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What Is A "Sleep Divorce" And Should You File For One?


If you love your partner but enjoyed sounder sleep when you were single, you’re not alone. From snoring to sleep-talking, to mismatched morning schedules, many factors can make it difficult for partners to get quality sleep together, which is why some choose to defy the cultural norm and sleep in separate rooms (or at least separate beds). This doesn’t necessarily signal that anything is wrong with the relationship, and in fact—given that poor quality sleep can seriously affect your mood and disposition—can actually be a great boon for romance.

Obvious issues like chronic snoring or blanket-stealing aside, some people simply don’t sleep as well next to another body, no matter how close or loving their relationship with that person may be. Sleep is too important to sacrifice for the sake of fitting into a cultural norm, so it’s time we stop stigmatizing couples for choosing not to sleep together.

Of course, most people would agree that physical intimacy is essential for maintaining the bond in a romantic relationship, and sleep divorce need not be your first line of defense. Workarounds like earplugs, white noise machines, two blankets, or motion isolation mattresses are sufficient in some cases, but if you’ve tried these options and still wake up exhausted, consider that opting into a sleep divorce doesn’t mean opting out of intimacy with your partner. 

For instance, some couples reserve one bed for cuddling (and other activities), and even wind down and relax together each night before moving to separate beds for sleep. Snuggling up on the couch before retiring to separate beds is another option. Before committing to a sleep divorce, you can always suggest a trial sleep separation to see if the arrangement is worth it. 

Even though sleep divorce works brilliantly for some couples, it’s not for everyone—so do tread lightly when suggesting it to your loved one. Try to make your reasoning clear without making them feel rejected or unloved. Even if parting ways at night makes good sense for your situation, the topic can be a little sensitive thanks to the cultural stigma attached to it. Most of all, remember that prioritizing quality sleep is important for the health of your relationship in the long run.

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