If you’ve clicked on this article, you’re probably asking yourself the taboo question: ‘Do I actually need to sleep in the same bed as my partner?’
For centuries, the answer has probably been a resounding yes – until now, of course.
Thanks to updated scientific research, and, well, TikTok, couples are now saying goodbye to the restraints of room sharing, opting for their own spaces (and beds) in hopes to keep their relationships healthy.
The name of the phenomenon? The “sleep divorce.”
So… why is it a thing?
According to The Sleep Foundation’s 2023 survey of 1,250 adults in the US, 1.4% of respondents have slept separately from their partners for a year or more. More importantly, just over half admitted that sleeping alone had improved their sleep quality.
“You should always sleep alone,” said Dr Karan Raj, an NHS surgeon. “If the other person moves around in their sleep or snores, that’ll stop you getting into the deep stages of sleep your body needs to recharge, affecting sleep quality.”
He also states: “Not everyone shares the same sleep cycles. Forcing two people to share a bedtime will leave one or both chronically sleep deprived.”
In addition to improving sleep quality, participating in a sleep divorce could help spice things up in the bedroom.
“A good night’s sleep and being generally well-rested improves one’s sexual desire and makes one more open to some sweet lovemaking,” Ecosa says.
“A UK research shows one in four couples are sleeping apart, and 34% said they were having better sex – and more of it.”
Peter Saddington, a sex and relationship counsellor previously told HuffPost UK, “sleeping in the same bed can become mundane.”
“You see your partner not always necessarily looking their best – sweaty, dishevelled – but if you’re just there for sex you can put more effort in and present yourself when you’re feeling at your best. For some people, it can even heighten excitement,” he adds.
What’s the catch?
While sleeping alone has its benefits, it may have its downfalls too. Sleeping alone was associated with “higher depression scores, lower social support, and worse life and relationship satisfaction,” says lead author Brandon Fuentes, an undergraduate researcher in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona.
He emphasised that sleeping with a romantic partner or spouse has great health benefits including reduced sleep apnea risk, sleep insomnia severity, and overall improvement in sleep quality.
Medical News Today seems to support this theory, even going so far as to say that the lack of companionship in young adults could lead to “tiredness and problems with concentration.”
So… what is the truth?
Truthfully, it’s entirely up to you and your partner on whether it’s time to start a “sleep divorce”. One of you might be an early sleeper, while the other might be a night owl. You could be a light sleeper, and they might be a very loud snorer. It boils down to what fits your narrative and what works best for your particular relationship.
If you still need some convincing, @siobhan.lauren explains her situation pretty well.