In a growing trend in the United States, home builders report that by 2015, up to 60% of new homes built will have two master bedroom suites.  “Why?” you ask.  The reasons might surprise you.  They are less related to sex than to an ever-increasing need for good, solid sleep.  Couples these days are reporting different sleep schedules, increased snoring, and increased demands of children as the main reasons.  Any of these can affect a marriage, but when coupled with sleep deprivation, cause even more problems.  According to “Associated Content” from Yahoo, “Using separate bedrooms allows both halves of a couple to get the sleep they require, which in turn, is lessening the stress in their lives.”

In the recent past, separate bedrooms were a sign of marital problems, and even further back separate beds were common, albeit in the same bedroom.  Perhaps it is a cycle of nature, returning to past practices?  Associated Content also reports, “8 reasons why married couples should have separate bedrooms:

  1. No Arguments Over Decorating
  2. No Lack of Sleep Due to Snoring
  3. It’s Easier When the Babies Come
  4. Nobody Sleeps on the Couch After a Fight
  5. More Closet Space
  6. Sex Becomes More Special
  7. Differing Pre-Bedtime Habits
  8. No Cover Hogs

Any one of the above is reason enough for separate bedrooms.  A little space can make your heart race when you see your partner again. Having a chance to miss your spouse and relax can be a healthy activity for you both.  If you spend too much time together, sleeping apart will give you a chance to refresh your feelings for each other. Separate bedrooms can allow you to see your partner’s interests and preferences in a different way, and it can help you remember who you are as an individual.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” said Thomas Haynes Bayly; “Familiarity breeds contempt,” added Mark Twain.  Separate bedrooms might increase the duration of a marriage, but not the quality.  Couples might be “okay” with being separate, and yet this is not necessarily good for them, or the bond that they could develop if they worked through their various issues instead of separating.  If you lead separate, busy lives, bedtime might be what keeps you in sync and gives you the opportunity to “plug back in.”

Sharing a bedroom really requires only one reason: intimacy; but if a couple is lacking in intimacy, they have bigger problems than their sleeping arrangements.  A strong desire to sleep apart because of intimacy problems or even personal preference might do damage. If you simply push away from your partner because of your issues, and don’t deal with the conflict, the problems will still be there in the morning. Sleeping apart as an escape from dealing with problems will only create an emotional distance in addition to the physical one, and that can be a path to divorce. Even if the separation is made to maintain or recapture a sense on individuality (which can be good) it can cause a couple to grow apart.  Says restaurateur Rahul Akerkar, “If you’re at the stage when you need separate bedrooms, you may as well get separate lives to save the marriage.”  In a country where “face-time” is becoming a rarity, separate bedrooms might not be the solution.  On the other hand, with the rising divorce rate, it could be.  Some feel that separate bathrooms would suffice.

Each couple has to decide for themselves.  Open communication is the best, first step.