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How Happy Is... 9 Reasons To Sleep Separately

If you are compatible by day and incompatible by night, sleeping apart can be a really good solution, which, if you have the guts to do and the space in your house, is really worth trying.
11/16/2009 05:12am ET | Updated November 17, 2011
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If you sleep beautifully with your partner, if they are a quiet sleeper, if they don't wake you up ever in the middle of the night and you are brilliantly compatible while you are asleep, then that's great. However, if there is any form of incompatibility, they snore, hog the sheets, fidget or keep you up in any other way, then maybe, just maybe, you might want to think of sleeping in separate rooms.

It was just the other day that my husband was listening to me do an interview on 'Sirius Radio', when I was talking quite passionately about the subject of sleeping separately and he laughed and said that I sounded like I was a 'Suffragette'. The British 'Mail' newspaper then wrote a piece on sleeping apart and the BBC followed suit. So I am compelled to discuss the subject again, because I really do feel that if you are compatible by day and incompatible by night, sleeping apart can be a really good solution, which, if you have the guts to do and the space in your house, is really worth trying.

Even as newlyweds, my husband and I slept separately due to incompatible sleep habits. He needs only 5 hours of sleep, is up quite a bit through the night and snores very loudly. I, on the other hand, am a very light and quiet sleeper and need 8 hours of rest. With our differences we knew that there was a potentially huge problem very early on in our relationship and even though it took us time to get used to it, we decided that sleeping apart was the best long-term solution. Most people believe that if you have separate rooms it must mean that you are probably not having sex. But that, from my experience, is absolutely not true at all. Sleeping separately did not take the passion out of the relationship. On the contrary, I actually think that it quite possibly enhanced it. So here are my top 9 positive aspects to sleeping separately.

1. Well, obviously you have no one next to you who is snoring. You can get to sleep without interruption and will not be woken in the middle of the night.

2. You are free to turn the light on or off when you want, at any time, without worrying about disturbing your partner and thinking of their needs.

3. If you wake in the middle of the night you can do what you like to do when you can't sleep, whether it is to watch movies, read, go on line, listen to music, write etc. Whatever it is, there will be no one to complain about it.

4. If you're tidy, there is no one to make the room messy and conflict with your orderly tendencies. If you're messy, you don't have anyone on your back to tell you to clean up.

5. You can have your own space in the house where you can withdraw at any time and have some peace to yourself when you need it.

6. It is the one room in the house that you don't need a consensus. You can express yourself as you please and decorate your space in your own style, without having to compromise.

7. You can have the room the temperature that you like. Hog the duvet to yourself, without anyone pulling it away from you and kick the sheets off when you're hot.

8. You can romantically 'visit' each other's rooms and jump in to each other's beds in the morning and at night to connect. When it is time to sleep, one of you will withdraw in to their own room.

9. You will become even more conscious about how much sex you need and are having. This can actually be a good thing, as you can both make sure that you make time to get both your needs met.

Sleeping separately can initially take a lot of guts to try it out, because you have to dispel the belief that it is not good for your relationship and not be too concerned about being judged by others. The most important aspects to think about are, what is best for your health? And what is best for the longevity of your relationship? Then make a joint decision from there.


That's it for this week. My new website will be coming soon and in the meantime you can e-mail me at sophie@howhappyis.com.