Sleep Divorce: What is it, and How could it help you sleep better?

Sleep divorce is simply the decision that some couples make to sleep in separate beds or rooms. There are various reasons for choosing this lifestyle, ranging from different sleep schedules to different habits or sleep difficulties. The truth is that many couples find that sleeping apart allows them to get better sleep. 

Sleeping well is essential. I mean, that's why you are here at Seeking Slumber in the first place. Without adequate sleep, your mental and physical health can suffer. Couples aren't always going to have the same sleeping habits or routines. 

Sadly, conflicts in relationships arise from sleep priorities that aren't aligned. A sleep divorce might be an effective option in such a situation. Some of the most common causes of a sleep divorce are:

Benefits of Sleep Divorce

Sleep Routines

Sleeping hours might be affected when spouses have different work schedules. It isn't unusual for situations where a spouse gets home from work after midnight or has a partner up at 5 AM; neither situation is ideal if the other partner isn't a very sound sleeper or on a similar schedule. Furthermore, plenty of evidence suggests that some people are night owls and others are early risers. It could lead to issues if you aren't matched up with your partner in this way. Sharing a bed might be inconvenient if your typical sleep and waking periods differ.

Snoring

In addition to being prevalent, snoring may indicate health problems like sleep apnea, swollen tonsils, adenoids, or a deviated septum. A partner's snoring can range from mildly annoying to completely unbearable. For those with trouble sleeping, dealing with a partner's snoring could be an added nightmare. 

Sleep Preference Differences

When it comes to the finer features of a bedroom, including the mattress, bedding, lighting, ambient noise, and temperature, couples may have differing tastes. It is feasible to reach a compromise at times. Some couples sleep in different bedrooms to ensure both spouses get the best possible sleep, which is the point if this is an option you'd like to pursue. It shows that each of you is willing to prioritize your health by prioritizing your sleep. 

different habits with the spouse can affect your sleep.

New Child's Addition

It's common knowledge that the first year of a baby's life is a very sleep-deprived time for new parents. A “sleep shift” allows one parent to tend to the infant while the other gets some rest. 

Another common practice among parents is for the infant to share a room with one of them while they sleep. There is no reason for both members of a couple to endure sleeplessness all night, every night when tending to an infant. Scheduling shifts and using different rooms could be a lifesaver (or a relationship saver).   

Sleep Issues

Complex sleep disorders may manifest in a variety of ways, including narcolepsy, OSA, sleepwalking, hypersomnia, and insomnia. Although therapy is available, the road to recovery may not be straight. Additionally, both spouses might feel the cumulative impact of a few restless nights. Because of this, some couples choose to use separate beds when they sleep.

Restless Legs Or Moving Habits

All night long, you may find yourself jerking and kicking uncontrollably if you suffer from restless legs. For the other person, this could include physical pain and disturbed sleep. Some couples try sleeping on the same bed, using body pillows, or even professional sleep therapy when nothing else works. On the other hand, some people find that sleeping apart is the most convenient option.

Improving Sexual Life

The sex lives of several couples have been enhanced after they started sleeping apart. Being away allows you to miss each other, which may be a powerful ingredient in desire. 

Another way that sleeping in different beds might deepen your sexual relationship is that it may force couples to be more creative with intimacy.

You'll need to be more purposeful and communicative to get these results, which would also benefit your relationship. 

pros of sleep divorce include restful sleep.

Sleep Divorce Pros

A sleep divorce may offer benefits like:

  1. Improved Sleep Quality: Sleep divorce can significantly enhance sleep quality, especially for those who are light sleepers or have incompatible sleeping habits with their partner.
  2. Better Health and Mood: By improving sleep quality, sleep divorce often leads to better overall health, mood, and cognitive function.
  3. Reduced Resentment: It helps reduce frustration and resentment in relationships, often caused by disturbances like snoring or restlessness from a partner.
  4. Personal Space: Adopting sleep divorce allows for personal space and independence, which can be refreshing and beneficial for individual well-being within a relationship.

Sleep Divorce Cons 

Some of the downsides include:

  1. Emotional Distance: Sleep divorce may lead to feelings of emotional distance or a decrease in intimacy for some couples, as sharing a bed is often seen as a sign of closeness.
  2. Logistical Challenges: It can present practical issues such as the need for additional space and the expense of an extra bed or bedroom furnishings.
  3. Perception Issues: There's a risk of negative perceptions from family or friends who might view sleep divorce as a sign of a troubled relationship.
  4. Impact on Children: For families with children, sleep divorce may create confusion or concern among the kids, and parents may need to navigate sensitive explanations.
couple sleeping soundly.

Tips For Couples Going For Sleep Divorce

Sleeping in separate beds or rooms might be the right choice for you. However, before you and your spouse climb into your new bed, there are a few things to consider if you decide to sleep apart. You should be ready for the impact this shift will have on your relationship since, in the end, the point of the divorce is to strengthen your bond by improving your health.

The following are five suggestions for a successful sleep divorce:

1. Give It a Trial Run

You should not immediately adopt a zero-sum strategy. Some couples try sleeping in separate beds for a week to see if it helps. Some people may start sleeping together again on weekends or when on vacation. Think about doing something little at the start and seeing how it goes by checking in with each other. And remember, just because you do it some nights doesn't mean you'll have to do it every night. 

2. Agree On Intimacy Time

Every couple should prioritize quality time together, regardless of where they sleep. There is a lot of overlap between the three types of intimacy that many individuals experience: physical, emotional, and sexual. Make sure you set aside some time to spend quality with each other. Your relationship happiness may dramatically improve with only a few minutes of focused daily attention.

3. Show Your Gratitude

While your spouse works on particular sleep concerns, expressing thanks for their efforts is crucial if you're going through a sleep divorce. Transitions are challenging because they sometimes need a complete reorganization of one's activities. Whenever your spouse does anything positive, call up their progress. 

4. Show Consideration

At their core, strong relationships are based on honest, direct dialogue. That being said, it's important to consistently evaluate how the sleep divorce is working for you and your partner. Describe the changes you've seen, both positive and negative. 

FAQs

1. What Is Sleep Divorce and Why Do Couples Choose It?

Answer: Sleep divorce is when a couple sleeps separately, usually due to one or both partners' sleep disturbances, like snoring different sleep schedules, or restless sleep habits. Couples choose it to improve their sleep quality, which can lead to better health, mood, and relationship dynamics.

2. Does Sleep Divorce Mean There's a Problem in the Relationship?

Answer: Not necessarily. While it might seem counterintuitive, sleep divorce can be a practical, healthy decision focused on improving sleep rather than a reflection of relationship troubles. It's often about addressing specific sleep issues rather than issues with the relationship itself.

3. How Can Sleep Divorce Affect Intimacy and Connection in a Relationship?

Answer: While it might reduce physical closeness at night, it doesn't automatically lead to decreased overall intimacy and connection. Man couples find better sleep leads to more positive interactions and a happier relationship. However, it's important to maintain other forms of intimacy and communication.

4. What Are Some Ways to Make Sleep Divorce Easier in a Relationship?

Answer: Clear communication is key. Discuss our reasons and feelings openly, and establish routines to maintain intimacy, like regular date nights or cuddle time before sleep—also, consider it as a temporary or part-time solution, alternating nights or finding other compromises.