Should spouses have separate beds/separate rooms for better sleep?

My grandparents, and I believe my great grandparents, both had separate bedrooms from their spouses.

I always used to ask my mom if they hated each other and she said “No, they just wanted a good night’s sleep.”

Now I totally get that. Michael is a snorer. I have to fall asleep before him or I can’t fall asleep listening to the snoring.

I like to have the TV on to fall asleep. He can’t stand to have the TV on.

Apparently we’re not alone. The Huffington Post reports:

“In fact, according to one survey, more than a quarter of cohabitating adults in the U.S. report that their partner’s sleep problems — everything from sleep talking to late night TV watching — negatively affect the quality of their shut-eye.”

“Sleep-deprived couples often end up crankier, more reactive and even unhealthier than their well-rested counterparts — not exactly the makings of relationship harmony. ‘So much of our sleep is just never discussed,’ says Phillip Gehrman, PhD, CBSM, clinical director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Pennsylvania. ‘A lot of times just getting it out in the open and talking about it can make a huge difference.’ ”

“So let’s start the conversation with this handy infographic. Choose your sleep type and check these tips for “re-making” your bed, with advice from the dream team: Gehrman, Stuart Quan, M.D., professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School and senior physician at the Division of Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., HuffPost blogger, CEO of Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation.”

Click HERE to see the sleep info graphic.

So the info graphic gives you options such as light sleeper/loud snorer or cuddle/no cuddle. And then it offers tips to deal with these different types of sleepers.

So do you have issues sleeping with your spouse? Do they have sleeping habits that interfere with you getting a good night’s sleep? How do you resolves the issues?

Would you consider getting two beds (Remember when Lily and Marshall did that on “How I Met Your Mother?”) or would you consider sleeping in a separate room? Do you ever move to the couch or kid’s bed in the house if you spouse is being particularly annoying?

40 comments Add your comment


February 17th, 2012
6:57 am

I’ve been out of this game for 25 years now, but I doubt a man would want to sleep with me–I have severe sleep apnea. Otherwise (awake), I am a lot of fun!

usually lurking

February 17th, 2012
7:10 am

If Michael’s snoring is that bad, he should probably have a sleep study done to make sure he does not have sleep apnea or some other problem. My husband had apnea and sleeps with a CPAP – it may well have saved our marriage! We don’t have TVs in the bedrooms so that’s not an issue for us.


February 17th, 2012
7:20 am

meow….here kitty kitty


February 17th, 2012
7:21 am

Sleep apnea can be treated with a CPAP machine and sleep study and machine was covered by health insurance. It was not some heavy mask either as they have a lightweight canula option. That machine probably saved the marriage as wifey was so sleep deprived. I also lost about just 10 pounds and my snoring stopped completely so the machine has been just stored in the closet now for over two years.

So investigate a sleep study/CPAP and/or get on a treadmill….beats sleeping alone IMHO.

Voice Of Reason

February 17th, 2012
7:53 am

A good night’s sleep is vitally important. I would think that if you have to sleep in separate beds then that is what you should do. Or perhaps getting a larger sized bed is the answer. It depends on your situation really.

Also, if someone snores loudly and doesn’t have some kind of underlying condition like sleep apnea, sleeping in separate beds, or a larger bed, in the same room is not going to help. At that point you are looking at sleeping in separate rooms.

You do what you have to do to get a good night’s sleep.

Working Mom

February 17th, 2012
8:01 am

A good night’s sleep is key. My husband just went for his sleep study and got a CPAP machine. It’s feels so good to sleep all night without getting woken up multiple times by his horrific snoring. I was beginning to resent him because I was so sleep deprived. I didn’t want to be the couple that slept in separate rooms. I think sleeping in separate rooms is the beginning of the end for a marriage. At least it was for my parents.


February 17th, 2012
8:14 am

I can’t sleep without hubs in the bed. We don’t have tvs in the bedroom, but I am just so used to having him next to me. Now, there have been times, when one of us has been sick, that I have slept on the sofa. Our sofa is so freaking comfortable, and if you take all the cushions off, it’s almost the size of a twin bed, and it’s VERY long……

But I like having him next to me in our bed.


