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Sleep divorce – the secret to a long-lasting marriage?

Sleep divorce - the secret to a long-lasting marriage?

Is your partner keeping you awake at night?

Does the sound of them snoring drive you insane?

Or do you spend half of the night awake clawing back the duvet?

If the answers are yes, then a ‘Sleep Divorce’ could be just what you need.

The ‘Sleep Divorce’, which has been described as a ‘new relationship trend’, is steadily growing in popularity, and stems from a rise in sleep issues often associated with couples sharing a bed.

Many of us will know what it’s like to share a bed with a snorer, but what we might not realise is that doing it regularly could be disastrous for our sleep and general health.

In fact, recent research carried out by Silentnight, in collaboration with the University of Leeds, revealed that 25% of Brits get just five or less hours shut eye a night. However, you might not have considered that this could be down to a ‘sleep incompatibility’ with your partner.

What type of sleeper are you?

Silentnight’s resident sleep therapist, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, has years of research and bags of sleep knowledge behind her, and believes there are two different types of ‘sleepers’.

  • Sensitive sleepers – these people often struggle to get to sleep and are very easy to wake
  • Martini sleepers – these are the types of people who can sleep anywhere, any time, and any place

Martini sleepers can often spell trouble for sensitive sleepers when the two share a bed, with Silentnight’s recent study also highlighting that 40% of British adults feel that their partner’s snoring or heavy breathing is the reason they just can’t get a good night’s sleep.

So, if you’re reading this thinking you and your partner might be opposing ‘sleeper types’, then it might be a good idea to start looking at alternative sleeping arrangements.

Starting the sleep conversation

Although on the face of it, a ‘sleep divorce’ may perhaps seem an unsettling, controversial move, Dr Nerina argues that a night away from your partner from time to time can actually work wonders for your sleep pattern and relationship as a whole.

She said: “Many of us say that it’s our partner’s snoring that stops us from sleeping well. This, amongst other factors such as stress and worry, can cause countless nights of tossing and turning.

“If you’re worried that you’re not getting enough sleep, don’t be ashamed to lovingly negotiate sleeping separately every once in a while. The rest of the time, work on sleeping together but have a back up plan, and aim to communicate openly and honestly – but just not at two in the morning!

“Get the biggest bed you can fit in your room, mattresses that minimise your partner’s movement, and use white or pink noise to mask noises such as snoring.”

You can read more about pink noise in particular, and check out some of Silentnight’s top recommendations here.

Dr Nerina also believes that communication and blaming without shame is key. She says that couples should always remember to keep their sense of humour, and if you really can’t sleep together, then don’t put pressure on yourselves to do so.

“You can try helping each other out by taking a practice nap together, for 30 minutes or so. Perhaps try it over the weekend, to work out your individual preferences, and come up with a workable solution,” she added.

For those who are naturally lucky enough to be ‘sleep compatible’, this can lead to greater connection, harmony, intimacy, and even greater general health, according to studies.

Do you think you and your partner could benefit from a sleep divorce? Get in touch on our social media pages and let us know.

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