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    Should you and your Partner Get a Sleep Divorce?

    He snores, she traipses to the bathroom twice per night. He thrashes wildly and she hogs the covers. He comes into bed noisily when he gets home from the night shift at 3 a.m. If this sounds like what's happening in your bedroom nightly, maybe you should consider a sleep divorce.


    Sleep divorce, the new phrase for retreating to separate bedrooms, is not a new phenomenon. The term was first coined in a Huffington Post piece.

    Some couples find they sleep better at night, rest undisturbed and actually don't enjoy sleeping next to a disruptive night partner since it keeps them awake or prevents them from logging in the needed shuteye. It's only now they're finally able to say, “Hey, maybe we should have a sleep split."

    One mattress maker's survey  found 30 percent of couples want to file for a sleep divorce.

    Put Sleeping First

    With all we know about sleep hygiene today and how important getting the right amount of sleep is to both mental and physical health, it seems people may finally be putting themselves first when it comes to nabbing their needed rest.

    No longer suffering in silence or afraid of the appearance of looking like your relationship isn't strong or intimate, folks are opting for a different arrangement. In fact, home builders somehow got the message loud and clear. In 2019  Architectural Digest  dubbed dual masters the “hottest new amenity in luxury homes."

    Having two master bedroom suites may be the answer for baby boomer buyers who wanted to accommodate different sleeping habits like schedules and snoring.

    Going with the Sleep Trend

    But how can you possibly keep the intimacy intact if you're in different corners of the house or one of you regularly retreats to the guestroom? Couples going on record loving their separate sleep arrangements like in this  Daily Mail story, and tout that getting their needed six to eight actually improves their sex life rather than the opposite, has given new meaning to separate beds.

    Carson Daly, The Today Show host, mentioned on air that he and his wife cited irreconcilable sleeping and had gotten sleep divorced. He also touted its benefits. Theresa DiDonato, PhD, shares that having one partner sleep deprived may actually be worse on your relationship in  Psychology Today, causing blame, resentment and negative health effects that spillover into the waking hours.

    What's more, couples that keep different schedules or have differences such as what temperature to keep the room, whether the TV should be on or off, what time the lights should be dimmed or whether reading or electronic devices are a yay or nay, now have another option.

    How to File for Sleep Divorce

    If you think you and your significant other might benefit from a sleep divorce, broach the topic gently and have a serious discussion about whether it could be right for you. Be prepared for the partner who is less enthused with the idea to balk at the change. Agree to give it a try temporarily to see if it works, say three times per week. Philips' advice for a sleep split include:

    • Consider if any of the sleep problems leading to sleep divorce could be a sleep disorder that needs diagnosis and treatment, like sleep apnea, insomnia or restless leg syndrome
    • Start out together for cuddling, reading or sex, and then have one partner retreat to the other bed for sleeping
    • Try sleeping together on weekends when it may not be as important if your sleep is disrupted
    • Look for ways to make connections at other times that you might miss when you fall asleep and wake up together
    • Make time between getting into bed and going to sleep special by talking, sharing and unwinding together

    No matter which sleeping arrangement you land on, what's most important is that couples get the sleep they need for their health and wellbeing.



    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor and is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. Philips disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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