June 9, 2023 | Maria Cruz

Married Couples Share Why They Sleep In Separate Rooms 


There are certain, unspoken ground rules married couples don’t really speak of. For years now, we’ve heard that married couples only sleep in separate rooms when they’re working through issues in their relationship. But, according to these couples, sleeping separately sometimes saves their relationship and is one of the best decisions they ever made.

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#1 Snore Fest

My girlfriend’s parents do this. They both snore and sleep in separate rooms to get away from each other’s snoring. I didn’t think it was that bad until they talked about having to sleep in the same bed during their trip in Europe. They were at each other’s throats because if one fell asleep, the other couldn’t.

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#2 Taking Turns

My wife and I usually work opposite days off to watch the kid. We both work nights so it’s tough. When I’m working, she’ll watch him and sleep in the nursery or the other room. When she’s working, I’ll watch him and stay in the other room. Luckily my wife works three days a week usually and I can drop him off with my parents one day out of the week.

Her aunt is staying with us for a few months and it helps a lot. When her aunt leaves, it’s going to suck again. The kid will be a year and a half soon and he just likes being terrible most of the time, especially when I get home after a 12-hour day and just want to sleep. I'm really considering getting a full-time nanny but they’re so expensive.

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#3 The Wind Tunnel

During the summer, I move to another room we call “the wind tunnel.” Basically I have a ceiling fan going almost 24/7 and a window fan above the bed I run from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. She has allergies, easily gets a runny nose and sneezes from any moving air. My body temperature will skyrocket and I’ll sweat like crazy in a room devoid of moving air. So, she sleeps in a stuffy master bedroom and I sleep soundly in the Wind Tunnel. During the winter, I move back, because then I become the ultimate body warmer for her.

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#4 Next Level

My stepmother’s parents took this to a new level. He built a second house next door. They lived next to each other for 20 years before they both passed in a short amount of time. It seemed very odd to me, but it worked for them. It was weird from an outside perspective, but I know images never reflect reality.

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#5 We Can Dream

This is sort of my dream. I love my husband fiercely, but he is a big slob and refuses to clean. It is really the only source of tension between us because I refuse to act like his mother by picking up after him and cleaning up his messes. If he could live in his own house, that would be great. He can hang out with me in my place, and we can have sleepovers and all that — but living with him is not a thing I particularly love.

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#6 Ricky and Lucy

We're both 41, been married 23 years and sleep in different beds. For the first half of our marriage, we always slept in the same bed. About ten years ago, I spent a year working a midnight shift so I started to sleep on our spare bed in the basement. We both realized we had much better sleep separate in our own beds. After I went back to a day shift, we went back to sleeping in the same bed and soon realized sleeping apart was more restful. Over time, we bought two full-size beds and put them in our bedroom (like the old TV shows). It's been great.

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#7 I Feel Better

Knowing people sleep in separate rooms makes me feel better about my husband and I not sharing a bed! Some people act like that means your marriage is falling apart. Honestly, it helps us love each other more because I'm not up multiple times a night with his tossing and turning, and he's not up all night listening to my snoring.

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#8 Hot Pursuit

My wife has MS — one of the primary issues she has is vertigo. When I'm in bed with her, the motion of my breathing, heartbeat and movement really messes with her while she sleeps. Also, I snore, so an isolated coil mattress wouldn't quite do it, nor would two beds in one room. Also, it honestly spices up the romantic life. It adds an element of pursuit and some illicit atmosphere to it, like we're sneaking around the house to each other's beds.

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#9 Sleepy Time

We blended two households. His bedroom was fully furnished and the furniture and closet were full. It made sense for my stuff to go in a different bedroom. We started out sleeping in one room or the other, but I realized pretty quickly that, if I ever wanted to get a full night’s sleep, it wasn’t going to be in the same bed with him. I’ve been known to call him a sweating, snoring, slant sleeping monster after a night of his sweating, snoring, and slant sleeping. We do a “your place or mine” thing for non-sleeping activities but go our own way when it’s sleepy time.

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#10 Getting an Answer

I have a casual acquaintance that I know sleeps in a different room than his wife. I was curious about why they did that, but I felt it was too personal to ask. Plus, I didn’t know him very well. Then we went to a bachelor party and I stayed in the same room as him. When we heard him snore, we all got our answer.

 

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#11 What’s More Romantic

Sometimes my girlfriend and I sleep in different rooms and the reasons tend to differ. Did I eat a big bean burrito earlier? Separate rooms. Also, unless your bed is massive, sleeping with someone next to you can make it more difficult to sleep. Yes, sleeping together is romantic. But getting good sleep is more romantic.

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#12 This Makes Sense

This happened with my parents. They started in the same bed, but eventually the reasons to get separate rooms piled up to the point where it made too much sense not to arrange it. Snoring was a problem. My dad is a light sleeper and my mom has a variable sleep schedule. They like different room temperatures, and now our cat's meowing only bothers my mother, who takes it better.

