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Bedroom Tax: It’s Not Just Black Or White

By sleepcounciladmin on April 2, 2013

Here at The Sleep Council we’ve been musing over the government’s bedroom tax policy for some time now.

While we understand that the government might see the bedroom tax as a practical solution to the social housing shortage, we are left wondering about the unfortunate people who use their spare room for a variety of acceptable reasons – such as people with disabilities and one that rings true for us – people who sleep separately.

Some couples genuinely need to sleep apart – usually because of health issues. Those with disabilities, such as Parkinson’s, MS etc and their partners, enjoy a more rested sleep if they sleep separately.  Something that wasn’t taken into account when the government devised this policy.

Even without a specific health issue, partner disturbance is one of the most common complaints for poor sleep – with snoring the main culprit.  Often underestimated snoring, particularly if chronic, can affect the quantity and quality of your sleep and that of your family members. If snoring keeps your partner awake, it can also create major relationship problems. We all know that just one bad night’s sleep can affect our mood, concentration and alertness, several leaves many couples short tempered leading to rows and squabbles.  Long-term sleep deprivation has far more serious consequences: heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

Some may say this a luxury we just can’t justify anymore but for most couples who sleep apart, it’s a practical decision and not one that’s taken lightly.

However it looks like this decision may well be out of their hands. As household budgets are squeezed more than ever, and with a bedroom tax on top, most couples will be hard pushed to continue sleeping separately.

With over 47% of the population already kept awake at night from stress and worry, let’s hope this doesn’t push them over the edge.

Let me know your thoughts.

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One thought on “Bedroom Tax: It’s Not Just Black Or White

  1. This is a tricky dilemma isn’t it? I think with sleep problems and disability related needs, it will be another example of people being caught in the cross-fire of an otherwise quite sensible policy. There are many over-occupiers, and although there will be discretionary situations I imagine, I don’t think sleep problems for couples would be something local authority would look seriously at!

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