Advantages and disadvantages of separate bedrooms: Love can last longer
For most, it is clear who is together also sleeps together. Romanticism fades over time. One snores and the other gets sleep disorders. Love suffers from it. This is often the beginning of the end. But that doesn't have to be the case, experts say. So when is it better to sleep separately?
How important is it for love happiness that the couple sleep in a bed together? This question often arises when the partner snores loudly, for example, constantly shifts from side to side or has to get up at night due to shift work. In this case, should I submit to the situation and stay in the bedroom together? Or does it stand the relationship if we sleep in separate beds? In an interview with the "dpa" news agency, experts shed light on both sides of the coin and provide tips on how to deal with sleep problems.
Loud snoring often prevents a partner from sleeping
There are many reasons why stress and poor sleeping conditions can occur in the shared bedroom: One has to get out very early in the morning or generally has a hard time resting and gets up again and again. It is also possible that someone has to go to the toilet more often at night or wallow back and forth forever. "But very often there are complaints about the snoring of the partner," explains Friedhelm Schwiderski, couple and sex therapist from Hamburg. And here it is primarily women who suffer: "Men snore more often and also louder than women," adds sleep doctor Thomas Pollmächer, chief physician at the Center for Mental Health at the Ingolstadt Clinic.
In cases like these, the thought of a separate bedroom seems like a small paradise to many concerned - but the inhibitions to openly address the topic are often too great. Because often men and women fear that the desire for separate beds automatically means an unhappy relationship or at least leads to the partnership suffering. But what is the solution? Stay in a double bed despite all the hardships? Or dare the unfamiliar and sleep better again?
Women suffer from sleep disorders more often
Regardless of what makes sleeping difficult, the situation should be taken seriously. "If one partner constantly feels disturbed by the other while sleeping, this can put a strain on the relationship," says Schwiderski. The reason for this is that one blames the other for his sleep disorders, and there is also the feeling that e.g. the well-being of the partner is indifferent to the strong snorer. Subjectively, women would suffer more from a sleep disorder, adds Johannes Mathis, head of the sleep-wake center at Inselspital in Bern. And although it is assumed that "that healthy women tend to need more sleep and also sleep longer and have a little more deep sleep than men," says Mathis.
Consider other possible solutions before separating the bedrooms
In order to solve the problem, the partners should definitely sit down and talk through different scenarios. However, couple therapist Friedhelm Schwiderski recommends that you do not give up the shared bedroom prematurely - at least not without considering other options. For example, Earplugs or an additional room in which you can dodge if someone has to get up earlier. Completely separating the bedrooms, on the other hand, signals "that the partners are physically distancing themselves," explains Schwiderski. The couple therapist warns that this would set in motion a process that is difficult to reverse within the relationship.
Dörte Foertsch, on the other hand, looks at the problem from a different perspective. Because from the perspective of the Berlin psychologist and family therapist, it would be much riskier for the relationship if someone complied with the unpleasant situation and thereby slept sleeplessly next to the snoring partner. Instead, according to Foertsch, it is important that the different needs for autonomy are accepted in a relationship, so that "[...] it can also work with separate bedrooms." But instead of simply grabbing the bedding and “taking it off” without a word, according to the psychologist's advice, an open conversation should first take place in which the partner is informed. “You could put it like this, for example: 'I just can't sleep well in a bed together. And I don't want to endanger our relationship as a result, ”said the expert.
A lack of physical closeness can change communication
Clarifying the motives is also important from Schwiderski's point of view, because it may turn out that snoring is not the real problem. "Perhaps a partner really lacks space elsewhere in the relationship," the couple therapist points out. In general, a relationship with separate bedrooms could therefore definitely work - provided, of course, both partners agree to the change. But the spatial distance also leads to restrictions, because the lack of physical closeness means that “there are no levels of communication that simply cannot be reached in a conversation,” continued Schwiderski.
The common bed is important for the feeling of togetherness
The US researcher Paul C. Rosenblatt came to the conclusion that sleeping in a room is important for the bond with the partner. This is also confirmed by the Swiss sleep researcher Mathis, who also believes that the bed together is important for the feeling of togetherness. According to the expert, the focus is not only on sexuality, but instead sleeping together is linked to a number of other soothing rituals. To better deal with the situation, sleep doctor Thomas Pollmächer recommends staying relaxed - even if it takes a little longer to fall asleep. "We often have too high demands for a good night's sleep." (Sb)