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#13 Human Spin Cycle

I got checked for sleep apnea. It ended up helping a ton after getting my tonsils out thanks to my doctor’s recommendation. Ordinarily, my girlfriend and I share a bed, but I sometimes regret that decision as she's a human spin cycle when sleeping. But hey, at least I know that I’m not the problem in bed anymore!

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#14 Need a Distraction

Just like many other people, I tend to have a hard time falling asleep without something to distract my brain from thinking. I usually watch a show or documentary or do some repetitive game on my phone to accomplish this. My girlfriend can’t stand the lights from the screen, so we decided to sleep in separate rooms.

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#15 Four Years Late

Friends of mine do this. She doesn't like him and feels he's a terrible husband and father. He won't divorce her because it'll cost him his standing in the church, which is the only level of social prestige he has. He's verbally toxic and initially she did it as a wake up call to encourage him to nicen up. It's going on its fourth year.

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#16 Blanket Hog

My partner and I don’t exactly have separate rooms, but we share a king bed and have separate blankets. We sleep way better because of this. I am a notorious blanket hog and he’s always hot when he sleeps. This way, we can be close when we want to sleep together and separate when we need a good night’s sleep.

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#17 Everything Together

My buddy is basically married and they have this arrangement. Basically, they say they aren't one person just because they're dating. They don't want to be the couple who merges into one entity. They are two separate adults and adults have their own rooms. They're two of the most capable and competent people I've ever met in my life. They have their stuff figured out. They are the reason I no longer view two separate rooms as a sign of a dysfunctional relationship. If anything, they make me think most relationships would benefit from their "let's not do literally everything together" mentality.

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#18 The Woman Next Door

My grandparents do this. My grandfather built a small apartment on the second floor of their house. They do it because they have different sleep schedules and, in general,  they spend much of the day apart because they like it that way. But they always eat lunch and dinner together, and my grandfather loves to listen to her soft footsteps throughout the day. He calls her “the woman next door.” It’s really cute.

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#19 Hyper Independent

I have an aunt and uncle who do this. They're just hyper independent, mostly fueled by her, so they eat dinner together but do pretty much everything else separately. The funny part is, if I send out invites to something like a family reunion or dinner reservations during somewhere when we're already gathered, he'll say, "I'm coming. But you'll need to check with your aunt for her answer.” It's certainly not how my relationship works, but they've been married for like 50 years, so I guess I don't have any reason to criticize their methods.

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#20 By Choice

Not different rooms, but I sleep on the floor. We bought a Casper mattress, and I slept on it with him for almost a year, waking up every day in a little bit more pain than the day before. I slept on the floor, by choice, until I was around 16. I woke up one morning about six months ago with my back hurting so bad that ibuprofen couldn't touch, so I slept on the floor that night. Since then, I have been every night. The mattress is too soft. My fiance and my black lab sleep well enough on it, and I don't wake up feeling like garbage. It works for us.

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#21 Easy Transition

I snore quite a bit when I’m asleep, but I'm also easily disturbed by movement. That being said, I'm much happier in my own bed and so is my partner. We've settled on separate beds in the same room, which is the sweet spot for us. It's so much easier to transition from cuddling to sleeping whenever we're ready.

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#22 A Game-Changer

My partner and I have completely separate bedrooms. We “sleepover” occasionally in each other’s rooms. However, we both find we sleep exponentially better apart. He’s a night owl and I’m an early bird. He needs total darkness, I want to wake up with the sun. He wants one sheet and one sheet only on him, I want 10 pounds of blankets. In addition, having a separate room allows me to decorate it however I want, have my own personal space, and keep it to the level of cleanliness I prefer. It makes me feel independent. People look at us sideways when I mention the separate rooms thing, but it’s been a game-changer.

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#23 All to Myself

Comfort! Snuggles are nice but man do I love having a big fat king-size gel mattress to myself. We’ve never really shared a bed because he was on midnights forever and when he moved to day shift, I just hated having him in bed at night. Plus, when he creeps in for booty, it’s like we’re teenagers again sneaking around.

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#24 Several Reasons

One, I am prone to severe and prolonged bouts of insomnia. Separate beds allow my wife to get a full night’s sleep without me disturbing her. Second, I have a really bad hip that leaves me sleeping in weird positions. With different beds, I can get comfy without crowding her. I'm a tall guy, so even a king-size bed would be a challenge for us to both get comfortable in. Lastly, she can't sleep without a fan on. I can't sleep with a fan on.

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#25 A Million Reasons

Because a good night's sleep is more romantic than sharing a bed. I snore and toss and turn. He gives off literal village levels of heat in his sleep and I can't stand the heat. I read at night, but he can't stand light. We keep different hours to an extent. There are a million reasons. We get along so much better this way.

