Happily married, sleeping separately.
I had a guy measuring for carpet today and he asked a question about the ‘spare room’. Without giving it another thought I said “Oh, that’s my husband’s room” He looked at me with a raised eyebrow. I immediately felt that I owed him a quick explanation and explain that -no we actually do love each other very, very much…lol… this reaction happens a lot and I’ve learned to let it go.
When I mention to people or friends that Steve and I have separate rooms you can imagine the looks and comments that we get. One friend’s husband asked if Steve got to decorate his own room…lol….other’s are like -seriously? How does that work? What about….ahemm…you know.
First of all, let me explain exactly WHY we do have separate rooms. Steve snores really loud…NO! I mean REALLY loud! And I am the lightest sleeper on the planet! I also do full on aerobics in bed at night. I have back issues (which I am getting injections for this weekend, perhaps a future blog) and am never comfortable. I bring ice packs to bed with me and I toss and turn non-stop. What are the chances of us getting a good night’s sleep together? Him snoring and me wanting to smack him right up the side of the head (was that my outside voice?) and him wanting to kick me right outta bed and onto the floor…and I don’t blame him one bit…I p*** me off, I cannot imagine what it’s like for him!
I’m well aware of the pros and cons of this Desi and Lucy arrangement that we have….but I need my sleep.
Research into sleeping together has found that sharing a bed with someone else even a pet can lower cortisol, aka ‘the stress hormone’, and give you a hefty dose of oxytocin, (not to be confused with oxycontin) which can reduce anxiety, boost empathy and generosity, and help couples bond.
Well I’m sure there is truth to the study but I think we are both pretty empathetic, we are certainly generous and we are very bonded…lol…we are the very best of friends. When we go for walks we hold hands, when we have an afternoon nap we snuggle up on the sectional and I can assure you there is absolutely nothing wrong with our sex life. (Sorry kids, if you are reading this. My boys think I’ve had sex twice in my life. Once for Stuart and once for Andrew…lol) In actual fact, because we don’t sleep together, we are sure to make time for the aforementioned…ahem. It can be after breakfast or smack in the middle of the afternoon. We do ‘it’ when ‘it’ suits us. Seriously who needs night-time for a bodacious bonkfest?
It’s actually nice knowing that when I go to bed at night I get to go to sleep….no stress about putting out when all you want to do is read.
A growing trend.
One Canadian study found that as many as 40% of couples will sleep in different beds at some point, while a U.S. National Association of Home Builders survey predicted that 60% of upscale homes would be planned with two master bedrooms this year!
I am not really a snuggly person in bed…well not with anyone over 4 feet tall. I just really like my space. Having said that Savannah actually sets my alarm so that we can wake up before everyone and have snuggle time together with no interruptions…how cute is that?
Don’t get me wrong I’m all for the Sunday morning communal bed….
Long before the cruel hand of fate tore them apart, the formerly known Brangelina team (ridiculously good-looking man – notice I put my oversized logo on her face? You’re welcome) revealed that they had invested in a ‘nine-foot-wide’ bed (that’s three feet wider than a king-sized mattress, in case you’re wondering) in order to accommodate their sizeable family for Sunday morning sleep-ins. The girls love to wake up papa by literally running into his room and jumping on him. Once awake he heads into ‘our’ room and joins us in the bed for stories and bouncing around. This is our nightly ritual with the girls as well….everyone piles on the bed, we may or may not have a pillow fight but we always settle with a goodnight story and all of us taking turns reading.
When we had a house full of kids and no spare bedrooms we obviously did sleep together…and let me tell you…it was hell. (insert eye roll here). Pretty much every night of my life (with Steve) I grabbed my pillow and blanket and with my eyes still shut, I headed for the couch. The couch did nothing for my back let me tell you. But, this was my life. I wanted a divorce every night…but just till morning. So when we moved into this house 5 years ago with…for the very first time in our lives together… no kids….it was utopia. Not because we were kid free but because we had two available bedrooms (the third is an awesome walk-in closet). At first, we were both in the same room and I would get up and go to the spare room…night after night….but then I got smarter and suggested that we take turns leaving the master bedroom. I didn’t think it was fair that it was always me leaving, because in all honesty, once you make that 3 AM trek you’re wide awake for some time! Steve surprisingly, agreed to this….and quickly understood just how much it sucks getting up halfway through the night. We then decided that we would just take turns sleeping in the 2 bedrooms. I have no idea why we thought it made sense to share the rooms…lol…me taking the master one night and then switching – which meant grabbing our nightly meds, books, journals…whatever and moving them….and then it happened…. we just morphed into having our own rooms and it has been heavenly ever since.
Steve is working on his snoring. He’s had some sleepovers at the sleep clinic. And like I said, I am getting injections for back pain this weekend…so now I am wondering…..hmmmm…what’s going to happen if he stops snoring and I stop doing aerobics at night? Will we start sleeping together again? Who will be in charge of the AC unit? Who gets to decide how much time is spent reading with the light on…it’s been 5 years! I’m not sure how this will all play out! Will I want to accommodate another person in my personal sleeping space? I find myself in a strange predicament, where I’m pretty good at being this married – single person at night.
Having the bed to myself means I can do anything, like ball up all the covers and put them between my knees, or sleep at a 45-degree angle across the entire bed. I can kick without accidentally running into Steve’s leg. I can listen to my ebooks till it suits ME! If I cannot sleep I can turn my light on and do Suduko…Having this big ol’ bed to myself…. well to me ….it’s the American dream!
So friends, if you suffer night after night of restless sleep because of your partner, maybe give this a go. TRUST me…a good night’s sleep makes all the difference in the world….and on that note…good night my dear followers. Whether you sleep alone, sleep with your cat, sleep with your dog or sleep with your hubby…..have the very sweetest of dreams.
7 Benefits of sleeping in separate beds according to Women’s Day
Another 12 reasons from Readers Digest.
Huffington Post gets in on it too…