Why married couples sleep apart: the rise of the ‘sleep divorce’

For many married couples, sharing a bed is considered an intimate and romantic aspect of their relationship. However, in recent years, there has been a rise in the number of couples who choose to sleep apart, leading to what is known as a sleep divorce. This trend has become more prevalent in recent times as couples prioritise individual comfort and restful sleep over traditional notions of romantic intimacy.

Reasons why couples choose to sleep apart

It may seem simple – that if you eliminate distractions, optimise comfort, and remain consistent, you should be able to drop off quickly and easily. But what happens when your quality of sleep is at odds with your partner, whether they are aware of their actions or not? What are the consequences of implementing a sleep divorce, and are there any advantages?

One of the main reasons for the rise of the sleep divorce is due to differing sleep patterns and habits between partners. Many people have different preferences when it comes to factors such as room temperature, noise levels, and lighting, which can make it difficult to sleep comfortably together. This can lead to sleep deprivation and even health problems if left unaddressed. Sleeping apart can allow each partner to tailor their sleeping environment to their individual preferences, ensuring a better night’s sleep for both parties.

Snoring is another common issue that can lead to couples sleeping apart. One partner’s loud snoring can make it nearly impossible for the other to get a good night’s rest. This can cause feelings of frustration and resentment, putting a strain on the relationship. In these cases, sleeping in separate rooms can help to alleviate the problem, and allows each partner to get the sleep they need.

A ‘sleep divorce’ can also be beneficial for couples who have different sleep schedules. For example, if one partner works late nights or shifts and the other has an early morning job, it can be difficult to sync sleeping patterns. Sleeping alone enables each partner to maintain their own sleep schedule without disrupting the other’s rest.

Another factor that can contribute to couples maintaining separate sleeping arrangements, are health-related issues. Chronic pain, illnesses, and disabilities can all impact an individual’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. In these cases, it may be necessary for one partner to sleep in a different bed or room to ensure they are comfortable and not disturbed during the night.

While sleeping apart may seem like a solution to a problem, some may worry that it could have negative implications for their relationship. After all, sharing a bed has long been considered a symbol of intimacy and closeness. However, studies have shown that sleeping apart can actually improve the quality of a couple’s relationship. When both partners are well-rested and free from sleep disturbances, they are more likely to be in a positive and relaxed state of mind. This can lead to a better overall mood and greater emotional intimacy.

It is worth noting that a ‘sleep divorce’ does not mean that couples are no longer intimate or affectionate with one another. Many couples who sleep apart still make time for cuddling, kissing, and other forms of physical intimacy. In fact, sleeping apart can actually lead to increased desire for intimacy, as both partners are more rested and less irritable.

What are the advantages of sleeping apart from my partner?

Sleeping apart from your partner can have several advantages, including:

  • It can lead to better sleep quality for both partners. If you and your partner have different sleep preferences, such as different mattress firmness or temperature preferences, it can allow each of you to create an optimal sleep environment that best suits your needs.
  • Reduced sleep disturbances: sharing a bed with a partner can lead to frequent sleep disturbances. Snoring, tossing, and turning, or getting up to use the bathroom are all capable of causing agitation. Sleeping apart can eliminate these disruptions, allowing both partners to sleep more soundly throughout the night.
  • Improved physical health: getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for overall physical health and well-being. Sleeping separately can help reduce the risk of sleep-related health problems, such as sleep apnoea, and high blood pressure.
  • Better mental health: sleep is also essential for good mental health. Sleeping apart can reduce stress and anxiety that may be caused by sleeping with a partner who has different sleep habits or preferences. It can also lead to improved mood, cognitive function, and overall mental well-being.
  • Increased intimacy: contrary to popular belief, sleeping in another room from your partner can actually increase intimacy and affection in your relationship. When both partners are well-rested and free from sleep disturbances, they are more likely to be in a positive and relaxed state of mind, which can lead to greater emotional and physical intimacy.
  • Improved relationship quality: besides increased intimacy, sleeping alone can also lead to improved relationship quality overall. When both partners are well-rested, they are less likely to be irritable, which can reduce conflict and tension in the relationship.
  • Greater autonomy and independence: sleeping apart allows each person to have their own space and privacy, which can be important for some people.

It is important to note that not all couples will benefit from sleeping apart, and that there are also potential disadvantages to consider, such as the potential for reduced physical touch and closeness, and the potential for emotional distance. However, if you and your partner are experiencing sleep-related issues or disturbances, or simply have different sleep preferences, sleeping apart may be a practical solution that can lead to better sleep quality and overall relationship satisfaction.

The rise of the ‘sleep divorce’ is a reflection of modern couples prioritising their individual needs and well-being over traditional romantic norms. While sleeping apart may seem unconventional, it can be a practical solution to a variety of sleep-related issues that can negatively impact a couple’s health and well-being. Ultimately, it is up to each couple to decide what sleeping arrangement works best for them and their relationship. As long as both partners are happy and getting the sleep they need, then that’s all that matters.


Find The Best Divorce & Family Lawyers Near You

We independently review and list the top divorce lawyers and family solicitors in the towns and cities near you. 100% free.

Find The Top Family Lawyers Near You

Noticed an error on this page or something broken? If so, please email us at support[at]wiselaw.co.uk.

The information on this website is to be considered a guide and is therefore not legal advice. You use this information with the understanding that Wiselaw does not accept liability for any direct or indirect losses as a result of anyone relying on or acting upon the information on this website. Whilst we endeavour to provide accurate information, Wiselaw does not accept liability for any errors or omissions on this website.