Do you have a partner who snores? Talks in her sleep? Can’t stop kicking his legs? All of the above? You shouldn’t have to sacrifice a good night’s sleep just because you’re a couple. Luckily there is a way to protect your sleep and your marriage: get a sleep divorce. While this term might sound extreme, research has shown that lack of sleep can be detrimental to your relationship. A 2013 study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that couples who got less sleep were more likely to get in fights.
The desire to get a sleep divorce is pretty high. The Better Sleep Council surveyed a sample of American couples and concluded that one in 10 couples sleeps in separate bedrooms and two in 10 wish their home had two master bedrooms. People’s most common complaints about their sleeping partners include snoring, ideal room temperature, movement, no space to stretch out, and more.
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Is getting a sleep divorce actually going to help? Turns out, it might, according to Dr. Oz, who discussed sleep divorces on Nov. 7, 2019 on the TODAY show. Dr. Oz has always said that getting a good night’s sleep is vital to overall health. It allows you to be more energized throughout the day and keep your brain functioning. Sleeping at least seven hours has also been shown to lower the risk for conditions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, kidney disease, and even arthritis, says Dr. Oz. So if moving yourself from your shared bed is going to make you sleep better, you should probably consider testing it out.
How to Approach the Topic of Sleep Divorce With Your Partner
Bringing up your desire to sleep apart might be awkward or appear like you’re rejecting your partner, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Dr. Oz has five helpful tips to help you get the conversation started:
- Use “we” to avoid blame: Don’t start off the conversation by saying something like “you snore and I need to sleep.” Try instead something like, “we haven’t been sleeping well recently.”
- Be honest to prevent resentment: While you should use “we” to avoid blaming your partner, you should still be honest about your problems and try not to lie (this will only cause issues in the future).
- Try creative solutions: If your partner doesn’t want to sleep apart, try offering separate beds in the same bedroom and see if that helps the situation.
- Ease into it: When starting your sleep divorce, only sleep apart for two or three nights per week.
- Plan intimacy ahead of time: Acts like cuddling and sex are important for relationships to thrive. If you usually do those things at night before bed, adjust your schedule so you’re not losing out on the intimacy in your relationship.
Lack of sleep is an epidemic in America. One in three people isn’t getting enough sleep, according to the CDC. If you’re one of those people, a sleep divorce could be a practical solution that helps you and your partner’s health in the long run.