February 17th, 2012
8:29 am

No. Not going to sleep without my spouse when in the same house. We both have work-related travel that prevents us from being in the same bed so not going to make this same choice on a volunteer basis. She likes the TV on whereas I don’t care if it’s on or off. If either of us snores then I’m not aware of it.
With the above stated, however, I will have to agree (again?!?) with @Augusta whereby when the wife is sick she will go downstairs and sleep on the sofa.


February 17th, 2012
8:31 am

We sleep separate sometimes. If one of us is really sick we stay separate so the other doesn’t get kept awake by all the coughing. Sometimes my husband stays up really late reading or playing games on his computer, or even staying up with my older son watching movies. When he does that, he knows I need to sleep because I get up with the baby in the morning, so he’ll sleep in the guest room, or on my son’s futon under his loft bed so he doesn’t wake me (actually it’s not so much he’d wake me, but when he brings the dog to bed too, she’ll jump on my head). I appreciate being left to sleep.


February 17th, 2012
8:37 am

Between my menopause, his CPAP machine and the most spoiled dog in the world, I have no problem sleeping apart. When we met, we slept in a twin bed in the dorm room…so in love. Now it’s two rooms and guess what?! We’re still so in love…smile.


February 17th, 2012
8:41 am

in my house its first come first get. Meaning, if the wife and 2 kids get in bed (our bed)and i stay up late, I have to go into the guest room or the sofa to sleep. Although we have a california king, 2 wild kids kicking me all night is not what i want.


February 17th, 2012
8:44 am

Solve the physical problem, don’t get separate bedrooms. You both signed on for better or worse.

Soccer MILF

February 17th, 2012
8:50 am

I refuse to share a bed with my husband. If methane gases are causing global warning then the libtards need to go to his bedroom one night with a cork!


February 17th, 2012
8:52 am

One of the sweetest couples I have ever known kept seperate beds.
They were married for over 40 years until he passed away. Their house was a split-level and he kept the downstairs room with a television.
I asked her once when they had sex. She told me that they often made “appointments”.
That sounds kind of exciting to me. You can look forward to it.
For myself, we share a bed, but I would not be opposed to having our own. My husband is an annoying light sleeper. He is up and down all night. He claims that I snore. ;)
In the meantime, we do not have enough bedrooms. We are considering buying a king-size bed.

☺☻Have A Smile!

February 17th, 2012
8:58 am

She told me that they often made “appointments”.

I think that sounds terrible. If you have to schedule affection that’s sad.

Hey, smile...

February 17th, 2012
9:18 am

…at least they are setting time to be “ogether”, unlike some women who just want to withhold in order to punish…

Miss Priss!

February 17th, 2012
9:21 am

Question why you get married in the first place. Honestly … why? …and then go from there.


February 17th, 2012
9:34 am

I like the idea of appointments. If you have kids, you pretty much have to set appointments anyway. Date night=sex. kids spending Sunday with grandparents = sex. Hubby home when kids are in a homeschool class=sex. Yup. It seems we schedule appointments too. We don’t go to sleep at the same time so I don’t think sleeping separately would be a big deal for us. I, personally would love to go to sleep watching TV but it would disturb him so I watch in the living room and often fall asleep on the couch. Also, he says I snore (which, I’m sure I don’t) so he’d probably love for me to sleep elsewhere.
Recently a male co-worker said that he thought the perfect housing arrangement was for each spouse to have separate residences joined by one bedroom. My female coworker and I both said “why share the bedroom”? Sex/intimacy don’t always have to involve the bedroom. I’m all for it.


February 17th, 2012
9:53 am

So what happens when your husband snores, goes for the sleep study, is fitted with a CPAP and then refuses to wear it? That’s what has happened with us. My husband won’t wear it and comes up with all matter of excuses: it doesn’t feel good, it’s annoying, I don’t really have sleep apnea so I don’t really need it.
If I want to sleep in the same bed with him, I either have to knock myself out with a sedative (which I can still wake up from) or spend a sleepless night nudging him every time he snores. Plus, ever since I had a baby, I’ve become the world’s lightest sleeper, so any little noise wakes me up. It is miserable. Separate bedrooms work great for us.
I just read about a nasal cannula for the CPAP on another post here. I will have to look into that for him.

So this would explain

February 17th, 2012
10:06 am

Why you are cheating on your husband. He snores.


