Married Couples Who Sleep in Separate Bedrooms: Solutions and Causes

Last updated: September 19th, 2023

Married Couples Who Sleep in Separate Bedrooms: What Can Be Done?

If you and your spouse or partner sleep in different bedrooms, you are not alone. Over 20 percent of married couples alone sleep in separate rooms, and many for multiple reasons including opposite work schedules, having children with sleeping problems, underlying marital issues, and the most popular and burdensome being snoring.

History of Sleeping in Separate Bedrooms goes back to the 1800's when one was considered royal to have their own sleeping quarters. English royals including land owners, kings, and queens conducted numerous business deals, and made great economic decisions in the comfort of one's own bedroom. Bedrooms in the 1800's and 1900's were more public spaces than the privates areas we are familiar with today. Most affluent men and women played different roles in the household, therefore having separate rooms for their belongings.

Men had several staff and servants to dress him in the morning, provide breakfast to him in the bed room, and then invite businessman into his quarters for meetings. The same went for women – their staff would dress and feed them, and close friends or staff met in the bedroom to arrange the day's social calendar and agenda.

Many important life events took place in the bedroom throughout history like birth, sickness, and death – another reason why couples had separate bedrooms. As economies progressed and modernized, and the introduction of household plumbing became mainstream, separate sleeping quarters for men and women became less common and separate dressing rooms or closets were gradually introduced. Now, modern-day sleeping arrangements suggest that spouses or partners share the same room and bed.

Modern Day Causes of Couples Sleeping in Different Beds

It's probably safe to say that the reason you are sleeping away from your partner is not due to being an affluent King and Queen. The reason for your separate sleeping quarters are probably listed in one of the following causes, and I'm willing to bet that most are due to snoring.

Marital Problems. One cause of couples sleeping separately is the underlying issue of marital problems and domestic disputes. With nearly 50% of marriages ending in divorces these days, the reality of sleeping in separate bedrooms may not be a good sign. Some spouses with children under the age of 18 may choose to continue on with their marriage until their kids are grown and may simply sleep in separate rooms and blame the other for snoring as a cover-up. Really, they are just masking their underlying marital issues from their kids.

Work Schedules. Other couples prefer not to wake up their partner due to opposite work schedules and late nights coming home. Many American homes have at least 1 parent working multiple jobs and shifts to make ends meet, even if it means coming home to another bedroom away from your spouse so you don't disturb their sleeping. Corporate jet-setters may choose to sleep in another room so they don't wake their spouse in the early morning hours when they have to get ready to catch a 5am flight. Others may completely work on opposite schedules and may just be going to bed when their spouse hears the alarm go off in the morning.

Children. Although a bad habit to start at a young age, some first time mothers allow their children to sleep with them early on and continue to let them sleep in their bed as the years pass. This may force the husband or spouse out of the bedroom and into the child's bed. If the child gets into th habit of having a parent in their bed, it can be hard to break that habit when the child is older.

Snoring. If you don't believe any of the preceding reasons, most likely it's because of snoring. Snoring and sleep apnea are one of the main reasons couples sleep in separate beds. Many heavy snorers with sleep apnea destroy any chance of having a good night's rest, and can cause a partner to become exhausted. Even if the snorer is still sleeping, their partner may be kept awake all night. In the morning, the partner may be drained of energy which can make them late for work and be accident prone on the roads. Advancing age can worsen the problem as snoring increases with age and weight gain.

What Can Be Done?

If you find yourself sleeping apart from your spouse and partner due to snoring, there are several steps that can be taken in order to remedy the situation. The first would be to get a good night's sleep. If you are snoring loudly and keeping your partner up all night, you do not make for an ideal sleeping partner. If you can get a good night's rest it can help to mend any underlying problem in your marriage or relationship.

Secondly, you should explore a snoring remedy like a CPAP machine or an oral appliance like a mouthpiece. Most snoring mouthpieces are available over the counter and are budget friendly. Third, if snoring persists, you or your partner may need to consult with a sleep physician in order to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Sleeping in separate rooms is never a good sign in any marriage or relationship, especially if snoring is the root cause. If you are struggling with snoring, you should take steps to correct it before ruining your marriage or relationship. If you have already separated your sleeping quarters, then address the underlying issues such as snoring in order to bring them back into one bedroom. Good luck and happy sleeping!

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