sleeping alone is really better for you

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I have friends who love, absolutely love, sleeping next to their boyfriend/fuck buddy/flavor of the month. I also have a few honest friends who admit that sleeping next to someone every night doesn't guarantee you a great night of sleep.

Since I can remember, I've always had a full bed, which has allowed me to stretch, wrap the blankets all around me and throw a pillow or two in the middle of the night. So when I have a permanent sleeping partner, he makes sure to remind me of my thrashing ways in the morning.

"Allison, you punched me last night." (I think he made that one up.)
"Allison, you wrap the blankets around you like a cocoon." (Duh.)
"Allison, you have restless leg syndrome and kick me throughout the night." (Whatever.)

Our sleeping arrangements often come up in conversation. Here's how it typically goes:
Any random person -- "So you live together?"
Me--- "Yes we do."
Person -- "Is it a one-bedroom, two-bedroom?"
Me--"We have two bedrooms. There's no way my shopping habit can share a closet with him."
Person -- "Who has what room?"
Me -- "I get the master bedroom because, like I said, I need to have the closet of Elle magazine, and he has the other room."
Person -- "But, you like, sleep together every night, right?"

And, at this point, I get annoyed and slightly defensive. The tone is always the same when any random person reaches the Q&A portion of my sleeping arrangement. Why does it matter to you where I sleep? This is where I bring in the experts. I am a part of the 23% percent of couples who sleep apart, at least some portion of the week. Here, take the quiz.

Stolen from the Today Show, "There are a lot more couples sleeping separately than you might guess, says Mark Mahowald, director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Minneapolis. An estimated 23 percent of American couples sleep apart, according to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation." For all of the people who responded to the survey, 47% of men sleep best when they sleep next to their partner, and only 35% of women sleep best next to their partner. Why you ask? Snoring (38%)!

Women mostly get screwed because men are such loud snorers. My friend Katie said the first time she slept at her B.F.'s house...she thought he died! Could you imagine? She was watching his chest to make sure he was still alive because he stopped breathing at some points in the night. And, when he's done doing the scary-I-almost-died-sleeping thing, he moves into this loud, I-can't-sleep-through snore for the rest of the night. See what we must put up with!

So, in my crazy conclusion, it's not about who you sleep with, it's about the quality of sleep you get when you are sleeping with that person.


Narm said...

I could definitely see truth in that article. I once had a partner that got up in the middle of the night, in her OWN house, and slept on the couch because my snoring was so loud. Sleeping together shouldn't be a HUGE deal - everyone needs to get their rest or there will be more problems than just sleeping arrangements.

Anonymous said...

Crazy, but my biggest fear of getting attached is not having my bed to myself anymore! Are we sad or is this normal?? If I don't get good zz's, I grow horns.

Joanna M said...

Since my hubby travels so much, I too am used to having the whole bed to myself. When he is home we have lots of conversations (read almost arguments) about one of us going to sleep in some other room -but we don't! Aren't we sweet?

Allison M. said...

I wonder if I had a california king...would it make a difference? The B.F. isn't really a snorer. I think the problems are with my sleeping habits.

michelle v said...

Hilariuos post (and I like the new photo). Sometimes I'll make a fight last longer just so I can sleep in the spare room. The bed is much more comfortable there and it is nice to sleep alone every now and then.

Karen said...

I sleep much better with my boyfriend (as long as he isn't sporadically snoring, and his dog isn't getting on and off the bed repeatedly)but fall asleep more easily by myself at home where I have more control of light and noises.
But if we don't talk after we say good night, and I rub his back with my fingertips, or he rubs the insides of my wrists lightly, we pass out.

Ki said...

I just started reading your blog today. My boyfriend and I are moving to a new city and moving in together in 3 weeks, and last night (after 3 years of dating) I discovered he has serious trouble sleeping when I am there... seeing as I wake up about 5 times a night with or without him, I'm not shocked but I was very hurt. This made me feel about a million times better!

Allison M. said...

Thanks Ki. And, I'm sure you will discover tons of new quirks with yourself and your boyfriend. Believe me, they freaking come out. And please, share your stories.