When to Sleep Solo Versus Sleeping with a Partner

image of a couple sleeping together with feet sticking our from under the comforter


Many couples struggling to get a good nights sleep may eventually wonder whether they might sleep better if they slept in separate beds, or if they should keep sleeping together. For some couples, it's important to maintain an intimate connection with their partner and sleeping close to one another is a way to do so. However, for others, sleeping with a partner may lead to a disruptive sleep cycle, marital tension and irritability during the day.


When balancing the positives and negatives, when should a couple decide to sleep separately and when should they sleep together? Some couples may also have different ideas when it comes to sleeping with pets.


A Loud Partner

Suppose you sleep peacefully but your partner snores a great deal. Or maybe your partner loves to fall asleep watching television and you like peace and quiet, and darkness, while going to sleep. In many instances, your partner's habits may disrupt your sleep pattern, causing you to stay awake for long periods of time in the middle of the night.


Sometimes, a couple may have a healthier relationship if they sleep separately from their snoring or restless partner. For those who choose to remain together in the bed, some invest in sturdy ear plugs. According to WebMD, snoring will also decrease drastically if an individual sleeps on his or her back. In the end, if your partner is a loud sleeper or likes to fall asleep while watching television, then have a candid discussion with him or her to try and address your issues.


Sleeping in an Unfamiliar Place

Suppose you want to spend the night at your partner's home. Although you feel tired, you continuously toss and turn throughout the night. According to a study performed at Brown University, sleeping in an unfamiliar place can disrupt sleep patterns. A certain hemisphere remains more active than the other, thus preventing the brain from fully relaxing while sleeping.


In other words, the brain will stay partially awake when a person is not familiar with his or her surroundings. Some attribute this behavior to a particular defense mechanism. The individual does not enter into a smooth, comfortable sleep to protect his or herself in case something occurs. Usually, with time, an individual will grow more accustomed to his or her partner's sleeping partners. However, in other instances, it may be better to sleep separately, in your own familiar bedroom, especially during the week when you need the most sleep.


Different Bedtimes

You like to wake up early and go to the gym. Your partner loves to sleep in and stay up late watching movies. If you are winding down and your partner still has a great deal of energy at night, an unwanted tension in the bedroom may arise. When sleeping by yourself, you can fall asleep when you are tired. When another person is in the room, you have to adjust your sleep patterns slightly. If you choose to continue sleeping together, have an honest talk with your partner to see if either of you can adjust your schedule.


Blanket Wars

You go to bed nice and toasty and wake up in the middle of the night cold and uncomfortable. You look over and notice that your partner has all of the blankets, and even the pillows around him. When sleeping with someone, you have to keep in mind that you must share everything in the bed, including the blankets and pillows. When sleeping alone, you can be a blanket hog but while sleeping with your partner, you must share.


So when should you decide to sleep separately from your partner? If you find that your sleep cycle is consistently disruptive and regular fatigue affects your work and personal life, then you may want to consider sleeping in the other room. Have an honest talk with your partner and the two of you can probably come to an agreement that works well for the two of you.

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