Sleep divorce is a thing — and it’s on the rise

Do people sleep better when they sleep together? Technically, no. “When sleep is measured objectively in couples, people sleep a bit worse when they share a bed,” Troxel says, because, well, other people are disruptive. For straight couples, this fact is exacerbated by differences in sensitivities and health: Men are more likely to have certain sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or snoring, while women “are more vulnerable to insomnia, so their threshold for being awakened by a partner could be lower.”

The latest data reveals that sleeping apart—or as I think we should call it, unconscious uncoupling—is more common than the culture would have you believe. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 12 percent of married couples sleep in separate beds. A mattress company’s recent survey of 3,000 people found that 31 percent of married Americans wished they could “file for a sleep divorce.” For those who can afford to live that dream, dual master bedrooms are on the rise: In 2017, Architectural Digest called separate sleeping arrangements “the hottest new amenity in luxury homes.”

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