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Sleep Solo for a Better Relationship

Sleeping together can be stressful on a relationship.

When I say sleeping together, I mean actually sleeping, not having sex. Last week’s article was about sleeping solo for better sex, this week is about relationships.

As I discussed in part one of this sleep series, sharing sleep space with someone else can really impair quality sleep for everyone present. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be an intimate partner, as anyone who has ever had kids sleep in their bed with them can attest to.

We’ve been sold this idea that married people, or those in intimate relationships, need to sleep in the same bed together. We’ve all seen the romantic comedies that glamourize cuddling up with your significant other all night in blissful slumber, which most of us who have shared a bed with someone for any length of time know is total BS.

Unfortunately, a lot of people have bought into this fantasy and then wonder what’s wrong when their relationships don’t look like those in the movies. They tend to blame themselves or the other person and the relationship starts to deteriorate.

There is also a common belief that sleeping separately is somehow detrimental to an intimate relationship. I challenge anyone who believes that to question that belief. Is your relationship so tenuous that it wouldn’t survive sleeping separately? Or would your relationship improve with a little space? How does the thought of not sharing a sleep space with your spouse/significant other(s) make you feel? Intrigued? Excited? Terrified?

Explore those feelings a little deeper and see where they come from and what emotions, thoughts and beliefs they bring up for you. Then have the conversation with your spouse about sleeping separately. Discussing the idea can deepen your connection and if it doesn’t, then maybe your connection wasn’t that strong to begin with.

Still not convinced?

Consider these scenarios. If your partner’s snoring keeps you awake, chances are you’re probably angry or frustrated with them already. If they are a very active sleeper, tossing, turning and unwinding all night, how can you possibly sleep well next to them? If you aren’t getting deep, restful sleep every night because whoever else is in your bed is keeping you from achieving that, then you’ll wake up tired, grumpy and ill-prepared to navigate the challenges of dealing with others. Your behaviour will be more reactionary than responsive, which can create problems when interacting with your spouse/significant other(s), or anyone else for that matter.

Now think about how you feel when you’ve gotten a really great night’s sleep. You’re full of energy. You’re relaxed, calm, happy. You’re ready to start your day in a great mood. Things go well right from the beginning. How often does this scenario happen for you?

If this situation is a regular occurrence for you, great! You are in the minority. If you can’t remember the last time you woke up refreshed and happy, you might want to seriously consider your sleep situation and how it is affecting your relationship(s).

Next week, I’ll discuss logistical options for sleeping separately.


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