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#26 Secure in Our Marriage

It’s not anything like you can’t stand your person. I snore, she grinds her teeth and our awesome Boston terrier that sleeps with my wife farts and snores. We love each other, we married, we’ve decided to be in each other’s lives until one or the other departs. We are secure enough in our marriage to be able to not sleep in the same bed without thinking it’s weird or taboo. Plus, if we want to get any sleep in order to function at work, then we can.

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#27 Another Step

I'm the snorer, and my hub is the light sleeper. His schedule is weird where he works really early mornings or late nights and he's a light sleeper. I have to have the room super dark, the fan has to be on, I move around a lot, and of course, the snoring which developed about five years ago. So we have separate rooms and it's been great. We've been married 35 years and this is just another step along the way.

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#28 Variety of Reasons

My parents and grandparents do this. My parents because of a variety of reasons including marital strain and my dad's PTSD from the military messing with his sleep. My grandparents because of marital strain, weird and non-complementary work schedules. Plus, my grandma's quickly reaching the point where it's hard for her to walk up the stairs to the master bedroom.

My last employer and his wife also do this. They're very happily married, but he has severe leg issues that cause him to toss and turn in bed a ton. It’s just an attempt to get less uncomfortable. They quickly discovered that if either of them wanted any degree of quality sleep, they'd need to have separate beds.

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#29 Apart Together 

We sleep in the same room. I sleep on a single-person futon under our bay window and he sleeps in the bed. I move around a lot when I’m going to sleep and I’m always worried that my movement will wake him up or keep him awake. So, I can't relax enough to sleep. Also, I use the entire comforter when I sleep. Before I got the futon, I tried sleeping in another room and I hated it.

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#30 Fighting Ninjas

We both fight ninjas in our sleep and she likes to sleep on a feathery cloud, whereas I prefer a rock. She sleeps in complete silence and I need the TV going. Sleeping in the same bed actually makes us grouchy and we fight way more. Our relationship is way better when we aren't chewing nails from sleep deprivation.

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#31 Staying Together

My parents moved into separate rooms when I was in high school supposedly because of my dad's work schedule but really it was because they weren't happy with each other and wanted to separate. They waited until I was 18 to finally make it official and get divorced, because they wanted to "stay together" for me. Funny thing is that my dad still lived with us for two years after that and it sort of worked. A lot of my friends when I was in college assumed that my parents were still together because of this even though they had officially split years before.

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#32 Sleeping at Home

I work nights and literally get home when my significant other wakes up. We also have three children running around. I actually have to lock myself in the master closet with a bed to myself, earplugs and a dark curtain to be able to sleep. It's obviously not a permanent solution, but it's all we’ve got at our house.

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#33 Respect for Each Other

My parents slept in separate beds, as did my great grandparents. For my great grandparents, it was a comfort thing. My grandmother didn’t like not being able to move around the bed at will. However, she and grandfather loved each other dearly and she passed not long after he did because she missed him so much.

For my parents, it was a couple of things. As my dad aged, his sleep cycle went weird. He would be able to sleep a couple of hours and then be up half the night and fall asleep again about the time my mom was getting up for work. Also, my mom has sleep apnea and uses a CPAP. It made a ton of noise back then. Dad was half deaf and the sound still bothered him. Out of respect for each other, they decided it was better to have separate bedrooms.

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#34 Those Three Nights

My husband works weekend nights and those three nights are the best nights of sleep I get all week. Sleeping together isn't horrible sleep but it's just not as good. He also gets immense relief sleeping next to me, so I'm fine with my three nights. Even on the weekends, I'll lay with him in the morning for an hour because it just helps him fall asleep.

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#35 Different People

I’ve been married for 22 years. Got married young and in the military, we actually went the distance. Marriage is about sharing your life and happiness with someone else, and feeling like you can rely on them long term. It’s not about being up their butt 24/7 and feeling uncared about when the other one has their own life going on.

And in that vein, it’s the end of the day, you’re tired, just want to get to bed, to have somebody else there literally every single night who has different agendas and time schedules just sucks. And speaking of sucking, there is no shortage of booty calls from down the hall when the call of the wild comes. We joke about just leaving some money on the nightstand, it’s great!

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#36 Making Excuses

My parents have for the past five or so years. The original excuse was that my dad has restless legs and would move around in bed a lot, and then it was that he went to sleep too late. Then it was that he would talk in his sleep, and by now everybody knows it’s just because they hate each other but won’t divorce. They’ve pretty much given up making excuses.

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#37 Better For It

He snores like a freight train and I’m a light sleeper. We tried for five years, then when I got pregnant I kicked him into the spare room because I was being woken up by hurling at 4:00 a.m. every day. I wanted to be able to sleep during the night. It just kind of stuck and we are much happier not sleeping together. We were both starting to resent each other over the lost sleep.

