sleep on anyway, so what difference would it really make?
Sleeping in separate beds or bedrooms is not necessarily the best thing for a relationship, but there are times when it may simply be the best option. It would be far better to sleep in separate beds and wake rested than to struggle to sleep with a restless partner only to wake up irritated and exhausted. 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 arrangements can probably be overcome quite easily.