Trouble in Paradise
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Sleeping in separate beds???

I usually post on PCE, but I thought this question seemed better suited for here.

DH & I have been married for about a year, in our house for about 2 years. I have a lot of issues with anxiety and insomnia that I had a long time before I met DH, so he is well aware of all of this and is a good support system in terms of dealing with the anxiety, panic, etc.

The past few months I seem to have trouble getting to sleep in our bed. I get quite restless, and usually end up heading to crash on the couch instead. I usually do this so that I don't disrupt DHs sleep (he has to get up earlier than I do), and I get a decent sleep on the couch so it doesn't affect me too badly.

My counsellor suggested that if possible, I have my own bedroom to fall asleep in at night where I can read, journal, or basically have quiet time that should help with my insomnia. We have extra rooms, so its easy enough to convert one to a bedroom, but I just don't like the idea. I realize that I'm hardly sleeping in our bedroom as it is, but I'm not keen on the idea of officially having separate bedrooms. DH thinks if it will help, then go for it. We do have friends working shift work that have separate bedrooms and they say its had no effect on their marriage.

As a couple, our marriage is good, I just worry that sleeping in separate beds might be a negative thing on our relationship. Any thoughts??

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Re: Sleeping in separate beds???

  • Why can't you read, journal, or have quiet time in your own room before your husband comes to bed?

    Other than that, if your H is fine with it and your counselor is recommending it, go for it.  

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  • In your position, I would go to bed with my husband and move to another bed when necessary. That way, you maintain the intimacy of sharing that time together but you have the ability to get a consistant, good night's sleep in sheets and stuff.



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  • The way I see it, if your husband is okay with it, then why not try it out for a month or two?

    I can understand your wariness, though. 

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  • My ILs have slept in separate beds for about 25 years.

    They have a wonderful marriage and are very much in love, but drive each other crazy with their bedtime routines and sleeping habits.

    If you think it might help, at least give it a try.

  • What Hindsight said.  I have insomnia like crazy, and there are times when I have to move to the couch to avoid waking DH (once he's awake, he has hell going back to sleep).  We also have a guest room that I occasionally use because frankly, it's more comfortable.  It's had no effect on our marriage.

    Just convert one of the extra rooms into a guest room, but make it specifically to your tastes, whatever you find comforting.  Keep a journal in there, but maybe in a bedside table with a locking drawer.  Perhaps then it won't seem like "ZOMG! We have separate bedrooms!" but more of a "time to camp out in the guest room for the night!" if you wake up/can't sleep and need to use a separate space. 

    FTR: I know that even if it is our guest room, mine is definitely suited to my tastes: the bed was the one my dad made me before I moved into my first apartment in college, the comforter is the same, and I chose the throw pillows, color scheme, and furniture. While it works for insomnia, it still ultimately functions as a guest room.

  • If you do end up sleeping in extra beds, I would make a point to get the physical intimacy that you would be missing during another time of the day. Like curling up on the couch for some TV time or a movie. 
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  • Have you tried rearranging the bedroom furniture? Having your bed in a different part of the room?

     Try turning the mattress and changing the lighting.

     Maybe some "new surroundings" is all you need to kick the insomnia.

    Have you had a complete medical evaluation? There are a few conditions that manifest itself as insomnia as a symptom -- thyroid problems is one of them.

     

  • I am someone who has to have quiet in order to fall asleep, and unfortunately, if I am woken up, I can not fall back asleep right away.  My husband has a horribly loud snore and snores all night, often waking me out of a dead sleep. 

    For over a year, I tried to deal with it, since I had the same fears as you about our relationship.  I have to tell you that one night, I couldn't take it anymore and went to sleep in the guestroom.  I never slept so good.

    My lack of sleep was actually making our relationship worse, I was having a difficult time concentrating at work, and I was resenting and angry at my husband. 

    What I do is sleep in the guest room when I have to work, and on weekends, I will try and sleep in our same bed together.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but it makes it a little more "fun" when I actually do sleep in the same bed with him.   And I don't feel like it has ruined our relationship at all.  In fact it has never been better. 

     

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  • Ditto the other posters.  Try it and see if it helps.

    I cuddle with H for a while, try to sleep, and go do my own thing if needed.  No biggie.

    Also, would you be moving all your stuff out of your current room, like clothing?  I'd leave all your stuff where it is so you and your H still have your getting ready for work and undressing at night rituals together.

  • DH and I often pretty much work opposite schedules. Usually he is asleep on the couch when I get home. (he falls asleep watching TV). I usually give him a kiss and leave him there. If I wake him up to come to the bed then he has a hard time falling back asleep and will then keep me up. So I would say most of the time we aren't sleeping in the same bed. However, I have found that we both seem to get better sleep when we are separate and not kicking or rolling into one another. I would say it hasn't had any negative affects on our marriage.
  • DH has sleep problems, so he'll start off in our bed and if he can sleep that's awesome, but if not, he moves to the other room. Usually he'll come back when he first wakes up in the mornin if I'm not up yet, and come snuggle.

    I'm really sorry you're having these issues, I know it's made for some miserable nights with us :(

    GL

  • I didn't read all of the replies, I'm sorry... But I have a couple of questions for you as someone who also suffers from anxiety driven insomnia.

    1. What is it that keeps you from being able to do what you need to do before your H comes to bed? You mentioned journaling, reading, etc...

    2. Have you tried doing anything different with the room? Like, rearranging your furniture? Or, buying a different comforter set? Sometimes we build negative associations around objects and it can help to rearrange them or replace certain visual bits.

    That said, I would talk to your H if I were you. See what kind of effect he thinks it will have on your marriage if you sleep in a separate bed. Or, also, maybe lay with him for a little while at night and then move into your own room.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with sleeping in separate beds as long as the meaning of it is apparent to both of you and you both agree it's for the best.

