Sleep wars or blissful slumbers?
By Diane Cooke
Lady Pamela Hicks, the Queen's cousin, revealed HM's sleeping habits in Sally Bedell Smith’s 2011 biography of the monarch. She explained: "In England, the upper class always have had separate bedrooms. You don’t want to be bothered with snoring or someone flinging a leg around. Then when you are feeling cozy you share your room sometimes. It is lovely to be able to choose."
Nearly one in four couples sleep in separate bedrooms or beds, according to a 2015 survey by the National Sleep Foundation. A 2013 study from Toronto's Ryerson University puts that number at 30-40 per cent.
"It's important to hold in mind that we all have different attachment styles, and the ideal sleeping arrangement may vary greatly from couple to couple," Dr. Amanda Zayde, a licensed clinical attachment-based psychologist in New York City, told The Huffington Post.
For example, if one partner snores loudly, or if a couple has very different sleep styles, "sharing a bed can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment," Zayde said.
For them, "sleeping in separate beds is a practical decision, made with the ultimate goal of both partners having a good night's sleep."
Sleep, as we know, affects our moods -- when we have too little, we are grumpier, more impatient and have a hard time tempering our emotions.
But "getting enough quality sleep can lead to an improved mood, and an increase in positive interactions with your partner," Zayde said. Also, "people have gotten used to having their own space, and they don't necessarily want to relinquish it as they enter into a relationship."
But there are many benefits of sleeping in the same bed, too:
On the flip side, if you sleep in another room, you miss out on mid-evening spontaneous sex, Dr. Laurel Steinberg, a clinical sexologist and professor of psychology at Columbia University, pointed out.
"No matter how big he thinks his penis is, it’s not that big to reach from the next room," she said.
But the benefits extend beyond sex.
"Just expressing warmth and not sex helps your brain create oxytocin, a very soothing stress reduction hormone," she said.
Apparently, sleeping apart has become such a trend that the National Association of Homebuilders says they soon expect most new homes they build will have “two master bedrooms.”
However, according to Momzette, the bedroom has to be sacred space where married couples share everything. The research is clear that couples who don’t share a bed are far less communicative than partners who sleep together. That’s bad because the best of couples — highly committed, highly communicative couples — carry some resentment, and even some hostility toward one another.
Barton Goldsmith, writing in Psychology Today, says there are other intangible benefits to sharing a bed.
"I believe we do exchange some kind of energy with the person we are sleeping with, and sometimes it can be quite powerful and wonderful. When you don’t get the chance to experience that, you will feel that something is missing in your love life," he said.