Are You Ready For A Sleep Divorce?
Woman's Own Lifestyle Special|Issue 7, 2020
Will separate beds boost or break your relationship?
Charlotte Richards

During lockdown, medical professionals endorsed it, everyone’s got a friend who swears by it, and research shows that almost one in six British couples are doing it* – more and more of us are sleeping apart from our partners, and the trend is rising. But didn’t our mothers warn us that separate beds spelled trouble for relationships? Not necessarily, say experts.

‘Some 50% of sleep disturbance is caused by sharing a bed,’ explains Lisa Artis, deputy chief executive of thesleepcharity.org.uk. ‘With many of us struggling to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night, having a bed mate can make getting quality shut-eye more difficult.’

This is especially true if your other half is a snorer. According to research by the National Bed Federation, more than a third of those surveyed blamed their partner’s snoring for sleeping alone. Other gripes include partners who fidget, prefer a different temperature, or their job or circadian rhythm is at odds with yours. ‘When a person works shifts or has a dissimilar sleep type – a lark may go to bed earlier and get woken by an owl, while in the morning the reverse occurs – or they want more space, it’s better to have two bigger beds in two rooms,’ recommends James Wilson, aka The Sleep Geek (thesleepgeek.co.uk).

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