The word “sleeping with” is an interesting verb in our society. It denotes rest and it denotes sexual activity. They often go together. Let me be more explicit.
The National Sleep Foundation in 2001 found out that 12% of married couples slept alone. In 2005 that number jumped to 23%. And in 2012, what is the new number? I suspect that it is continuing to climb. The National Association of Homebuilders says that there has been a steady increase of requests for “two master bedroom” homes to be built.
What is this information indicating? I presume that there are a variety of explanations for this trend. Health, stress, and romance come to mind.
Our society is aging, many citizens are overweight and drink too much. Sleep apnea, snoring, and leg twitching appear to be more prevalent or, at best, are not as tolerated by spouses as in previous times. Restful sleep can be a challenge is such situations.
Stress is high in most households, especially today, due to jobs, income, financial markets, family problems, etc… Stress affects health, sleep, and romance. A good night’s sleep in most needed during such times.
Romance may or may not be present in a relationship for a variety of reasons. A partner’s snoring, sleep apnea, or leg twitching may be a convenient “excuse” to leave the bedroom and sleep someplace else to avoid intimacy.
Over the years I have heard every explanation possible as to why a couple is not sleeping together, as well as not snuggling or having sex together. Operative word here is “together”. Solo sex still thrives in most cases. Different biological “clocks”, television, computer, the kids, work demands, snoring, etc… are reason offered for not going to bed together.
I encourage couples to end their day together on most nights– with their love partner – by spending at least ten to twenty minutes snuggling, preferably without having your boxers, jammies, or nightgown on. Then if one person is not tired or wants to get up for whatever reason, at least the couple has ended the day together with some degree of closeness. This activity helps to maintain a connection so as to not just be living together under the same roof. Just being “roommates” is not enough for a couple who profess to love one another.
I invite you to look at your sleep patterns and why they are what they are. Do your sleep habits say much about what kind of spousal sensual relationship you have? May the need for a good night’s sleep not be an excuse for not sharing emotional and physical closeness with your partner. Loving touch is a basic human need for survival.
“Sleep” well – together if at all possible.