A recent National Sleep Foundation survey unearthed by realtor.com found that up to 25 percent of married couples sleep in separate beds while 10 percent have separate bedrooms. Termed a “sleep divorce,” sleeping in separate bedrooms has always been a popular choice among the wealthy (Donald and Melania Trump famously do it) but is now being increasingly embraced by the average-income family.
This preference is so common that it has begun to affect real estate trends. Martin Eiden, a New York-based agent with the sports and entertainment division of Compass, has seen an increase in clients specifically look for homes with dual master suites, a relatively recent housing design feature.
“More and more, couples are sleeping in separate rooms in order to get a decent rest,” he told realtor.com.
In some cases, it comes down to wanting a good night’s rest in the face of a partner’s insomnia, snoring or differing schedules. According to a poll by bedding company Slumber Eye, one in five of those who prefer to sleep in separate bedrooms said their partner was preventing them from getting sleep.
“We both love it,” Florida resident Miriam Amselem, who has a separate bedroom from her husband of 32 years, told realtor.com. “We have different sleeping habits. He likes to watch TV or is on his iPad very late into the night, like 2 a.m., and I need my sleep because I wake up early in the morning. He is also a mild insomniac, tossing and turning through the night so I would usually just leave the room and sleep in a separate bedroom.”
But while the move can seem strange to the romantically inclined, it is not necessarily a relationship killer. It can help some couples feel less tired and grumpy — and, as a result, focus on maintaining a strong relationship during the day during waking hours.
“Couples often feel pressured to be in the same bedroom because that is what our culture deems as healthy for a good relationship,” couples counselor Corrin Voeller told realtor.com. “But when they let go of those expectations and embrace that this is what they’re doing in order to have a healthy relationship, separate bedrooms can be the perfect solution.”