Is sleeping apart really the catch-all solution for couples with sleep issues?
Do some couples sleep on different schedules? Yes. Do some couples wake each other up in the middle of the night with snoring and sleep-talking and tossing in bed? Yes. Does that mean that 30-40 percent of couples are sleeping separately? This is one new stat that we just don't believe.
That's a "real" statistical insight from researchers at Ryerson University in Toronto. They say that 30 to 40 percent of couples sleep apart and that sleeping separately is not necessarily an indicator of the relationship going downhill. In fact, they say that sleeping separately is beneficial for couples. It's true that people sleep separately for all kinds of different reasons, but we're calling BS on the idea that almost half of all couples don't sleep together — at all.
A similar survey conducted back in 2005 by the National Sleep Foundation found conflicting numbers: nearly one in four couples slept alone (that's less than 25 percent). It's fair to say that this number can change over time ... but in less than ten years? Seems like a big jump to me.
We get it: Sleep is important for your health and for the health of your relationship. No one likes waking up in the morning to a sleep-deprived grump, right? But is sleeping apart really the catch-all solution for couples with sleep issues? I'm not so convinced that it is.
After all, think about all the things you lose out on: pillow talk, cuddling, not to mention, the more obvious "connection" (ahem) between the sheets. To counteract the claim these researchers make that couples are unable to fall truly, deeply asleep, there are proven benefits to sleeping together: Spooning with our SO, simultaneously lowers cortisol — the stress hormone — and boosts oxytocin — the love hormone — to evoke feelings of security. And you shouldn't have to forgo that feel-good benefit by retreating to separate spaces at night.
There are plenty of options for couples who find it hard to sleep together, whatever the reasons be. And I'm one of them! Since we started living together, my boyfriend says I'm guilty of what he calls the "burrito wrap" move — where I slowly roll myself up in all the blankets and sheets ... and leave him shivering. He's a "Princess and the Pea" sleeper and I've been known to sleep through fire alarms and earthquakes. But still, I don't find myself sleeping better when he's not there next to me. There is something to feeling secure at night.
And I find it hard to believe that almost half of all couples would be willing to give that up.
What do you think about this survey? Do you and your partner sleep apart? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
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