Waking up next to your loved one can be a wonderful thing. The intimacy of sharing a bed is one of the joys of being married. For some. For others, the reality is a little too hot to handle. Snoring. Cover Yankers. Mattress hogs. Restless sleepers who toss and turn. Insomniacs who read by penlight. Late night tip toes that accidentally wake. Sleeping together may become less sleep and more annoyance.
But is splitting the marital bed the answer? For a portion of people, the answer is a resounding yes. And some experts believe this is a great solution. You just have to figure out a way to make it work. The reason sleeping together is so encouraged is because happy couples require an amount of skin to skin time. Touching is a human desire, and bedtime is an ideal time to get the contact couples need. Those in good relationships are happier – touching lowers stress, and so, in turn, cortisol levels drop, while at the same time immune functions increase.
Couples can make up for lost skin time in bed by sharing physical contact and intimacy during daytime hours, arguably the hours that actually matter more considering both of you are awake.
The scenario has to work for both parties. Some couples share a bedroom but have two beds (think of your parents’ bedroom – maybe they had it right all along!). This allows for a shared private space but allows that pillow hoarder to hoard in peace, without leaving her loved one cold and flat.
Others have separate bedrooms altogether. This works well for people who need a little space, or like to work at night, or if one partner comes to bed late while the other wakes early. Snorers tend to be exiled to the couch, but in this scenario, the snorer gets to sleep in a comfortable bed without being pushed awake in efforts to silence the ruckus; and the listener doesn’t have to shove plastic objects in her ears just to lessen the noise.
Bedtime rituals are consistent with separate sleepers. Some will start in one partner’s room, and one will retreat when it’s time for bed. Or maybe someone comes to wake the other each morning. Regardless, keeping things close is a common denominator for couples who make sleeping apart work.
Make sure both partners are on board. Some report trying separate sleeping out, only to feel disconnected from their loved one. Others do it for a period of time, then come back to one another for another stretch of time. Getting enough sleep is the real name of the game, and in some cases, that can be a bigger marriage saver than sharing a sheet.