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In 10 years of marriage, my husband and I have never slept in separate beds. But for a few years -- specifically those when my kids were both under three -- I wished we did. Between night feedings and nightmares, I was woken up plenty by my daughters. And our geriatric dog's snoring, grunting, and restlessness usually ate up at least a whole hour of the eight I wished I was getting. My husband was simply one more annoyance standing in the way of a full night's sleep, especially when he'd come to bed late, turn on the lights, and loudly open and close the dresser drawers.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, I'm not alone. In 2005, one in four couples reported spending each night sleeping in separate beds. What's more, the National Association of Home Builders says that more than half of custom-built homes will have two master bedrooms by 2015. And The New York Times reports that even Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and Kevin Jonas sleep apart from their significant others. Kids, technology, and snoring are putting a wedge right down the middle of the marriage bed.
Could separate bedrooms actually be a good thing for a marriage? I can see both sides of the argument.
Pros of sleeping apart:
- Uninterrupted shut-eye: If your partner snores, or tosses and turns, putting a wall between your sleeping spaces might help you catch more zzz's -- and keep you from holding it against him.
- More energy: A good night's sleep makes everyone feel better, meaning you have more energy for things like tossing a softball with your kids... and, of course, sex.
- Speaking of sex: Some couple say that having their own bedrooms has made sex more interesting in a my-place-or-yours kind of way.
- Weight loss: Poor sleep habits have been linked to weight gain and other health-related issues. So snoozing better could mean that those stubborn pounds slip right off.
- Privacy: Life with kids means that those rare moments of peace and quiet are precious. Having a room to yourself means a private space to decompress after a long day.
Cons of sleeping apart:
- Health problems: Many couple choose separate beds to solve snoring issues, but loud snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a common and often dangerous condition. Avoiding the issue could put your partner at risk.
- Fewer opportunities for sex: Eight hours in bed together means more chances to get it on.
- Reduced intimacy: Sometimes it's not just about sex, but being close too. Spooning makes you feel connected to your partner.
- No pillow talk: After you close the book you're reading and before drift off into dreamland, you get talk about what's on your mind. Plus, having someone to vent to is a known stress reducer.
- Brrr: Invest in extra blankets. You might get cold without his body heat!
What do you think of separate bedrooms? Does it completely kill intimacy? Chime in below!