This week we continue with the theme of snoring and what happens if you're completely compatible with your partner by day and incompatible by night? You've tried almost every product on the market, listened to every piece of advice and experimented with every trick in the book and still you're partner's snoring is keeping you up. In short, you're really tired. Tired from not sleeping and tired at how it's affecting, what otherwise is, very possibly, a great relationship. So what's next?
Well, apparently a very large percentage of couples that snore, actually end up sleeping apart. Welcome to my world!
Last week, I explained that after six months of being with my husband, I began to realize that his snoring and inability to sleep well was giving me a direct experience of the torture tactics that they use in Guantanomo Bay! You have no idea how cheated I felt! I had spent my life goal setting and describing the kind of man I was going to marry which included such over controlling things as 'He is a very, very quiet sleeper', and 'He is a really, really good athlete.' Which, for one reason or another, were not granted to me. (Perhaps it was a bit demanding!) Instead, I was delivered a man who snores like a steam train and his exercise is sitting, no actually, lying, in front of the TV. Although, I have to admit to getting more positive qualities in a man than I could every have dreamed up.
My husband and I have a fantastic relationship AND we sleep separately! How does that work you might ask? Most people believe that if you sleep in separate rooms it must mean you have problems in the relationship and certainly can't be having any sex. But how wrong you can be. If you are really incompatible sleeping together, because of your differing sleep habits, do not let that affect your relationship for too long, a lack of sleep affects every waking hour. So instead, please, if you have an extra room, sleep apart and look at the positives of what that means, rather than be a victim to it.
Here are my 5 tips to how sleeping apart can bring you closer together.
TIP 1: Focus on how having your own space positively feeds your relationship, rather than takes away from it. You can be free to be a quiet sleeper or noisy sleeper, without disturbing anyone else. The pressure is off. You can turn the light off whenever you are ready and will no longer be disturbed by you're partner's reading light, restlessness, or snoring. If you sleep well, great! If you don't, it's not their fault! The night is your own!
TIP 2: Make it fun. Both of you have your own rooms and your own style. So design your bedrooms to suit your own taste. Give each other the freedom to express yourselves in the one space in the house that is truly only yours. My husband, Oliver is much messier than I am and I really don't mind what he does in his room, it would bother me so much more if we shared a room.
TIP 3: Make sure that you connect and are in one or the others bed before you go to sleep and then again, when you wake up. So for example, when I go to sleep my husband comes in to my room and then, when I wake up, either I go in to his bed or he jumps in to mine. Now this might sound a bit like 'Musical chairs', but it's actually quite romantic. When I wake up in the morning my first thought is I can't wait to see him and when I go to sleep I have a pang of missing him. We have been known on the odd occasion to be totally ridiculous and ichat each other!
TIP 4: There is a fallacy that having different bedrooms is bad for your sex life. But I actually disagree on this front. Many people don't actually like making love last thing at night, they are way too tired. Once you know what your sexual needs are, you must make sure that they are fulfilled each week. It can add spice by having two bedrooms to choose from, as well as all the other locations round the house. Remember, you are in bed together before you go to sleep and then again when you wake up. Do not mistake not 'sleeping' together with not having 'sex' together!
TIP 5: Don't give a toss what other people's opinions are of how you live your life. Maybe some people will judge you, but who cares what other people think. The most important thing is that you are both happy in your home. It might take a while to let go of your own belief system around whether it's okay to sleep separately and that it doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with the relationship. But please do try to work through these old, unworkable beliefs quickly. The longevity of your relationship is way more important, than an out of date belief that doesn't ultimately work for you. I promise you, that more people than you know sleep separately, they just don't talk about it and it's time we did.
On a final note, relationships are like works of art, each of ours is unique and sleeping in separate rooms might not be for you. But, if it is and you do make this brave step, let go of all the old distress and resentment that has built up over time from your nights of sleep deprivation and start fresh.
Have a great week and tune in next week for 5 more tips.
If you want to contact Sophie, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org