I walk into the soft light of my bedroom and snuggle up into my four-poster bed. I grab a book from the mountain on my nightstand and check my iPhone.
I text my husband, “Did you turn the lights off downstairs?”
He texts back, “Yes.”
I respond, “K, nite.”
He texts, “I love you.”
My husband is in our guest bedroom and I’m in the master bedroom — rather, our bedroom.
We didn’t have a fight. We’re not doing an in-house separation. We’re not getting divorced. What we’re getting is sleep. And it’s glorious.
When I explain our sleeping arrangement to those that are curious, I’m often met with side-eye and judgment. As if how we sleep has anything to do with our love for each other or our intimacy.
We started a separate sleeping arrangement when I was awoken from my sleep once again at 3 AM by thunderous snuffles and snorts. I nudged my husband, hoping if he turned to his side the snoring would stop. It didn’t work.
So, I angrily hemmed and hawed hoping to rouse him. He would not wake up. I then forcefully turned on my side placing my back to him, shaking the whole mattress when I did so. He woke up.
Every night it was a battle with him in bed.
“What is your deal?”
“You’re snoring is driving me crazy! I can’t sleep!”
“I’m not snoring.”
“OMG, are you serious? Yes, you are. And you have been all night. Do I have to record you? You do it every night, you know you do. I’m sleeping in the guest bedroom.”
I yanked my pillow from the bed and flung it under my arm so hard the pillowcase cracked like a whip. Then I grabbed my cell phone, muttered some more curse words, and stomped out the door to our spare room.
I confess: I am a light sleeper and always have been. However, I refuse to be subjected to our unsleepable environment.
I refuse to allow myself to be woken up night after night just because he’s my husband. This problem is solvable and the solution is sleeping separately.
Well, one night turned into three nights, which turned into a week and I was sleeping better than I ever have before, even if it was in the guest bedroom.
Every evening, I sipped my herbal tea, sprawled my legs out all over the guest bed, and splayed my various books, laptops, headphones, and eyeglasses all out on the fluffy duvet. It was great and all, but it wasn’t my bed.
So we started arguing over who gets the guest bedroom and who gets our bedroom.
Our bedroom is a space I designed to be a sanctuary. I put hours into finding the perfect furniture, linens, wall art and even lighting for our bedroom. It’s the most relaxing, Zen place in the whole house.
I feel instantly wonderful when I lay in bed and am surrounded by its calming color palate. I feel downright divine when my skin touches the exquisite sheets I splurged for.
To be honest, I feel like a queen in my bed.
“Snoring is your issue,” I said to my husband. “It’s not fair that I have to be displaced from our bed because technically it’s your fault.”
“I travel a lot and when I get home I just want to sleep in my own bed,” he whined.
“Nope, you’re the snorer,” I retorted.
“C’mon, we can take turns.”
“Fine,” I said, exasperated.
So we alternate week to week. Months have gone by since we started this unconventional sleeping arrangement and the truth is we both sleep better.
He says he misses me and even makes sad puppy dog eyes when we retreat to our separate beds, but mostly we both love uninterrupted sleep.
There’s a stigma attached to couples who choose to sleep in separate rooms. It’s been negatively dubbed the “night divorce.” But sometimes it’s not that deep, it’s not that serious. I just can’t sleep with a snoring husband.
Our sex life has remained status quo. We still like each other. We’re still happily married. Probably one of the reasons we are so happily married is because we sleep in separate rooms!
Not getting adequate sleep is not OK with me. As a busy working mom of two school-aged daughters, I need my sleep! I turn into a raging monster if I don’t get my sleep.
I paid my dues with the no sleep thing. I had my babies. I woke up with them constantly when they were young and had struggled for years to fall back asleep because of my husband’s snoring.
I was a total zombie and I’m done. I’m through with the perpetual sleep deficit lifestyle save for the occasional kiddie nightmare, vomit session, or occasional bedwetting.
Couples sleep in separate rooms for a plethora of reasons and snoring is a big one. Partners with different work schedules also do it, and so do partners who have bed or blanket hogging issues.
Yet, for some absurd reason we act like couples sleeping in separate beds are showing the first signs of a doomed relationship en route to divorce. For many couples, it’s just logistics.
I get that this doesn’t work for everyone and it’s considered unconventional in so many ways. For us, this sleeping arrangement really has nothing to do with the state of our marriage.
We’re solid, we just need space and sleep. Everyone needs sleep.
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