I started my new 'Balanced Life' segments on the KTLA 5 television news show last year with what seemed like a 'Trial By Fire.' The subject chosen -- 'Why Sleeping Separately Can Be Good for Your Relationship' -- is one of the most controversial that I tend to speak out about. After all, I sleep separately from my husband of nearly seven years and have a fantastic relationship. So as this month's theme in 'Living' is about sleep, I of course, have to put in my two cents worth!
Let me, at least, set the scene for you. Imagine this: I am whisked out of the make up chair, to the guest chair about one minute before being on. One of the anchors says something like "This sleeping separately business is crazy!" Then the director shouts "Camera two" and that is that, we are live. I have no idea where camera two was, so if you do watch it you might notice me swinging 'round looking for a label!
Oh, and the look on my face, well that is actually the realization, in that moment, that this is not going to be the gentle chit chat that I expected -- more like the Spanish Inquisition. As an aside though, I finished the segment and one of the crew whispered in my ear. "Thank you for being on the show Sophie, I have slept separately from my wife for 21 years and we have a fantastic relationship."
So keep in mind this 'sleeping separately' business isn't for everyone. It certainly isn't for you if you sleep beautifully with your partner and you are brilliantly compatible while you are asleep. However, if there is any form of incompatibility -- they snore, hog the sheets or keep you up in any other way -- and you have tried everything to remedy the situation, then maybe you might want to think of sleeping in separate rooms.
Even as newly weds, my husband and I slept separately, due to incompatible sleep habits. He needs only five hours sleep, is up quite a bit through the night and snores very loudly. I, on the other hand, am a very light and quiet sleeper and need eight hours rest. With our differences we knew that there was a potential huge problem very early on in our relationship and even though it took us time to get used to it, we decided that sleeping apart was the best long-term solution. Most people believe that if you have separate rooms it must mean that you are probably not having sex. But that, from my experience, is absolutely not true at all. Sleeping separately did not bring the passion out of the relationship. On the contrary, I actually think that it quite possibly enhanced it. So if you haven't read them before or need a refresher, here are my top nine positive aspects to sleeping separately.
1. Well, obviously you have no one next to you who is snoring. You can get to sleep without interruption and will not be woken in the middle of the night!
2. You are free to turn the light on or off when you want, at any time, without worrying about disturbing anyone else and thinking of their needs.
3. If you wake in the middle of the night you can do what you like to do when you can't sleep, whether it is to watch movies, read, go on line, listen to music, write etc. Whatever you do, there will be no one to complain about it.
4. If you're tidy, there is no one to make the room messy and conflict with your orderly tendencies. If you're messy, you don't have anyone on your back to tell you to clean up.
5. You can have your own space in the house where you can withdraw at any time and have some peace to yourself when you need it.
6. It is the one room in the house that you don't need a consensus. You can express yourself as you please and decorate your space in your own style, without having to compromise.
7. You can have the room the temperature that you like. Or Hog the duvet to yourself, without anyone pulling it away from you and kick the sheets off when you're hot.
8. You can romantically 'visit' each other's room and jump in to each other's beds in the morning and at night to connect. When it is time to sleep one of you will withdraw in to their own room.
9. You will become even more conscious about how much sex you need and are having. This can actually be a good thing, as you can both make sure that you make time to get both your needs met.
Sleeping separately can initially take a lot of guts to try it out, because you have to dispel the belief that it is not good for your relationship or worry that others will think you that aren't in a good relationship or having sex. But all of this in time you will get over. The most important aspect to think about is, what is best for your health? And what is best for the longevity of your relationship? Then make a joint decision from there.
If you would like to watch this or any other segments go to www.howhappyis.com. Where you will be able to sign up for the monthly newsletter, ask me questions, watch more videos and much more. Love Sophie x