Is Sleeping Separately Good for Your Relationship?

Maybe it was his snoring. Or her blanket-hogging. Or that tossing and turning he does whenever he has a nightmare about evil clowns. Whatever it was, you’ve woken up feeling like you haven’t slept a wink all night.

If that scenario sounds familiar, you’re probably also familiar with how the rest of your day goes after a sleepless night: you’re grumpy, lethargic, and—yep, it’s not just your imagination—prone to picking more fights with your significant other. A new study recently found that even one night of bad sleep quality can increase relationship conflict the next day—the worse couples slept, the less empathy they showed towards their partner, the more negativity they felt about the relationship, the harder they found it to resolve differences, and the more selfish feelings they had.

So what are the snorers and tossers and turners of the world to do? Sleep in separate beds, according to some recent research. Banishing one person to sleep on the couch may seem like the end-result of sleep-deprived bickering, but a study from Ryerson University in Toronto claims it may actually solve your issues.

According to this study, 30 to 40 percent of couples already sleep apart (who knew?)… and they’re better off for it. Brain monitoring during sleep found that couples who share a bed don’t slip into the deep stages of sleep, whereas those who sleep apart do. Deep sleep is what helps restore your energy, boost your immune system, repair muscles and tissues, and stimulate growth and development. So constantly getting woken up by your partner during this stage can lead to feeling mentally and physically sluggish the next day.

Of course, there’s still a stigma to pulling a Lucy and Ricky Ricardo come nighttime, and some think that separate beds is a sign of a troubled relationship. But Colleen Carney, the director of Ryerson University’s Sleep and Depression Laboratory urges couples to ignore the taboo and try it if they feel they could benefit. “People can have very good and satisfying relationships sleeping apart,” Carney says. “Some people might be headed to divorce and then they actually sleep apart and find this new way to connect.”

Would you sleep in separate beds from your partner for the sake of deep sleep?

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sandra vito
Sandra Vitoabout a month ago


Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers2 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Peggy B.
Peggy B.6 months ago

I think it's some times better. I know couples who changed to twin beds because they wanted to stay in same room, but one of the partners had restless leg syndrome which kept the other awake. The other was because the one cuddled after going to sleep and the partner couldn't sleep being cuddled. To each his own.

Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn7 months ago

Many thanks to you !

Lee Rowan
Lee Rowan7 months ago

LOL. "Satisfying relationship" as a code word for "sex." I suspect sleeping separately is something that each couple has to decide case-by-case. Also, many folks find it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep as we get older, and it may not be an every-night issue. I knew a couple that had separate bedrooms - not just separate beds - because one was a noisy, restless sleeper and the other woke easily. Maybe having a guest bed elsewhere and a no-fault escape clause would be the solution. IF YOUR PARTNER SNORES, please encourage them to see a doctor. This can be a symptom of sleep apnea, and that means they may not be getting enough oxygen during the night. Serious apnea can trigger heart failure. One of my family members was at high risk for this, but a cpap fixed the problem. And the snoring. Don't put it off if you care about your partner.

Carole R.
Carole R.about a year ago

I went through never getting a good night's sleep because of a husband with sleep apnea. Separate rooms eventually became a life saver. Everyone has decide what is best for them. We have been married 39 years, with 3 children, so it has worked for us.

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you

Fi T.
Fi T.about a year ago

It's all about compromise

Darren Woolsey
Darren Woolsey1 years ago

My second to last girlfriend, had a snore that was a horror to sleep with, but for me, if you're intimate with someone, then there's nothing better than being in bed with them.

Elena P.
Elena Poensgen1 years ago

Thank you :)