When we think about healthy relationships, most of us think about two people who are joined at the hip. However, psychology and science are showing us that sleeping apart could be the key to a healthy relationship.
For most couples, the idea of apart seems counterproductive. Space is often thought of as an obstacle rather than a catalyst to improved relations. But is that true?
First and foremost, it’s important to note that closeness is not a bad thing. Being close to your partner and spending time with them is not only a beneficial aspect of a relationship, but a necessary one.
But, the adage “distance makes the heart grow fonder,” does have psychological grounds.
Most people who think about sleeping separately from their partner look at this scenario with disdain. However, there are many common reasons why couples choose to do this, including health problems, sleep interruptions, and even relational difficulty.
Those who have been in a long-term relationship, likely know the struggle all too well: after a while, two people often encounter problems when sleeping together. Whether it’s the size of your mattress that is the problem, or the fact that your partner snores when you are trying to fall asleep, two people don’t always share the same sleeping behaviors.
In turn, one partner may be sleeping soundly, while the other lies awake at night, leading them to wake up even more tired than they were before they fell asleep. Or, the sleep quality for both partners may struggle.
I remember being a small child and noticing that my grandparents slept in separate bedrooms, and it struck me as odd. However, as an adult, the thought has crossed my mind a time or two.
It stands to reason that if your sleeping quality is decreasing, then so too is the value of your relationship. Sleep expert Neil Stanley says that 50% of couples who share a bed have more disrupted sleep than those who sleep apart. And since the Better Sleep Council shows that better sleep improves our attitude and mood, it stands to reason that sleeping apart from your partner has some major benefits.
And while you may be thinking that sleeping apart from your partner would cause relationship problems, that isn’t the case. According to Psychology Today, “Sleeping apart may improve the romantic quality as well as the pleasure life of a relationship. Spending every night in bed together may reduce physical excitement, which is often associated with change and novelty.”
Of course, there is no one size fits all approach, so if sleeping apart does more harm than good for your particular relationship dynamic, do what works for you.
However, if you are considering opting for separate beds, there is most definitely a myriad of benefits to be had from a new arrangement.
One thing is for sure, when you are always around your partner, you can become blind to their best qualities due to the frustrations that can be overwhelming. Taking a bit of space can provide profound benefits, even if it’s for an eight-hour-long spree.