Is Sleeping In Separate Beds The Answer To The High Divorce Rate?

Sleeping in separate beds is generally the last thing that a happily married couple wants to cop to, but apparently it isn't as crazy as you think.

The subject has been quite taboo for as long as talking about sex in public wasn't. How can you possibly have a healthy sex life and a happy relationship if you don't lay down next to each other to go to sleep at night?

Seinfeld even did two episodes that touched on the topic.

In "The Deal" from 1991, Jerry and Elaine think they've "worked out a system" for being friends with benefits. It hits a snag when Jerry decides to go home and sleep in his own bed after a romp in the hay.

In "The Money" from 1997, Kramer and his girlfriend (Sarah Silverman) run into issues when Kramer complains of her "jimmy legs" and broaches the subject of sleeping in separate beds. Things get worse when she loves the arrangement and Kramer wants to go back on it.

Recently, Ozy contributor Rachel Levin weighed in on the topic, stating that it was the original arrangement between her and the man, who would become her husband.

She started researching further to see if separate beds really does damage a relationship.

In the piece, entitled "Honey, I Love You... But We Need Separate Beds," Levin writes that "more couples than ever are quietly sleeping apart -- 30 to 40 percent of couples worldwide in fact, according to Colleen Carney of Ryerson's Sleep and Depression Laboratory in Toronto."

Dr. Neil Stanley, a British sleep specialist and supporter of separate beds in a relationship, also notes that as much as 50 percent more disturbances occur when you sleep next to someone instead of alone.

And it may be an idea that is picking up steam as Levin notes, citing a finding from America's National Association of Home Builders that pinpoints the number of new homes being built with dual master bedrooms at 60 percent.

Of course, that does not mean that couples are using both bedrooms, but it is telling.

Huffington Post, in 2014, asked their readers to weigh in on how they dealt with the issue of snoring, one of the main culprits for sleep issues in a marriage, and they were "astounded by the number of older couples sleeping in separate bedrooms."

The site also noted that responses in their own survey found that the separate bed issue had "nothing to do with the lack of a sex life."

One respondent said that if a couple has to be a few feet away from each other while sleeping in order to "remember to have sex, you've got bigger problems than snoring."

Another said that too many were "afraid to admit" they slept in separate beds, "because others think that the couple is having marital problems."

The commenter continued.

"I would be willing to bet that my emotional and sexual well-being is far above anyone else my age of 65 yrs. There's plenty of time for cuddling, caressing and bonding other than 'bedtime.'"
While younger people are still unlikely to buy into this scenario, it does seem to be a sleeping arrangement that people embrace as they get older.

That's due in part to the continuing need for sound, uninterrupted sleep as the body starts to wrestle with health issues.

But maybe couples shouldn't have to wait until their 40s and 50s before taking a step away from one another when it comes time for the actual sleeping.

What do you think, readers?

Are separate beds a sign of trouble in a relationship, or are they actually the answer to increasingly high divorce rates? Sound off in the comments section.

[Image via ShutterStock]