February 17th, 2012
10:11 am

I sleep so soundly that it would take a 9.2 earthquake to even get me to blink. I simply can’t fathom sleeping in a different bed or different room from my husband if I had a choice. But that’s me — your mileage may differ. As long as everyone is happy with their arrangements, what difference does it make?


February 17th, 2012
10:25 am

We have a fan on the floor set to its highest level (in addition to the ceiling fan). We keep the bedroom very dark, as well. If needed, I wear earplugs. All of this combines to give me a nice, full eight hours of sleep. Took awhile to find the magic combination, but it works for us.

Sleeping with your spouse is key to a happy marriage, but a good night’s rest is key to good health and sanity each day. Yes, you SHOULD sleep together, but if doing so wrecks your waking hours then I say you need to solve that problem. What happens (or doesn’t happen) in bed affects the rest of your day/night. Our marriage is too important to us to let anything mess with it!

Voice Of Reason

February 17th, 2012
11:23 am

Wonders why so many of you equate not sleeping in the same bed or even in the same room as your spouse just because one of you snores loudly means divorce is imminent. Seems a little over-reactive to me.

Unless of course there are other under-lying issues at play there beyond the snoring problem.

Also sleeping and sex are not the same thing here folks, you can use one bed for sex and still sleep in separate beds or in separate rooms….all it takes is willingness to compromise.

Drinking the water from a toilet.

February 17th, 2012
11:29 am

See, this is just another blog by Theresa preparing us for her announcement she is leaving her husband and or she is cheating on him.

You must admit, there have been a lot of blogs regarding marriage and so few about actually raising a family.


February 17th, 2012
11:48 am

I, for one, feel marriage is a good base for raising a family. Maybe someone has been drinking too much from the toilet and that’s making you a tad nasty.


February 17th, 2012
12:23 pm

My grandparents were married for 70 years and slept in separate rooms. They both complained the other kept them up at night and they couldn’t get a decent’s night sleep. My husband snores, but if he were to lose about 10 lbs, he would stop. I hate the fan being on, the tv being on, but he likes both of those. I am a light sleeper, he is a heavy sleeper. Guess which one gets the good night’s sleep? :o)

K's mom

February 17th, 2012
12:34 pm

If I have any more nights of sleep like the last two, I may consider separate beds. I am exhausted and am looking forward to a nap this afternoon by myself.


February 17th, 2012
12:36 pm

Take two Tylenol PM tablets at 8 pm or earlier, put on a strong fan for a cooler environment (known for better sleeping comfort), and keep it dark, and you should snooze away. I think light sleepers have anxious minds or something.


February 17th, 2012
12:37 pm

My grandparents slept in different rooms toward the end of her life because she couldn’t get rest with him watching TV and his snoring. (She was sick) But he made “booty calls” (her words) to her room at night! LOL


February 17th, 2012
1:02 pm

He snores and I’m a light sleeper. I also like it completely dark to sleep. Oftentimes he will decide to sleep on the floor next to the bed. He has a pallet ready (which the cats love.) I’ve told him he doesn’t have to get out of bed but he also likes to twitch his legs and feet. Only the snoring bothers me so I ordered earplugs and a cover for my eyes. It just arrived yesterday and I tried it out. Best night sleep in years!

As far as separate bedrooms go I don’t think that I would like it but if it works for others, go for it. Every marriage is different. Affection isn’t limited to the bedroom. Sometimes sex isn’t limited to a particular room either. :)


February 17th, 2012
2:24 pm

Take two Tylenol pm..what the heck? Should you take these every night of your life…is that even safe? I cannot take Tylenol p.m., nor any prescription sleeping pill NONE OF THEM WORK FOR ME. I have tried them all and I may as well be eating a peppermint. I have it on sound advice that prescription sleeping pills do not work for everyone and that some folks go in the opposite direction
( me) when they take over the counter things such as Tylenol p.m. and Benadryl. Hubby can take a Actifed and he is snoring away….if I take one, it is like drinking two cups of coffee. I have always been a light sleeper, I take a Melatonin every night and wear 32 decibel ear plugs. I can hear the dog yawn and wake if I do not have my ear plugs in. Everyone is not the same where sleeping is concerned. I hate being such a light sleeper but, at 52, there is not much I can do. If I do not get my sleep, I get a massive headache or worse sick ( with all the germs from kids at school).

