Could a sleep divorce save your relationship?

Could this Scandinavian sleep trend save your relationship?

In the UK it is natural for relationships to go through sticky parts. A big part of our life is sleep, we spend one third of our day in bed. So it is totally possible that your sleep might be the problem in your relationship.

And So to Bed have teamed up with Mairead Molley, Relationship Psychologist at Berkeley International to talk about why a sleep divorce might be the best new sleeping method for you and your partner. 

What is a sleep divorce?

‘’No one talks about sleep divorce and it is so common. A sleep divorce is simply sleeping apart, in separate beds or bedrooms so that both partners can get the best sleep Mairead explained.

If your partner snores, moves a lot or gets up in the middle of the night, you wake up. Naturally, this interrupts your rest. This takes a toll on you both physically and psychologically and could lead to a whole host of problems including sadness, mood swings, a lack of concentration and even weight gain.’’

How does it help?

Sleeping in another room helps not only improve your comfort and rest but also to keep your personal space. Mairead explains how a sleep divorce can even encourage sexual relations with your partner. ‘’Being separated at night favours the existence of an erotic space in which you miss the other person. Thus, it increases your desire to be together.’’

What if you’re not used to sleeping alone?

‘’If you’re a very romantic person and are horrified by the idea of spending the night alone, an intermediate solution could be sleeping in the same bed but with separate duvets or blankets. This is known as the Scandinavian sleep method or Swedish sleep method. Overall, this is a good way to sleep together but still comfortable if your partner moves a lot and invades your space.

There are many different ways to sleep as a couple in a relationship – together and separately, you just need to find what works for you. You can still be happy and in love.’’

Think about you

‘’A sleep divorce is simply sleeping apart, in separate beds or bedrooms so that both partners can get the best sleep

There's no rule out there saying couples have to sleep in the same bedroom. What matters most is whether the arrangement is by mutual agreement or is in place to help the relationship.

Think about it – what are you like if you don’t get a night’s sleep? It is common for absolute rage to develop if your bed partner is snoring or constantly disrupting your sleep. Getting poor sleep makes you grumpier. And if the reason you’re getting poor sleep is because your partner’s disrupting your sleep, as you can imagine, relationship conflict can ensue.

If you’ve ever spent a night tossing and turning, you already know how you’ll feel the next day — tired, cranky, and out of sorts. But missing out on the recommended 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye nightly does more than make you feel groggy and grumpy.’’

Long term effects of sleep deprivation

‘’The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are real.

It drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk. Science has linked poor slumber with a number of health problems, from weight gain to a weakened immune system.

Sleeping separately could be hugely beneficial to couples who are struggling with different sleeping patterns or sleep disorders that are keeping each other from having a good night's rest.’’

What does sleep benefit?

Sleep supersedes most things in life – it heals and cures so many things:-

  • Get sick less often.

  • Stay at a healthy weight.

  • Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease.

  • Reduce stress and improve your mood.

  • Think more clearly and do better in school and at work.

  • Get along better with people.

  • Communicate with your partner 

3rd March 2023

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