14 September 2012 ~ 13 Comments

The Case for (and Against) Separate Bedrooms

Last winter my job sent me to a conference for a week in Boston. And while I missed my guy, I got better sleep over those four nights than I’ve gotten in the last six years.

My husband is a snorer. And when I say he’s a snorer, I mean that when we lived in a townhouse I could tell that he had fallen asleep on the couch as I walked up to the door because I could hear him snoring outside. It’s a problem. A real one. But I didn’t realize how much essentially sleeping next to a chainsaw was affecting my sleep because I had gotten so used to it.

On top of him being a snorer, he’s also a mover. I can’t count the number of elbows I’ve taken to my head and neck. He manages to ruin the covers in ways that I didn’t think possible. Just last night I woke up in the middle of the night because he had somehow flipped the comforter completely over to the scratchy side. How does that happen? The flat sheet? Couldn’t even find it.

Before I got married, I remember an older coworker of mine who had been married for 30+ years saying that at some point she and her husband had toyed with the idea of separate bedrooms. Newly-engaged, I couldn’t even fathom not wanting to spend every night side by side. These days, while I think that I would still want to share a bed with him most of the time. It would be nice to know that I had options if a sound sleep was one of my goals.

At the same time, the bed at the end of the day is somewhere that we can unwind with each other and just be close if we hadn’t had the opportunity all day long. I wouldn’t want sleeping apart to affect our intimacy.

At present, we don’t have an extra bedroom, so it really is a non-issue and something I toss around in my mind when he’s snoring and I’m thinking “If I could just kill you for like 15 minutes while I fall asleep” (I’m sorry, these are thoughts of the sleep deprived). But if we ever go for a home upgrade, I can’t say that I wouldn’t be tempted.

What do you think? Is having separate bedrooms wrong or sometimes a necessary evil? How do you deal with sleep differences between you and your spouse?



13 Responses to “The Case for (and Against) Separate Bedrooms”

  1. Mrs Married 30+years 14 September 2012 at 4:01 pm Permalink

    My husband works nights and has been on that overnight shift for most of our marriage. I think it actually works for us; I sleep very poorly on weekends and vacations. While there are definitely challenges to working opposite shifts, I appreciate not sharing the covers (as in he has them all and barely have enough to cover up with!) most nights….

    • Aja Jackson 14 September 2012 at 6:24 pm Permalink

      Thanks for your comment! My husband doesn’t work the night shift, but he heads out for work at about 4am ( I don’t have to get up until close to 7) so I do have a couple of “undisturbed hours.”

  2. jayconcern 14 September 2012 at 6:38 pm Permalink

    I had a friend who told me that she got a king sized bed for just this reason/ double beds in the same room.( You need your sleep) > additionally, you could consider carrying your hubby to the dr to get something for his snoring. If not girl buy you some ear plugs. Hope this helps.

    • Aja Jackson 14 September 2012 at 7:21 pm Permalink

      I would love a king bed! Unfortunately I don’t think our bedroom is actually big enough. I am going to try some earplugs though. We have some that he bought a few weeks ago for the Grand Prix races and I’ve been a little nervous about sleeping all night with something in my ears, but they’r worth a try. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Karen 16 September 2012 at 11:28 pm Permalink

    I can sympathize with having to sleep next a chainsaw. Some nights, the very walls shake from the noise! On those nights, I put the relative sound buffer of a wall between my husband and I by curling up on the couch. I’m not sure yet if a separate bedroom is the answer for he and I. My parents have had separate bedrooms for over a year .. and now they have separate houses!

    I enjoyed this post; it gave me the peace of mind that comes with knowing I’m not alone :-)

    • Aja Jackson 18 September 2012 at 5:58 pm Permalink

      @Karen, the separate bedrooms to separate house is what scares me a little. I don’t want us to like our space too much!

  4. Sharell 17 September 2012 at 3:59 am Permalink

    I don’t get much sleep when my husband is not there. sometimes when he comes in late he will sleep on the couch because he doesn’t want to disturb me(I’m a super light sleeper) but I spend the whole night tossing and turning til he’s home.

    • Aja Jackson 18 September 2012 at 5:59 pm Permalink

      Its funny, because I do think I need him there to fall asleep in some ways, but I know that I get better “quality” sleep when I’m alone.

  5. ISH short for Ishman 20 September 2012 at 3:34 pm Permalink

    I am usually well rested sleeping next to my husband, but recently we ended up sleeping separately, because I would be wide awake when he was ready to go to sleep. And because he can’t sleep with the TV on, he slept in a different room. After a couple of days, we realized that we liked sleeping separately. We would have movie night, and then split to go to sleep. It almost felt like we were dating. It made us miss each other after about a week, and we started sleeping in the same bed again. So, I don’t think it’s a problem to do it temporarily.

    • Aja Jackson 21 September 2012 at 1:25 am Permalink

      I definitely don’t see it being something that would happen every night. My husband wakes up much earlier than I do, so sometimes he’s in bed a little earlier than I am, so we don’t necessarily always get in bed at the same time. We make sure though that we always tell each other goodnight etc. so I think those routines help. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Patrick Huff 4 October 2012 at 6:57 pm Permalink

    We have finally gotten a larger bed so we really have more room but the snoring is a problem. i have found myself sleeping on the couch plus my girls would climb into our bed and that was a problem.

    • Aja Jackson 5 October 2012 at 1:21 am Permalink

      I have found myself on the couch on nights when its gotten extremely bad, but then I feel like I can’t sleep well on the couch– so it ends up being a lose-lose.

  7. Gerri McKenney Carpenter 5 October 2012 at 11:11 am Permalink

    Please, please, please…get your snorer checked for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be very dangerous if left untreated. It can lead to stokes, heart problems and even car accidents from falling asleep at the wheel. Snoring is a nuscience to you…but also very dangerous.

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