With romance in the air as Valentine’s Day fast approaches, is there still ‘love’ in the bedroom – or does the key to a successful relationship lie in sleeping apart?

Reading the news it seems that more and more couples are sleeping separately with reports that sleeping together may actually be bad for your health. Disruptedsleep can leave many couples short tempered with each other leading to rows and squabbles.

Sleep specialist Dr. Neil Stanley said couples believe they sleep better with their partner, however evidence has proved that couples suffer 50 per cent more sleep disturbances if they share a bed.

It was 10 years ago that we started noticing a problem with couples sharing a bed. A study we did found that almost half of the respondents complained of being awakened up to six times a night. While almost half (46%) fell asleep again within five minutes, others found it impossible to drop off again for an hour or more. The major complaints were against those who snored, hogged the bed clothes and tossed and turned.

A further survey we did in 2008 also highlighted the issue, finding that a quarter of British couples admitted to sleeping separately on a regular basis. It seemed that busy night time routines were driving couples’ bedtimes and even their bedrooms apart and nine per cent of those questioned admitted to always sleeping separately from their partner.

According to the National Sleep Foundation in the U.S, couples sleeping separately jumped from 12 per cent in 2001 to 23 per cent in 2005. The National Association of Home Builders (US) say they’ve seen an increase in requests for “two-master bedroom” homes and predict that by 2015, 60 per cent of all custom upscale homes will be built with two “owner suites.”

In our culture sleeping apart implies that there is trouble in paradise. But in reality, if your sleep habits don’t synchronise then it’s much better, for your relationship, to sleep apart. For most couples who sleep apart, it’s a practical decision and you can still have all those intimate moments of sharing a bed when you fancy it, before departing to your very own space to sleep!

So, if you want this Valentine’s to go down well, it may be that your relationship doesn’t need a fancy meal out or a nice little bit of bling, but in fact a trip down to your local bed shop!

Personally I enjoy having another bod in bed with me and the pillow talk we share at this time. Luckily I still manage to get a good night’s sleep. I’m not sure I would feel the same if I tossed and turned all night. But do you suffer? Do you think sleeping apart is good for your relationship? Or do you prefer to sleep with your partner?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Lisa – The Sleep Council

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