Modern couples are increasingly looking for new ways to add a little “spice” in the bedroom, but it may not be in the way you think.
Couples choosing to sleep apart has become a rather common practice with studies backing the growing trend and according to sleep scientists, 1 in 4 couples are opting to sleep in separate beds.
While more and more couples are enjoying the covers all to themselves, there’s still a certain level of stigma attached to this choice, however, it’s nothing new. The wealthy have been doing it for decades and you only need to pop on an episode of Netflix’s The Crown and check out the sleeping arrangements of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip to find examples of this.
One newlywed couple recently went viral for sharing their out-of-the-ordinary sleeping arrangements. Hailing from the United Kingdom, Nelly and Andrew Grecian claim that sleeping separately has benefitted their relationship as they often feel refreshed and revitalised when they wake up in the morning.
But while some couples are reaping the benefits, just what does science have to say about it?
When sleep is measured objectively, people will actually sleep worse with a partner. This makes sense when you consider that having a partner who snores is basically a recipe for a disruptive night’s rest. However, when asked whether you’d prefer to sleep with your partner in the same bed, you’d likely answer “yes.”
According to scientists, this suggests that our social brain prioritises a need for closeness and security at night, even when traded in for a good night’s rest. However, no matter your sleeping preferences, couples need to prioritise sleep when it comes to their relationship.
A rather interesting study found that when the sleep and relationship quality of heterosexual couples were analysed, it found that when male subjects slept worse, they often reported their relationship quality suffered the next day. In contrast to this, on days when female subjects were not happy about their relationship, both her sleep and her husband’s sleep suffered that night.
Wendy M. Troxel PhD, a senior behavioural and social scientist and the woman behind “How to sleep like your relationship depends on it,” reiterates this. But what’s her conclusion on the matter?
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to couples and their sleeping strategies, but couples will need to learn the art of prioritising sleep for the betterment of their relationship and lives. After all, sleep occupies around one-third of our lives with research indicating that when you’re well-rested, you’re a better communicator, happier, more empathetic, and more attractive.
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