If your partner keeps you awake at night snoring, getting up frequently, stealing the covers, or just being generally annoying in bed, it might be time for a divorce. A sleep divorce, that is. Many couples who interrupt each other’s nightly rest have found refuge in sleeping apart, and discovered it helps not only their shut-eye quotient, but their relationship. According to a survey from Slumber Cloud, 12 percent of American couples have filed for a sleep divorce, and 30 percent have discussed it.
“As a couple, if you enjoy sleeping together and can do so without disrupting each other’s sleep, that’s a great outcome. However, it doesn’t mean that your relationship is better than a couple who sleeps separately,” says Jennifer Adams, author of Sleeping Apart Not Falling Apart, who sleeps in a separate room than her husband of 15 years. If you’d like to try sleep divorce for yourself, Adams says timing and tone matter. “Make sure you know why you want to sleep separately and be very clear to your partner that it’s not an act of rejection,” she advises. “It comes down to proving that you aren’t trying to avoid your partner, you are focused on finding an environment that helps you sleep well.”
Adams recommends choosing a time when you both have plenty of time to talk through it, and carefully explaining the reasons why you want to try sleeping apart. Listen to your partner and do your best to put their minds at ease, especially if they express feeling hurt or rejected.