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#38 To the Dogs

My parents have been doing this since I moved out for college. They just don't have a great relationship and my mom prefers to have all her dogs in her bed than my father. My father also used to work the night shift so he would constantly be waking her up when they shared a bed. Plus, he snores loudly. All these details mixed with marriage problems equals separate rooms.

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#39 Sleep Schedule

I’m a student, he’s also a student. But he’s student assisting and will be student teaching in January. He has to get up at 6:30 and out of the house by 7:30. I don’t even need to be up until 10. Additionally, I make it difficult for him to get to sleep immediately because he wants to talk to me and cuddle. So we sleep separately during the week. On the weekends though, we sleep together.

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#40 Bouts of Insomnia

I'm unemployed at the moment and my partner works all the time during the week. I sometimes cannot sleep due to insomnia, so I either get up and go play with my laptop for a while or try to sleep in the guest room instead. It’s really just because I don't want to wake him up with all of my tossing and turning.

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#41 Best Decision as a Couple

We're incredibly different sleepers. I sleep with the TV on, as I need some kind of light and noise, and he likes it completely dark and quiet, except for a fan. I snore and am prone to writhing around the bed and waking up in strange positions. He doesn't really want to get hit in the face by my foot in the middle of the night.

We've slept separately for almost 10 years. Other than deciding not to have kids, it's probably the best decision we've made as a couple. Our marriage is incredibly strong and I love being around him and being with him, but it's so nice to be able to sleep on my own terms. By that I mean bury myself under too many blankets and watch horror movies on TV until 3:00 a.m. when I fall asleep with the remote in my hand.

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#42 Personal Space

I guess we’re both introverts and just prefer our personal space at times, especially after long days working or out socializing. We don’t have drastically different work schedules but she’s typically up three hours before me. In return, I’m up three or four hours later than her. I also like to listen to the radio or to podcasts while falling asleep. All that combined, it became prudent to sleep separately. We do still sleep together sometimes, I’d say on average two times a week.

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#43 Demanding Nonsense

My husband talks in his sleep and flails around. He does this at least once a night, but can be up to four times a night. These episodes sometimes are just a bit of tossing and turning, but sometimes are him getting out of bed and demanding nonsense from me. Well, now that we have babies who are getting me up every two hours, I  can’t deal with him waking me up as well.

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#44 Kicked Out 

The wife started co-sleeping with our first kid. I wasn't having it, we both agreed we wouldn't do it, then she started it anyway. So, I left the bed to make more space. That was a little over three years ago. They still co-sleep, or else my three-year-old will wake up and it's a whole ordeal. It doesn't seem to help the relationship, but it doesn't really seem to hurt it either. We're not in different rooms because we're mad at each other or being petty, but it does sometimes make it feel kinda lonely in my own house and it makes me have some amount of discontent toward the kid for influencing it daily.

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#45 Waiting it Out

Currently, my husband and I don’t sleep together because our little bratty two-month-old doesn’t know how to sleep in his bassinet. He also doesn’t know how to sleep longer than three hrs. So, I end up on the couch snoozing with him so my husband can sleep for work. I can’t wait for this kid to grow some independence.

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#46 Moving On Up

I do this. I am an absolute terrible person to share a bed with. I snore like a passing semi-truck and apparently flail wildly in my sleep. When we first got married, I kept waking up to an empty bed. She would join me for an hour until I was asleep, then retreat to the couch. After a week or two, I got fed up and just went to the couch first. Then started several months of us trading off for the couch. Eventually, I just went and bought a twin mattress and tossed it in the office, which became my bed. When we got a bigger house, I just set up in a separate room.

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#47 Pure Spite

I'm currently five months pregnant with baby number two and I'm sometimes hit with pregnancy insomnia or restless leg syndrome. So, I'll be wide awake while my dear sweet husband blissfully sleeps the night away. I sleep in another room so I don't end his life out of pure spite that he gets to sleep and I don't while I'm creating a nervous system.

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#48 The Slight Gap

Even in the same room, we sleep in two single beds pushed close together. My wife has hot flashes and moves around a lot in the night, throwing covers on and off as her temperature fluctuates. This way, we still get cuddles but the slight gap and separated covers stops her waking me in the night. It’s been great.

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#49 Being Considerate

We respect good sleep. There is no way to get comfortable and get uninterrupted sleep without sleeping apart. We also have different work schedules, so during the week we sleep apart and on the weekend we sleep together. People tell me this is bad for my relationship but, to me, this is being considerate of my partner's wellbeing.

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#50 Dropping the Act

I snore and my husband will wake up at the sound of a mere pin dropping. We tried sleeping in the same bed for a while, but dropped the act about a month into living together. We are very much in love and spend plenty of quality time together, though. When it’s bedtime, though, we kiss each other and separate.

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