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  • I have actually seen a lot about sleeping in different rooms in the news lately, your not alone.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/09/12/lw.sleep.alone.when.married/

    http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2009/04/healthy-sleep-more-couples-are.html  I like the quote:  "But people who are more tired are more miserable and have a higher rate of divorce."

    I agree with Gone_Awry as long as you are both satisfied with the arrangement so for it.  It doesn't hurt to try it out, you can always go back to sharing a bed.

  • DH and I have been sleeping separate pretty much since DS has been born.  There are two reasons for this:

    DH has sleep apnea and I can't tell you how many times that has woken me up pre-baby and I just can't justify losing sleep (when sleep is a rare commodity anyway) just because its what we're "supposed" to do as a married couple.

    And...

    It takes me forever to get settled, all the covers have to be just right (yeah, I'm AR like that) before I can get comfortable.  Once, when we first go to bed, DH can handle but he finds it really annoying.  I wouldn't want to be subjected to that multiple times a night when I have to get up for work (looking at it from DH's perspective) so I don't do that do him.  

    I've taken over the room right across the hall from DS's room and it works out well.  DH gets a good night's sleep without being interrupted by DS/me and I get better sleep than I would if I was getting woken up even more because of DH's apnea.

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  • image hindsight's_a_biotch:

    In your position, I would go to bed with my husband and move to another bed when necessary.

    This is what I do.  DH and I will usually fall asleep together, but if I wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back to sleep (which happens a lot), I take my pillow and go to our guest room. 

    DH has a CPAP machine that sometimes make a lot of noise, so it doesn't make sense to lay there frustrated because I can't fall back to sleep, tossing and turning and waking DH up in the process too. 

    I guess I'd rather lose that smidgen of intimacy in my marriage than be constantly sleep deprived.  But I don't see how spending a few hours apart when you're both unconscious anyway is going to damage your intimacy.

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  • I've been married for almost five years, and in that entire five, I've only slept with my H a handful of times. 

    Like Geek's H, he has sleep apnea and snores like a freight train.  Always has.  We've tried a machine, I've tried ear plugs, a noise machine, a floor fan...nothing works.

    We have a great relationship.  I sleep beautifully as does he, and it hasn't affected our intimacy at all. 

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  • My inlaws have separate bedrooms due to my MIL's severe back problems.

    I don't think it will affect your marriage unless you LET it. Make sure to continue spending time together and such. Maybe you could start to sleep with DH and then if you can't sleep, move to your bedroom?

  • image hindsight's_a_biotch:

    In your position, I would go to bed with my husband and move to another bed when necessary. That way, you maintain the intimacy of sharing that time together but you have the ability to get a consistant, good night's sleep in sheets and stuff.

    This. This is what I was doing in the first few weeks with the baby when DH was back to work and I was still figuring out how to feed DS without making a huge commotion. We still had the intimacy of going to bed together, having a little pillow talk, kissing each other goodnight, etc. 

  • You sound similar to me.  I don't have anxiety issues but insomnia is NOT fun!!  Before I got pregnant I used to go and sleep on the couch maybe 2-3 times a week.  This was even before we got married and were just dating and staying at each other's houses.  Since I got pregnant it's even harder for me to sleep and DH realized that and sleeps in the guest room.  We do "hang out" before we go to bed but we rarely sleep in the same bed.  Every marriage is different and it doesn't effect our interractions.  Other things have, but they were there before we started sleeping in separate beds.
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  • image TarponMonoxide:

    Have you tried rearranging the bedroom furniture? Having your bed in a different part of the room?

     Try turning the mattress and changing the lighting.

     Maybe some "new surroundings" is all you need to kick the insomnia.

    Have you had a complete medical evaluation? There are a few conditions that manifest itself as insomnia as a symptom -- thyroid problems is one of them.

     

    I have had a medical evaluation, actually multiple ones. My anxiety results in the insomnia - so, after several years, I started on an anti-depressent (Cipralex)l but that made the insomnia part worse. My anxiety is much better, I just cant sleep.

    Our bedroom isn't very well suited to moving furniture (we have a king bed) and I have tried to make it 'calming', but it doesn't seem to be working. 

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  • image AgHeather06:
    DH and I often pretty much work opposite schedules. Usually he is asleep on the couch when I get home. (he falls asleep watching TV). I usually give him a kiss and leave him there. If I wake him up to come to the bed then he has a hard time falling back asleep and will then keep me up. So I would say most of the time we aren't sleeping in the same bed. However, I have found that we both seem to get better sleep when we are separate and not kicking or rolling into one another. I would say it hasn't had any negative affects on our marriage.

     

    I am glad to hear that it hasn't affected your marriage. It seems like most of the responses indicated its probably better to get a good night's sleep than to try and sleep in the same bed!!

    DH goes to bed before I do (he gets up earlier), but we usually cuddle on the couch beforehand. I will make sure to have lots of snuggle time otherwise so it doesn't affect things too much. We don't cuddle at ALL when sleeping anyways, so separate beds shouldn't really affect things for the 8 hours we are sleeping.

    Thank you everyone for all of your responses, I appreciate it :) I will let you know what separate sleeping rooms does, if anything. 

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  • I didn't read through all the replies but some of them mentioned just re-arrainging the room, I'd try that first if you are that concerned about your marriage being effected by sleeping in seperate rooms.  My grandparents slept in seperate beds for over 50 years, since his job would require him to get up and go to work sometimes in the middle of the night and if my grandmother woke up she couldn't go back to sleep. I'd try having some quiet time in your room before your husband joins you in bed and see if that works.  If not, try the seperate rooms, if it works stick with it, if not, maybe talk to a doctor about the insomia issues.
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