Thinking about a sleep divorce? Here’s four things you should know.

sleep divorce - blog

Thinking about a sleep divorce? Here’s four things you should know about sleeping separately.

As a sleep and well-being coach I get many questions about whether sleep divorce is a wise choice. People interested in improving their sleep are curious and wanting to see if sleeping separately would help. At the same time, they have concerns about what it might mean for their relationship, or what others might think if they knew.

As a partnered human being, I’ve personally experienced the comfort of sleeping soundly together. I’ve also experienced the effects of sleep deprivation when one or both of us sleeps poorly. I know what it’s like when sleep schedules don’t align—for example, one person is a morning person and the other a night owl.

So if you’re thinking about a sleep divorce, here are four things I think you should know.

If you’re thinking about a sleep divorce, know that sleeping separately isn’t a decision to be ashamed of.

I’m not certain who first coined the term “sleep divorce,” but I hate it.

Many people still view divorce as a loss, a failure, a sin, or whatever negative label you want to associate with it. “Sleep-split” is another term I see that isn’t much better.

Calling sleeping separately by these names is nothing more than an attempt to create drama and shame.

Have you or someone you loved been through a divorce and it turned out to be one of the best decisions ever made?

Sleeping separately is often like that. It might be one of the biggest gifts you give yourself. Prioritizing your sleep and well-being is something to celebrate.

Getting consistently better rest improves your physical, mental, and emotional health. If you want details, check out chapter three of my book.

High-quality sleep can change how you interact with your partner, and help you show up as the person you most want to be in all your relationships, both personal and professional.

See also: Here’s Why More and More Couples Are Choosing to Sleep in Separate Beds.

Sleeping separately can be intimacy-promoting.

The biggest issue experts cite about sleeping separately, and that people buy into, is that intimacy suffers.

But if you’re sleep-deprived, odds are your patience is low; your partner isn’t particularly sexy when they’re irritating the heck out of you, are they?

Your own self-esteem may suffer because lack of sleep interferes with your mood, your judgment, and your confidence.

You may not have any energy left to be physically intimate, because you emptied your tank meeting the basic demands of your day.

If you’ve ever slept as far away as possible from a partner because the relationship was over way before they became an ex, you know that being in the same bed doesn’t say a thing about intimacy!

When you’re well-rested, you appreciate your partner more. Their little quirks are still cute; you truly see them and appreciate having them in your life. You make time to connect with one another.

You feel better in your own skin, and have energy left to burn on extracurriculars in the bedroom (or for that matter, any room). 😉

See also: Six Ways Poor Sleep Can Ruin Your Relationship.

If you’re thinking about a sleep divorce, know that sleeping separately can be time-bound.

Hesitation may arise because your mind tries to convince you that sleeping separately is a permanent arrangement. If never sleeping together again feels wrong, you won’t try it.

But what if, after a particularly poor night of sleep and a challenging day, you had a quick conversation about sleeping apart the next night?

You or your partner grabs the guest room, the sofa, whatever.

The following night, when you’ve recovered your sleep mojo, you might decide to come together again.

How does a single night apart sit with you, if it means you both wake well-rested the next morning?

Does this make sleeping separately feel less scary or troublesome to experiment with?

Sleeping separately teaches you adaptability.

The only thing that’s permanent is change.

You might find yourself single and sleeping alone for a time. Your family might move, or one of you may occasionally travel for work or pleasure.

You might have a baby, and need to grab your sleep whenever and however you can.

You might take a different partner and have an entirely different experience of sleeping together.

One of you may be exposed to a virus like Covid-19 and need to be quarantined.

You might adopt a new pet, then wonder whether you should allow it in the bed or not.

Sleep isn’t something you perfect and then forget about. It’s something you work with.

You learn and grown by adapting to changes that you experience in your daytime life. Similarly, you can learn what promotes your best sleep at night. This is a continuous process, not a destination.

The bottom line on sleep divorce is this:

Notice what’s different about you and your relationships when you sleep well.

If you have a gut feeling you and your partner would improve your sleep by sleeping separately, then it’s worth trying.

Feel proud of the fact that your relationship is strong and intimate enough to have an adult conversation about it, and do the experiment.

Together, decide what comes next. Learn to adapt as your situation changes, as you grow as people both separately and in relationship to one another.

Don’t give a rat’s ass about what anyone else wants to call it, or what anyone else does!

They’re not you, and they’re not in the same “us.”

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By submitting your email you agree that Kali Patrick Coaching may send you emails containing sleep resources & the occasional special offer about sleep & well-being services.
In this sample chapter of my book, "Mastering Your Sleep Puzzle", you'll learn about 10 lifestyle habits you have that may be contributing to your sleep struggles, so you can start making different choices.
Are you ready to get the BEST sleep of your life?