Before explaining sleep divorce, a bit of context is needed. Let’s set the stage. After a long day, we are all exhausted, looking for a good night’s rest. As we lay down and drift off to sleep, we are jolted awake by our spouse, either through a snore or constant shifting. Now, our mind is racing, and we cannot go back to sleep. We take refuge on the couch or other room, only to be asked in the morning, “How’d you sleep?” Not exactly a picture of marriage bliss, but this is where a sleep divorce can help save a marriage.
Sleep divorce simply refers to sleeping apart at night. Similar to what was popularized up until the 1950s, the practice revolves around couples sleeping in two separate beds, whether those beds are in the same room or not. Victorian doctors even warned that sharing a bed only lead to the “weaker” sleeper being drained of their energy.
Is this common?
If the studies are to believed, yes. For example, according to a UK-based study, found that about one in six couples have successfully sleep divorced. Similarly, a May 2020 survey found that about 35% of U.S. adults have done the same.
Can it help my marriage?
Yes! For those couples where sleeping together has become an issue, it can definitely help. In fact, according to the experts, sleeping alone is associated with better sleep, and the quality of one’s sleep directly bares on the quality of one’s relationship. In other words, couples who sleep well are less likely to argue, which can, in turn, bring couples closer. And, especially right now in our forced togetherness environment, having a little away time can also be restorative by preserving some personal space and intrigue.
More affection throughout the day
Experts have noted that when one’s affection and intimacy is reduced at night that couple then spend more time being physically affectionate during the day. Couples find that they are making an effort to spend more time together. Of course, this may not happen naturally, so some effort may be required.
Of course, sleep divorce is not a natural cure all for a rocky marriage. And, for residents of Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince William County, Loudoun County and the Washington DC metro area, one may still need to speak with a divorce attorney.