Many medical professionals recommend black-out curtains, a fan to drown out sound, and a cool temperature at night to promote better sleep.
However, some people are opting for better sleep by spending the night in a different bed than their partner. Maybe even in a separate room.
According to an American Academy of Sleep Medicine survey, more than one-third of people in the U.S. say they occasionally or consistently sleep in another room.
It’s called sleep divorce, but don’t be fooled by the name. Section Head of sleep medicine Emerson Wickwire at the University of Maryland School of Medicine says it’s not necessarily an indicator or even a warning sign of relationship troubles.
“If, for example, my bed partner has untreated obstructive sleep apnea, which often involves loud snoring, or if my bed partner has a sleep disorder that involves movement during the night, that might place him or her at risk or me at risk, it may make more sense for us to sleep apart,” Wickwire said.
A decade ago, Wickwire says he would have recommended that all couples sleep in the same bed because it increases a positive sense of connection. However, he’s noticed some partners say their relationship is enhanced when they sleep separately, because everyone is well rested, and there is no resentment toward each other for any lack of sleep.
He says there is no right or wrong answer. Find what works best for you.
“If you're consistently waking up not refreshed, if you or your bed partner is showing signs of a clinical sleep disorder like loud snoring, then the most important thing to do is to seek consultation.”