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No one should sacrifice sleep to share a bed with their partner



What could be more romantic than Paris? The city itself is like a Hallmark card: twinkling lights over the Seine; tiny, sweet jackdaws in street cafes; holding hands along the Champs Elysées; artists flock to Montmartre. But if Paris (ergo France, extrapolate: put up with me) is the epicenter of love, why are more and more couples there choosing to sleep apart?

Because that’s what’s happening, and it causes no small degree of consternation. Researchers found that 10% of of French couples living together now sleep in different rooms, and another 6% sleep together. I’d like to, but I’m afraid of the consequences. The Ifop study found that more than 20 percent of couples aged 65 and over sleep in separate rooms; but it’s not just older people. Reports suggest that young people are increasingly choosing to sleep in separate beds.

So what’s going on? I have an idea: people prefer good over (yes, I’ll say it) the slightly sanctimonious notion that to be truly happy together, you have to share a bed; so sacrifice a solid sleep – with all the painful consequences that come with it.

After all, research shows that not getting enough sleep can affect the brain’s ability to remember, and insomnia can be linked to a weaker immune system.

Science seems to support the idea that our ability to regulate our emotions decreases after a poor night’s sleep; and now we know that just six hours of sleep a night can lead to a 200 percent increase in the risk of having a stroke or fatal heart attack, according to a 2021 research paper. Sleep deprivation can also lead to increased levels of beta-amyloid in the brain, a toxic protein that which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Lack of sleep can even increase your risk of developing colon, prostate or breast cancer later in life.

On the other hand: getting Good Sleeping at night can help regulate your blood pressure – which is why not getting a good night’s rest can also negatively impact your cardiovascular system – and may also make you happier.

Let’s face it bluntly: if you can sleep anywhere when they died, that’s good for you. I can’t. Countless others can’t either – not when someone is (perhaps) snoring and (sometimes) talking and (very likely) rustling the sheets and (almost certainly) checking their phone. If you choose to spend a good eight hours in your own bed, away from your partner – to improve your health and well-being – it is Good item. We should celebrate it.

I’m not alone: ​​I have dozens of friends who, like me, are in their forties and no longer share a bed – either because they’re single (and revel in the possibility of a starfish in the middle of the mattress without elbows in the face); or because they made a conscious decision to sleep blissfully alone.

I recently spoke to a friend who confessed, almost guiltily, to saying “good night” to her partner before going to bed in her own bedroom, where it was “peaceful, clean and smelling of lavender.” But I guess there’s such a shame and stigma attached to admitting you don’t choose to sleep with your significant other every night – especially if you’re young. My friend was prevented from saying it in anything other than a whisper.

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So what are the concerns about sleeping apart? Is it because it suggests your relationship is “done” – or doomed? Do you worry that it could mean the end of your physical relationship? Is this really the point: people are too afraid that it will stop them from having sex – or will they highlight all the sex they don’t have?

Consider this as an alternative: sleeping apart doesn’t automatically mean the death of the relationship – it may even make it better. How? Well, we’ve all read about long-term relationships that have “grown old” and the idea that to fix it, something new could be considered. What could be newer than finding another place in the house (or outside) to be together without the old, tired routine of the marital bed? Don’t take it from me, take it from the (ex)experts who say the quickest way to lust is to find anywhere but the bedroom to make love.

There are many ways to show love and care for someone – and want them – without having to endure snoring in your ear all night; or fall over and accidentally hit the lower back with your knee.

But I digress: I just don’t see anything but a good thing if people express their needs in a relationship. And if those needs include getting the basic eight hours, we could all learn something from it.

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