Separate Beds, Stronger Bonds: Why some couples choose to sleep apart for a better night’s sleep and stronger relationship

Sleeping single in a double bed may not be your idea for maintaining a strong relationship with your significant other. Yet, more couples are opting for separate beds, which might be a boon for their relationship. Surveys conducted in 2023 by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and in 2017 by the National Sleep Foundation found that a significant portion of couples—up to one-third—sleep in separate rooms or beds to ensure a good night’s rest. Estimates suggest that anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of couples maintain separate sleeping arrangements.

While sleeping apart might initially raise eyebrows, it’s often not a sign of trouble in paradise. It can lead to increased happiness and intimacy within the relationship. Just because partners don’t share a bed every night doesn’t mean they feel emotionally disconnected.

Reasons why couples choose to sleep apart

The primary motivation behind separate sleeping arrangements is the pursuit of quality rest. Sharing a bed means sharing sleep behaviors, including snoring, tossing and turning, restless leg syndrome, or frequent wake-ups, which can disrupt a partner’s sleep and strain the relationship.

Other factors contributing to the decision to sleep apart include:

Environmental factors: 

Partners who have differences in their preferred room temperature – one likes it hot, the other cold. 

Sleep schedules: 

If one partner is an early bedtime person and the other a night owl, this can be a problem for bedtime routines or waking times.

Partner movement:

It takes just one partner’s movements to disturb the other’s sleep.

Different schedules: 

Varying work or social commitments.

Tending to children or pets during the night: 

Their needs can disrupt sleep.

Relationship issues: 

Couples who have underlying tensions or conflicts.

How to maintain bedtime closeness

When one partner expresses the desire to sleep separately, it can trigger concerns about intimacy and relationship health. Effective communication is a crucial factor in resolving any issues that may arise in a relationship. It helps to find common ground and mutually beneficial compromises for both partners.

Before choosing separate sleeping arrangements, couples can explore strategies to mitigate sleep disruptions, such as using earplugs or addressing snoring issues.

If sleeping apart becomes the preferred option, couples can adopt strategies to maintain intimacy:

  • Set a schedule for intimacy: Designate specific nights for sleeping together for sexual satisfaction.
  • Create cozy spaces: Ensure both sleeping environments are comfortable.
  • Spend quality time together before sleeping separately: Plan for regular closeness before sleeping in separate rooms. Snuggle in bed, watch a movie together, plan travel or fun, and connect with conversation. This helps cement the closeness and nurture you want to share. 
  • Take naps together: Share daytime naps to maintain intimacy.
  • Assess the sleep arrangement regularly: Check in with each other to ensure satisfaction with the arrangement.

In conclusion, sleeping apart can benefit both partners by improving sleep and maintaining a strong emotional connection. Communication and flexibility are crucial to making the arrangement work for both parties.


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 


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