Sleep Divorce: Study Shows A Lot of Couples Sleep in Different Beds, and They're Happier Because of It

I don't know about you, but I can't handle snorers. Or worse, blanket hogs. I've always thought separate beds were too much of an extreme, some sort of signal of an imminent break-up. Because if you love someone, you should be able to sleep together all the time, right? Well, there's actually a significant number of couples who are doing the twin beds thing, and instead of foreshadowing doom, it's making them happier.

The Director of Ryerson University’s Sleep and Depression Laboratory, Colleen Carney, recently told the CBC that as much as 30 to 40 percent of couples sleep apart. Not only is it more common that we think, the good night's sleep that ensues tends to make for happier couples. “People will say they sleep better [together], but when we actually monitor their brains we see that their brain is not getting into deeper stages of sleep because they’re continuously being woken up by movement or sound,” explained Carney. “It creates a lot of problems.”

This trend, nicknamed "sleep divorce," deserves a change of image. Sleep divorce not only helps avoid cranky and tired fighting matches but can also work to bring couples on the brink of actual divorce closer together. “I think the idea of sleep divorce is an unfair term. People can have very good and satisfying relationships sleeping apart. Some people might be headed to divorce and then they actually sleep apart and find this new way to connect,” said Carney.

The CBC doesn't mention how this sleep divorce impacts the other things couples do together in bed, but I'm guessing couples who sleep apart still make fun visits to each others' beds before tucking in. And if your separate beds are in the same room, I Love Lucy style, you still get the opportunity for lots of quality pillow talk. Your pillows will just be further apart.

Image: Phil and Pam Gradwell (to be) on flickr

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