Sleep apart, thrive together: Americans sleep in separate rooms for a good night’s sleep

In a rapidly changing trend, many Americans prefer to sleep in separate rooms rather than the traditional concept of shared bedrooms. This expanding trend is motivated by the desire for a good night’s sleep, with individual sleep preferences and comfort taking precedence.

According to recent studies, more than a third of Americans have decided to sleep in separate rooms, thus creating their own sleep sanctuaries. This trend calls into question the long-held assumption that shared bedrooms foster intimacy and connection, highlighting the importance of personal space for a good night’s sleep.

Let’s take a look at this trend and see what it means for our sleep habits and general well-being.

Americans sleep better in separate rooms.

Credit: canva

A good night’s sleep is necessary for physical and mental health and for maintaining a healthy relationship. When one partner spends sleepless nights tossing and turning, snoring loudly, or hogging the duvet, some couples consider it a “sleep divorce.”

According to a survey of 2005 American adults conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) in March 2023, 15% of those surveyed sleep in another room to avoid nighttime interruptions caused by their partner. 20% do it on some occasion. However, they do consider options. A third of those surveyed change their nighttime patterns, going to bed earlier or later than usual to accommodate a partner. Meanwhile, 15% use earplugs to sleep.

Men are more likely than women to sleep in another room, such as a guest room or on the couch. 45% do it occasionally or habitually, compared to a quarter of women. The number of people who choose this type of “dream divorce” fluctuates from generation to generation. 43% of Millennials, 33% of Gen Xers, 28% of Gen Zers, and 22% of Baby Boomers sleep in separate bedrooms.

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for a good nightCredit: canva

Choosing to sleep in another room to improve sleep quality comes as no surprise to Dr. Seema Khosla, a pulmonologist and AASM spokeswoman. “We know that lack of sleep can worsen moods, and people who don’t sleep well are more likely to argue with their partners.” “There can be resentment towards the person causing the sleep disruption, which can damage relationships,” she added. “A good night’s sleep is important for both health and happiness, so it’s not surprising that some couples choose to sleep apart for their overall well-being.”

“Although the term sleep divorce sounds harsh, it just means that people prioritize sleep and move to a separate room at night when necessary,” Khosla explained. “However, if one partner’s loud snoring results in separate sleeping areas, you should encourage that partner to see a doctor about obstructive sleep apnea.” This is true for both men and women who snore.” Symptoms of sleep apnea can include excessive tiredness, unusual daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, difficulty concentrating, and memory loss.

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