We’ve talked before here at SleepBetter.org (here, here and here) about the benefits of couples sleeping apart, but for many it’s still a rather foreign idea. It turns out, though, that perhaps more couples have separate beds than previously thought.
As reported by the CBC (among others) more and more people are realizing that sleeping apart does not mean the end of a marriage:
As many as 30-40 per cent of couples sleep in different beds, Director of Ryerson’s Sleep and Depression Laboratory Colleen Carney told CBC. Basing her conclusions on her clinics observations of sleep quality, she said the practice, perceived by many as taboo, can actually improve relationships.
“People will say they sleep better [together], but when we actually monitor their brains we see that their brain is not getting into deeper stages of sleep because they’re continuously being woken up by movement or sound,” she says. “It creates a lot of problems.”
Sometimes referred to as sleep divorce, Carney added that there was a need to eliminate the misconceptions of people who choose to sleep apart.
“I think the idea of sleep divorce is an unfair term. People can have very good and satisfying relationships sleeping apart. Some people might be headed to divorce and then they actually sleep apart and find this new way to connect,” she added.
There are a number of reasons why it’s better for many couples to sleep apart, including differences in temperature preference, snoring, restless leg syndrome, and simply a difference in sleep schedules. In the end, it’s up to each individual couple to make the decision on its own.