MARITAL PERFECTION…....SLEEP APART??

HealthGal Health Guide
  • So I'm driving carpool one day, many years ago, and as usual the kids basically forget that I'm there and they begin to discuss all kinds of tidbits....

    Eric, age 7 -"Oh yeah??? Well my dad snores so loudly that the house shakes.  He and my mom haven't slept in the same room for years and years."

     

    Whoa, I think, do Geri and Marty really want me knowing that?  And what's that about anyway??  This was, of course,  back in the times when sleep apnea still didn't have a prominent place in the world of medicine and marital circles.  Sure, I knew a lot of men who snored...my grandfather...my uncle, his son...I'd slept over and heard the symphony plenty of times.  Even my husband snored more, as he began to insidiously pack on pounds during our marriage...but more importantly, he was a doctor, on call at least twice a week and every other weekend, and that - by year 15 of our marriage-  was definitely getting me weary from sleep deprivation (beeper and phone calls all night long).

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    So I took the plunge in year 16 of our marriage, pointed my finger to the doorway of my bedroom one night and said, "You're out!! Whenever you are "on call" you need to sleep in the study.  Why should I suffer?? They're not paying me too!!"

     

    Ah, the separate marital bedroom.  I grew up listening to people mock Abe Lincoln and the two bedroom concept.  Trust me...he's having the last laugh.  How many of you have a spouse who snores, tosses and turns, jerks awake just as you are falling asleep, talks during sleep, wakes up to go the bathroom...several times?? Why not sleep separately if you've got the set up?  According to a 2001 phone poll, nearly 12% of married Americans sleep apart; in 2005, a similar study showed a jump to 23%.  The sleep separate concept is here to stay.  So how do therapists and relationship experts feel about it?

     

    Well, most feel that sleeping apart can help to prevent the "tired without reason but by association" spouse issues and they feel that it doesn't have to interfere with intimacy or sexual engagement.  You just "sleep apart.'"  Though some will complain that they feel a little left out of the loop because they are not snuggling together through the night - spooning may be a reasonable concession in the battle to get a "good night's sleep."  You can have a happy marriage, great sex and just create an apartment or home design layout that allows for excellent slumber - for both of you.  In fact, a new design wave is even focusing on creating slumber zones for couples who simply cannot sleep together.

     

    Who knows....we may be moving from feng shui to slumber simpatico!! Have a sleep separate comment????

Published On: September 14, 2008