There may be a stigma against it but plenty of couples enjoy healthy relationships without sharing a bed.
Anyone who is in a relationship has likely been exiled from the bedroom at least once. Perhaps its snoring or domestic squabbles that cause these temporary splits, but what happens when separate beds become the rule rather than the exception?
Sharing the same bed is assumed to be a sign of a healthy relationship but as Jacqueline Hallyer, a clinical psychosexual therapist and relationships coach says, the real objective is “skin-to-skin contact.”
According to studies, the benefits include a reduction in stress, cortisol, and anxiety levels as well as a better functioning immune system.
However, just because the bedroom is a good place for intimacy, doesn’t mean sharing it with another person won’t detract from the primary objective, restful sleep.
According to a recent survey from ABC, 75 per cent of people reported having trouble falling asleep.
Individual problems vary, but separate beds can be a solution for any number of reasons couples cannot restfully share the same space throughout the night.
Sydney resident Linda and her husband made the not uncommon decision to move into separate bedrooms once their children left the house. She reported a number of positive results and experienced no negative impact on their intimacy.
Different arrangements work for different couples. After the birth of a child, Jon Eggins moved into a separate bedroom and reported negative effects on his relationship, necessitating a move back to the shared space.
These examples illustrate that when it comes to sleeping in the same bed, there is no definitive right or wrong answer.
Perhaps alternate arrangements will work at certain times of the night or stages of the relationship, so Ms. Hallyer advises her clients to experiment with bedroom rituals.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Start out in the same bed before moving to separate rooms when one of you is disturbed.
- Meet up in the same bed in the morning when you both wake up.
- Establish other times for contact and intimacy if you both agree that sleeping separately is best for your health.
So next time you wake up on the couch, it doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed, just be open to exploring some alternate arrangements.