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A Third of Americans Are Getting a ‘Sleep Divorce’. It's the fricken Millennials.

OMG, half of men move to another room? Grow a pair, dude. If your partner can't sleep that's their problem.

I'd like to apologize to my female readers. That wasn't funny. It's about time I grew up and stopped acting like a 10-year-old.

Seriously! You want more?

A Third of Americans Are Getting a ‘Sleep Divorce’

Millennials reported the highest rate of consistently or occasionally moving to another bed

Published 07/11/23 03:46 PM ET|Updated 41 min ago

Rina Raphael

American couples are done tossing and turning: More than a third have opted for a “sleep divorce,” according to a recent survey by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

A sleep divorce entails partners amicably deciding to retire to separate beds or rooms. The separation could be due to loud snoring, conflicting schedules, temperature preferences, or even blanket hogging.

The AASM surveyed more than 2,000 Americans in March 2023 and found that 35% of respondents occasionally or consistently sleep in another room. There were, however, some differences between the sexes: nearly half of men reported moving to another bedroom or a sofa, in comparison to a quarter of women.

Millennials reported the highest rate (43%) of consistently or occasionally sleeping in another room, followed by those in Gen X (33%).

“Although the term ‘sleep divorce’ seems harsh, it really just means that people are prioritizing sleep and moving into a separate room at night when needed,” Dr. Seema Khosla, pulmonologist and spokesperson for the AASM, said in a press statement.

The survey uncovered some other sleep habits, particularly when it comes to how Americans accommodate their partners. Nearly half of Americans do not adjust their sleep routine at all, but others attempt to work around their bedmate: AASM reports that 15% use earplugs (with the highest percentage in the West), while 16% rely on a silent alarm.

Sufficient sleep is critical for health — and maintaining a good relationship, several studies suggest. Lack of sleep can lead to higher stress levels, potentially exacerbating irritability, anger and conflict, a 2018 analysis found.

“We know that poor sleep can worsen your mood, and those who are sleep deprived are more likely to argue with their partners. There may be some resentment toward the person causing the sleep disruption which can negatively impact relationships,” explained Dr. Khosla. “Getting a good night’s sleep is important for both health and happiness, so it’s no surprise that some couples choose to sleep apart for their overall well-being.”

The concept of a “sleep divorce” is seemingly growing in popularity. A 2017 survey commissioned by the National Sleep Foundation estimated that nearly one in four American couples slept in separate beds.

Sleeping adult man without shirt.

Nearly half of men reported moving to another bedroom or a sofa in order to accommodate their partners, according to a new sleep survey.Raquel Arocena Torres/Getty Images

Meanwhile, a recent survey of 2,000 Americans by mattress review site Mattress Clarity reported similar findings to AASM, with a third of Americans sleeping separately. More than 40% of respondents who did not have a sleep divorce said they wished they did “at least sometimes.”

On TikTok, the hashtag #SleepDivorce now boasts nearly 400,00 views.

Michael Breus, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and sleep expert, recommends couples first try an alternating sleep schedule if they’re having difficulties sharing a bed. In this experiment, couples sleep separately between Sunday and Thursday and then together on Friday and Saturday evenings, he told The Messenger via email.

“Many people think that the strength of their relationship is contingent on sleeping in the same bed,” said Breus. “There is actually no data to support this idea.”

A third of Americans say they get less than the recommended amount of sleep, according to the CDC. Adults are advised to try to get seven or more hours per night as insufficient sleep is linked to various chronic diseases and conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and depression.

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