Yes, I have an anxious mind! When I wake up and start thinking about things I go into full speed ahead at 2:00 a.m. I am in and out of different places every day, creating new materials, sleeping in new hotels, renting different cars, meeting new clients/ teachers, etc.When I am home for a few weeks, it is no big deal to go to sleep as I have little on my plate. That is just me. FYI…I can go right to sleep on the plane…no problem. I know folks who will fly on a plane much less sleep on one and I would never presume to tell them to just get over it.


February 17th, 2012
2:25 pm

folks who will NOT fly on a plane much less sleep on one…sorry!


February 17th, 2012
5:39 pm

For those of you suggesting Theresa is writing too much on family and not enough child-related blogs- marriage and family is a huge part of that.

Having said that, no, I can’t sleep without my hubby. I don’t care if he snores- it’s comforting to me. He tells me I snore, ladylike, of course! No, no separate beds for us.


February 18th, 2012
12:17 am

@☺☻Have A Smile!: Someone once peeked at Joan Crawford’s appointment diary, and was surprised to find an entry for an hour or so with just her husband’s name written in. When they asked her what that was about, she told them that their lives were so busy, with her shooting schedules and his business commitments, that they had to make time on their calendars for each other.

People make time for things that are important to them — what’s wrong with making time for sex? It’s not spontaneous — but it’s better than letting life take over and squeeze it out of the way.


February 18th, 2012
4:58 pm

I haven’t slept for more than two hours without waking up since I was a teenager. Like MJG I also have tried over the counter and prescription medications to no avail. My husband snores so loudly that even though he sleeps on the opposite side of the house from my and the children’s bedrooms if we don’t have his door closed and our doors closed he wakes us up. He refuses to have anything done about it, a doctor told him about 10 years ago that nothing would help his snoring and he refuses to check into it again. So, with me waking up every two hours, and his snoring separate bedrooms have saved our marriage.

☺☻Have A Smile! (I suppose)

February 20th, 2012
9:16 am

Ok, I’ll give you that – yes it is good people are keeping their priorities and setting aside time for their spouse.

Sounds good overall. I just meant like it sounded as if things were so awry in their lives that they had no choice and could not optionally any time that they wanted to.

Geez it sounds kind of depressing the idea of life with kids! Kind of scaring me; I’m not kidding.

☺☻Have A Smile! (I suppose)

February 20th, 2012
9:21 am

I’m sorry to hear that these husbands who won’t have their snoring problems corrected are being that way. That sounds like they are being jerks.

I’m sure if the “shoe was on the other foot” they’d be insisting you got your snoring fixed.

Geez if it were me I’d be sure to get my snoring fixed-good sleep is precious and really appreciated by those of us who are cursed with being sensitive to light & sound. :(


February 20th, 2012
9:45 am

My husband’s paternal grandparents had separate bedrooms because of snoring. They were down the hallway from each other, and you if both doors were open, they could see into each other’s bedroom from how their beds were positioned :)


February 20th, 2012
9:53 am

After you’ve been married for a number of years, things change. Sleeping habits change, lifestyle changes, health changes, weight changes and for a greater percentage kids enter the picture. All of that “stuff” changes sleeping habits. Wifey and I have been married for 13 years and the last few years we have slept in separate beds. I am an extremely light sleeper and she is in and out of bed all night long. We find that we are both happier when we have a good nights sleep (kind of obvious). It has had an effect on our sex life because the “opportunity” isn’t right in front of us, but it certainly isn’t the main reason we don’t have sex that often. Lately, she has been asking me to come sleep with her because she misses the way it used to be so I’ll come in for a while and then go to the guest bedroom later on.


February 20th, 2012
6:17 pm

My husband snores… I am a light sleeper, so I wear earplugs…. My husband is a cuddler… I am definitely not, so there is a wall of pillows between us for him to cuddle with. My husband loves a fan going to top speed and the windows open even when it is 30 degrees. I hate drafts and being cold, so I have an electric blanket set on high and his cuddly wall of pillows to block the draft from the fan. Keeps us in the same bed and we both get our sleep… You either learn to adapt or get separate rooms…