Sleeping Apart and Staying Together
By: Nicole Purdee

Valentine’s Day

Sleeping in separate bedrooms has been a foreign concept plaguing societal norms for decades. Many individuals have viewed sleeping in separate bedrooms as ominous and a bad sign for married couples. But is sleeping in separate beds or bedrooms taboo?

A popular television sitcom called King of Queens created an episode surrounding couples sleeping in different beds. In Season 5, episode 25 protagonists Doug and Carry’s bedframe collapses and breaks down. The couple ordered a queen size bed frame, but the furniture store accidentally delivered two twin size beds. Doug and Carry decide to use the twin beds until their queen size bed got delivered. Unexpectedly, Doug and Carry enjoyed it! As a result of sleeping in different beds Carry begins to act nicer towards Doug and Doug becomes more active in his work and personal life. Throughout the episode Doug and Carry’s family and friends discover that the couple is sleeping in different beds and express their concerns about the couple’s marriage. Doug and Carry explain to their friends that sleeping in different beds has been a blessing and not to worry. At the end of the episode the furniture store delivers the couples’ queen size bed and Doug and Carry reluctantly stop using the twin beds. After sleeping in the queen size bed Doug and Carry return to their normal bickering selves.

So, will sleeping in different beds ever become a societal norm for couples? In a recent podcast interview, Cameron Diaz disclosed that she fully supports couples who sleep in separate beds, commonly known as sleep divorce. Diaz stated that the idea of sleeping in separate bedrooms should be normalized, rather than criticized. She further explained that prior to getting married to her husband she dreamed of living in separate bedrooms as she felt it would increase her relationship with her partner. In the interview, she revealed that many of her friends shared the same sentiment and doctors have recommended to couples who have very different sleeping habits to sleep in different bedrooms.

Turning to the opinions of sleep experts, there are many positive reasons why a couple would want to sleep in different beds, even separate bedrooms. As humans get older our bodies change drastically, especially our sleep patterns. Some begin to snore, sleepwalk, and even sleep talk. Sonologist Dr. Sookdeo explains that individuals between the ages of 18-30 need seven to eight hours of sleep while individuals older than 45 need eight to nine hours of sleep. A routine sleep schedule is pivotal for mental and physical health and a good night’s rest could have lasting effects such as increased productivity and decreased cortisone levels. 1 If two people who cohabitate have different sleeping patterns, it may be difficult for them to get a full night’s rest. Even big brand mattress companies, Sleep Number, Purple, and Nectar, developed a split mattress option for couples with different preferences for mattress firmness.

Perhaps sleeping in different beds should not be a foreign concept. While sleeping separately can improve an individual’s health, it is important to talk as a couple about the sleeping arrangements and how sleeping in different bedrooms will affect the relationship overall. If you and your partner choose to sleep separately it may be a good idea to increase quality time during the day, whether it be watching a movie or enjoying dinner together.

Tyus, Jamesalina M. “Sleeping in Separate Beds: Meaning, Benefits, & Reasons to Consider.” Choosing Therapy, 11 Aug. 2023,