Six reasons why sleeping in separate beds can be a good idea

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Sleeping alone from time to time to avoid snoring, a young child in your bed and duvet hogging is a total luxury

You have a young child. My name is Stuart Heritage, and sometimes I sleep in a different room from my wife. This isnt altogether uncommon its estimated that anything up to 40% of couples will do it at some point but its still a taboo subject. Heres why I do it: we have a two-year-old. At some point in the night, more often than not, he will end up in our bed. And two-year-olds are massive; much bigger than youd expect, especially when their limbs ninja-star out at right angles and you end up with a hand in your face or a foot in your mouth or a calf obstructing your trachea. Sometimes when this happens, its easier to just get up and crash on a sofa bed. Everyone has more space, so everyone gets a better nights sleep.

One of you snores. Snoring seems like a joke until youre confronted with a snorer, and then its the worst thing on earth. Ive been a snorer and a snoree in the past, and the damage that snoring does to a snorees peace of mind is incalculable. All they want to do is sleep, but they cant because the person they love is making a noise like a malfunctioning blender. Once, in a fit of sleep-deprived mania, I downloaded an app on my phone to measure how loud a partner was snoring. It was 90 decibels, as loud as a Boeing 737 coming in to land. When you sleep with a snorer, it overtakes your life. It makes you cranky and resentful. It can even break you up. When it happens, a bed in a different room is like paradise.

One of you is a duvet hog. Few things are as miserable as spending a cold winter night forlornly tugging at a duvet trapped under the love of your life, and failing to make up any ground, and resigning yourself to curling up under a paltry hankie-sized corner for the night. One solution is a bigger duvet, but a hog is a hog and they will nick that, too. Surely its better to just give up and sleep by yourself.

Your days start and end at different times. I start work at 6am on the dot, but my wife has a more sensible wake-up time. This leaves me with three options every morning. First: I let my alarm wake me up, but it also wakes my wife and she spends the rest of the day groggy and bad-tempered. Second: I train myself to wake up before my alarm goes off, creep out of the bedroom early without disturbing anyone and spend my day groggy and bad-tempered. Third: I sleep in a different room, everyone gets the right amount of sleep and were all happy.

You want to be healthy. If you share a bed with someone else, your sleep is 50% more disturbed than it would be if you slept alone. And sleep is important. Lack of sleep leads to loss of concentration, increased irritability, reduced mental wellbeing, lowered sex drive and can increase the likelihood of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Really, sleeping alone from time to time is basically a miracle cure.

It isnt all the time. Sleeping in different rooms doesnt mean you never sleep in the same bed. That would be weird, and probably not wonderful for your relationship. But nipping into the spare room every now and again will do you no harm at all. In fact, sometimes its a total luxury.

@stuheritage

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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