Sleep is the ultimate indulgence for me. I not only need it, I love it. The fastest way to upset me is to make me leave the house after I have scrubbed myself with sweet smelling something, tossed on my comfortable sleep attire and settled into my favourite spot on the bed. Even worse is when you wake me up early for anything less than a fire or a life threatening situation. Let a girl sleep in peace.
I always pray for a hubby who will understand that if he messes with my sleep pattern, there will be trouble in paradise. I jokingly told my friends that I think it would be lovely if my future hubby and I could have separate rooms. There’s not enough room here to express the disapproval I received. So you can only imagine how delighted I was when a week or so ago, my favourite radio station discussed the fact that “A sleep study revealed that 20 – 40% of couples sleep in separate beds.” I turned up the volume immediately. This particular study was done in the US.
The DJs (with the same disapproval as my friends) were sure there was an error in the stats. How could the numbers be so high? The phone lines went berserk. Surprise surprise, many ordinary people called into say they completely get it and they do it too. Many of them emphasised the fact that they love their spouse and they are happily married. The reasons for the separate beds and separate rooms were many. Among them were these:
  • Snoring
When people chirp love can conquer all, they have never tried to sleep next to real snorer. Not the odd grunt as a person turns….real snoring. As one guy put it “Furthermore, my wife – understandably – dislikes my snoring. Which is not unfair. Once, when I was sleeping in a tent on the pavement outside my local library in order to try to prevent it being closed by the council, a passerby asked another volunteer if there was an angry dog inside the tent. That is the general sonic tenor of the night noises I make.”(source)
  • Technology
There are people who have embraced technology to the exclusion of simple, beautiful things like quiet time in bed. I need darkness, silence and warmth to sleep. I do not need the glare of a laptop lighting up the room or the perpetual *tap tap tap* of someone texting, tweeting, bbming or whatsapping keeping me awake. Some people can not be parted from their toys for any amount of time even if it means keeping their significant other awake.
  • Incompatible sleeping habits
I sleep well but I sleep very lightly. This is probably a by product of being the first born child who was given grown up errands from age 10. My mum did not hesitate to put me on a bus to the next town to deliver or pick up things. There’s nothing like the fear of waking up 100miles from where you need to be to teach you to open an eye every time the bus makes a suspicious movement. Likewise, anything that moves in my bed, room or outside my window will wake me up. Imagine what a night for me would be like with a person who goes to the loo regularly or tosses and turns a lot.
For others it was stealing bed covers which led to real fights. Restless legs that kick others awake…. the list is endless. One of the DJs confessed he loves to spoon and cuddle and his wife hates it. She keeps telling him Africa is too darn hot for that. She disengages as soon as he nods off. Personally, I am a furnace when I fall asleep. I have had a friend wake me up in the middle of the night because she thought I was spiking a fever LOL.
  • Incompatible living habits
One guy who called in says he loves his wife dearly. He is ex military. He has OCD. All the shoes must face the same way. Same with the hangers. Clothes must always be neatly hung, folded, stowed. His wife…… let’s just say she’s the polar opposite. One of their daughters unfortunately developed epilepsy and he moved a bed into her room to make sure she didn’t fall off her bed and hurt herself. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, both he and his wife are much happier. He is not nagging because he has his own perfectly neat room and her room looks like a clothes bomb hit it. Happy compromise…
There are downsides to this arrangement. Some argue that it kills the intimacy. Others argue that the distance will kill the relationship and lead to divorce. I can understand what they mean. Imagine you work 7am to 7pm, have dinner (if at all) and go to separate beds? Intimacy is under threat from the modern world as it is.
The pros are inadequate sleep = grumpy people = lots of fights = why did I marry you. Refreshed people are happy people. Plus “a survey of 70,000 women aged over 16, published in 2005, showed that women who slept five or fewer hours a night were a third more likely to put on at least 33lb than sound sleepers. That’s a big difference. So it appears that sleeping together – as it tends to result in disturbed sleep – makes you fat. The scientific explanation for this is that after just a few days of sleep restriction, the hormones that control appetite cause people to be hungrier. So women who sleep less might eat more.” source
It is also interesting to note that until the 19th century people slept in separate beds as a sign of wealth and status.
While I doubt I would actually sleep in a separate bed from my hubby, its a very interesting debate.