Could Sleeping Apart Improve Your Relationship?
Why sweet dreams might be made of solitude.
Back and white image of a couple in separate beds sleeping apart
We all know that sleep is essential for health and happiness. After all, it occupies one-third of our lives, equating to about 229,961 hours in a lifetime. But did you know that improved sleep quality can have the same positive impact on our well-being as winning the lotto? Yes, eight-or-so, uninterrupted, slumber-filled hours could make us as happy as having an extra million bucks in the bank.


This might go some way to explaining why more and more couples are opting for ‘sleep divorce’ and choosing to snooze in separate beds or rooms. Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk, Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, and Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin are couples who all swear by separate sleeping arrangements, saying that it’s helped avoid relationship problems.


Researchers would agree. A 2016 study from Paracelsus Medical University in Nuremberg, Germany, showed that, interestingly, sleep issues and relationship problems tend to occur simultaneously. And a 2013 study from the University of California, Berkeley found that one partner’s sleepless night caused by disturbances from the other partner resulted in conflicts in the relationship the next day.


While there are certainly benefits to sleeping together – couples that routinely touch during sleep (by spooning, for example), release the love hormone oxytocin, further strengthening intimacy – sleeping apart and feeling truly rested each morning can also help you manage life with more focus and control. This, in turn, can make you feel more content and happier in your relationship.


Does sleeping apart sound like something you might consider? You’re not alone. One in four couples now sleep separately, and the number is rising. Experts suggest an open and honest conversation with your partner about the pros and cons, coupled with a plan on how to ensure your intimacy is retained, are key. And then, when you do, consider it an investment in your closest relationships. At the end of the day, there is nothing healthier, happier and even sexier than a good night of sleep.


For more quick tips on getting your zzzs, read Why Insomnia Is On The Rise.