In 2005 it was reported by the National Sleep Foundation that nearly 1 in 4 American couples slept in separate bedrooms or beds. Custom home builders in the U.S. recently reported that by 2015, 60% of new homes will be built with 2 master bedrooms. What is this growing trend that seems to be reshaping the couple relationship? Will it actually promote the level of happiness between couples?
One thing is for sure: A good night’s sleep is essential for proper daytime functioning, overall health, and happiness. However, the reality is that many men tend to snore and the majority of women are light sleepers (thought to be an evolutionary quality due to their role as caregivers). Other sleep disturbances include different sleep/wake times, heavy breathing, muscle spasms, sleep apnea, tossing and turning, stealing the covers, etc. What ends up happening is that sleep becomes fragmented as couples try and manage each others nighttime habits or conditions. This continuous sleep disturbance is enough to create tension in a relationship that will be carried throughout the day.
As the unrest continues, sleep then becomes a priority causing couples to opt for separate beds. Conversely, men seem to fare better when sleeping next to their partner. Studies have revealed that men are happier when in a committed relationship and are dependent on the closeness of a relationship; thus, sleeping together is an important factor. So then what becomes the priority? Closeness or adequate sleep? It seems to come down to sleep compatibility and your wakeful efforts as a couple.
“Intimacy is important for emotional health. But good sleep is important for physical, emotional and mental health”, states sleep specialist Dr. Neil Stanley. If your happy and you are getting a good nights sleep there is no reason to change your habits. However, if you rarely get the rest you need it is time to restructure your sleeping arrangements. Sleep is proportional to marital satisfaction so you may be benefiting your relationship more than you realize. On the contrary, lack of sleep is linked to divorce! There’s plenty of time for intimacy if you make it… so maybe this sleep trend is a positive one, thoughts anyone?