In a survey of 3,000 Americans, our data found that just over 30% of respondents nationwide would like to file for a sleep divorce, meaning they would prefer to sleep separately from their partners. In a breakdown by state, percentages ranged from as low as 5.9% in Montana to more than 80% in West Virginia.
What exactly is a sleep divorce and what’s driving couples to want to sleep alone? We’ll take an in-depth look below.
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What Is A Sleep Divorce?
As the name suggests, a “sleep divorce” happens when a couple decides to consistently sleep separately. This could mean one person takes the bedroom and the other is on the couch, or in the guest room or out of the house entirely. The emphasis here is that the separation is only when it comes to sleeping arrangements, the rest of the relationship remains cohesive.
These survey findings echo a 2018 poll of 2,000 Americans, in which 47% of respondents said they would prefer to sleep without their partner and 19% reported blaming their partner for their poor sleep.
Respondents from the 2018 poll also shared some of the reasoning behind why some prefer to sleep without their partners. Some of their answers included being disturbed by their partner’s snoring, consistently fighting for bed sheets, feeling overheated when sleeping next to someone and waking up because their partner’s hair is in their face.
Why Good Sleep Matters
Sleep deprivation is a major health issue nationwide and nearly one-third of adult Americans say they are not getting the recommended amount of sleep at night. When a person is not getting enough sleep each night, their physical, mental and emotional health may suffer, including relationships.
Sleep deprivation is linked to:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Feeling moody or irritable
- Making mistakes at work
One can understand how a relationship may struggle if partners are disturbing each other’s sleep. A simple solution, in some cases, maybe to separate so that each person can concentrate on getting the sleep he or she needs to stay healthy.
Sleeping separately may mean there is less opportunity for intimacy or personal connections between couples. Here are some things couples can consider in order to try and sleep together or avoid losing out on intimacy.
- If a partner snores, he or she may want to speak with a health professional and rule out a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. If the person does have sleep apnea, there are dental devices and CPAP machines that may help alleviate snoring.
- Sleeping on two mattresses with two sets of sheets may help couples who find they fight over the sheets at night or are disturbed by movement. Fun fact: Two Twin XL mattresses equal a King-sized mattress. Two separate mattresses mean separate sheets and less noticeable movement (motion isolation).
- When sleeping apart is determined to be the absolute best sleep situation for a couple, experts recommend they have open communication and work out a plan to find time to be intimate. This may mean spending time in one bed together before moving to another bed to fall asleep or something else entirely.
The bottom line, sleep plays an important role in relationships and making each couple is different. There are many options and strategies out there to consider and nothing has to be permanent (unlike a real, legal divorce!).