The marital bed is an icon in American society, but it’s becoming more myth than reality. The New York Times reports that one in four married couples sleep separately.
Their reasons are myriad: snoring, different schedules, disruptions caused by kids or pets. Ultimately, people are prizing getting a good night’s sleep over sleeping with their spouse.
The numbers are growing fast: builders expect 60% of custom-built homes to include dual master bedrooms by 2015.
Is this is a problem, or a solution?
The New York Times writer is concerned about this trend, seeing the erosion of this American institution as another chipping away at the intimacy of couplehood.
Couples who share a bed have more sex, and are better guardians of the other’s health. A nearby partner can spot a seizure. Women report feeling safer sleeping next to a partner than sleeping alone.
On the other hand, a lot of people are simply more comfortable sleeping alone. There’s no reason you can’t have a healthy, loving relationship with a spouse and still prefer to lie down alone in bed at night. Yes, your bed is where you spend the most time at night.
In the world of parenting advice, so much fuss is made over co-sleeping with children. We rarely consider the benefits or risks of co-sleeping with our spouses.
While the New York Times article offers up a host of suggestions for sanctifying your marital bed and getting a better night’s sleep together, I can’t help thinking where you sleep matters less than how happy you are.
If you and your spouse are really both happier sleeping on your own, that has to be better than trying to cram yourselves into a cultural ideal of a shared bed. Likewise if you want nothing more than to snuggle up at night, you should be able to.
Do you and your honey sleep together? Would you consider sleeping apart?