How does your partner’s sleep affect your own? Have you ever dreamed of having the bed all to yourself? (That is, if you ever get a chance to dream!) Or maybe it’s the way you sleep that’s impacting your partner’s quality of sleep! Either way, it could be time to consider separate beds.

Yes, yes, sleeping together is an important part of intimacy. Two warm bodies in the same bed is what coupledom is all about, isn’t it? Sure, but when one person can’t sleep because the other snores, tosses and turns, sleep-walks or sleep-talks, it can seem like an impossible dream.

So, which kinds of couples should sleep apart?

Bedtime habits don’t match

If one of you can only drift off to sleep with the TV or Spotify on for background noise, that’s got to have a big impact on the other. Some people suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and need ‘white noise’ to drown it out. Then there are the night-munchers, those who love nothing more than cosying up with a bag of chips or a chocolate bar. Reading a book, playing games on a smartphone and even doing work in bed are big ways to disturb a partner’s wind-down or sleep routine.

Untreated sleep apnoea

In couples where one person suffers from untreated sleep apnoea, the noise can be not just loud, but alarming. Sleep apnoea causes a person to stop breathing for a few seconds, multiple times per hour! For the non-affected partner, this can be a complete disruption to sleep and can also be cause for concern throughout the night. If the sufferer refuses to use CPAP therapy – which immediately eliminates snoring and dramatically reduces the numbers of apnoeas per hour – then it could be time to say “hasta la vista, baby!” and switch to a different bed.

Difference temperature preferences

Do you like a warm, cosy bed but your partner likes the room to feel like the chilled section at Woolies? Touching tootsies under the covers can be like Titanic striking the iceberg mid-Atlantic. Or, one of you may radiate enormous heat year-round or menopause may be causing hot flushes and night sweats. This is also grounds for separate beds, so that everyone can get their proper dose of sleep and comfort.

Pets versus no pets

Many people sleep with their pets but if it’s a big no-no for one of you, then you have another reason for separate sleeping arrangements. Granted, it could feel particularly unpleasant to be kicked out of bed by a pet but go with whatever arrangement works for you as a couple.

Insomnia and other health issues

One can’t sleep so the other doesn’t get to! Insomnia is just one health issue that can wreak havoc on a partner’s sleep quality. Restless legs syndrome and back pain are others. It’s no use ‘putting up with it’. You each deserve proper sleep.

Shift workers

Sleeping in shifts can be more exhausting than going to bed late under normal circumstances. For the best chance of quality sleep, try different rooms so you can each have refreshing, restorative sleep.

When you look back at the quaint TV shows of the 1960s (The Brady Bunch, I Love Lucy and Bewitched), it was common to see married couples sleeping in separate single beds in the same room. They always woke up looking refreshed and ready to face the day. If you feel yours and your partners sleep would benefit from separate bedrooms, give it a go. Sleep patterns are like signatures; no two are the same. It’s illogical to expect that sleeping together should be a perfect scenario for every night of your relationship for years or decades ahead. Try it and see if your sleep quality improves!

Watch the video below and see if it rings some alarm bells for YOU!