A recent article in the Style section the Sunday Times (UK) features two millenials talking about their separate sleeping.
What’s so interesting about that I hear you ask????
What makes it interesting is that separate sleeping is mostly considered the domain of older people (I won’t give a specific age, lest I offend). “My grandparents do that”, or “my parents started doing that after they had been married for years” is the most common comment of the under 30s, not “oh yes….. I do that and so do lots of my friends”.
There are many reasons that separate sleeping is associated with older people – quite simply, more older people do it! As snoring and other sleep-related disruptors arrive to share our beds, and our bodies demand more sleep so we function each day, older couples tend to be more motivated (and possibly more comfortable in their relationship) to find space each night that affords them quality sleep.
When researching my book, I was only able to find three couples (out of just under 50) under 30 to interview. They all approached their decision pragmatically – they needed their sleep – but maintained healthy, happy relationships, with one couple bemoaning that sleeping separately meant their normal sex quota dropped from about 10, down to 7-8 time a week. Personally, I don’t think too many people would see that as a major issue.
So is the sleeping separately tide turning? Or am I fooling myself – placing too much hope in an anomalous story, shared for shock value?
Whatever the reality…… I’m going for the tide turning, tipping point dream, that says ‘what matters most is sleep, not who you lie next to to get it’.
Phoebe Luckhurst – the separate sleeping tale teller – talks confidently about the practicality of the decision, saying “We rarely discuss it, to be honest, as it doesn’t bother us much at all“. She also highlights that the decision to head to separate rooms is a most practical decision and not an every night event. I’ve always tried to encourage couples to look at the option of separate sleeping as a ‘sometimes’ decision. There are no rules that say you have to ALWAYS sleep together, or NEVER sleep together. There’s the middle ground in between, where you SOMETIMES sleep together, and that what Phoebe and her 26yo boyfriend do.
And GOOD ON THEM !
Hopefully, the connected younger generation are reading more about the importance of sleep – it’s certainly a topic that is discussed more in the media than ever before. Add good quality sleep to a dairy free, protein infused acai bowl and some hot yoga, and you’ve got the recipe for a healthy happy millennial life.
Click below for links to the article in PDF if you are having issues accessing the story from the link above.