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The Next Time You Buy a Home, Plan Ahead for a Potential “Sleep Divorce” to Avoid an Actual Divorce

When you get married, you’re supposed to be together for better or worse, through good times and bad, and in sickness and health. But nowhere in most vows does it say you have to share a bed! Yet most couples do sleep in the same bed once they move in together, whether they’re officially married or not… and whether they like it or not.

It’s funny how couples are often depicted on TV and movies cuddling as they sleep blissfully
through the night together when the reality for many people is quite the opposite. For example:

Many couples don’t actually go to sleep at the same time. One stays up with the TV or phone screen flashing in the room, white the other tries to sleep. Or, if they just come tromping in the room making the floorboards squeak hours later when they’re ready to retire for the night.
One’s hot and the other’s not. One person may like the room cold as ice with a window open and ceiling fan on full blast, while the other wants it toasty with a weighted blanket.
Restlessness can be an issue. Some people have restless legs and kick their partner throughout the night, or are just restless sleepers who toss and turn so much it keeps waking their partner up.
One snores so loud they could wake the neighbors. Sometimes even earplugs and a white noise machine isn’t enough to drown out the sound.
These nightly issues can add up and cause tension, arguments, and even divorce in some cases. Despite issues like these causing at least one of them to lose sleep, and often creating issues within relationships during the waking hours, the majority of couples continue to share a bedroom rather than just having their own bed (and a peaceful night sleep) in an entirely different room.

But not all people are willing to deprive themselves of a good night’s sleep in their own room! In fact, according to this article on MoneyTalksNews, a recent poll found that nearly 20% of couples reported that they sleep in separate rooms, and that there are benefits to doing so beyond just having the ability to control the room temp, and have less interrupted sleep, such as:

Improved intimacy with each other.
Maintaining their own individuality.
Lower stress levels.
So if there’s so many benefits to sleeping separately, what’s stopping so many other people from doing so?

Two Big Reasons Why People Don’t Get a “Sleep Divorce”
There’s a good chance you’ve heard this concept referred to as a “sleep divorce” in the news or on social media, etc. Unfortunately, that term doesn’t do it any favors. It paints sleeping in separate rooms as a bad thing, even though it was likely coined as a way to make light of a lifestyle many people have a difficult time feeling ok about accepting as normal.

The MoneyTalksNews article mentioned above cited “social assumptions” as one of the main reasons people who’d probably benefit from sleeping separately choose not to. They’re afraid of what people will think, and how friends, family, and even strangers will judge them, because it’s often seen as a sign that something’s wrong in the relationship.

But, from a real estate perspective, it can also be difficult to pull off because people can’t always afford to buy a place with an extra bedroom, or didn’t realize they’d need separate bedrooms when they bought a home and it doesn’t have the right set-up to accommodate separate bedrooms for the couple to each have their own space.

While those are both understandable reasons, neither of them should get in the way of living the way you want to in your own home. What’s more important: living a happy life with your significant other in your home, or what people think?

Open Up to Your Buyer’s Agent About What You Need
Since people often feel the topic of sleeping separately may seem weird or unacceptable, it might not be something many people would bring up with their real estate agent when looking for a house. But you should absolutely tell your agent if having separate bedrooms is something you’re hoping to find! And don’t worry about an agent judging you; they’re literally trained (and required!) to help people regardless of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), familial status, or disabilities.

Bottom line is that buyers’ agents help everyone no matter who they are, or how they live, without judging them. Their main concern is helping a client find the best house at the best price for their lifestyle.

So if you need separate bedrooms, don’t pretend you’re going to be sharing one bedroom together just to maintain appearances, because it won’t give your agent valuable insight into what will truly make you happy in your house. Tell your agent you need separate spaces so he or she can help you find ones within your budget that have what you need, or can easily be modified for your needs by repurposing an office, den, living room, or basement when it’s time to sleep.

The Takeaway:

Couples are often depicted as sleeping peacefully together in the same bed, but the reality is often quite opposite of that! Different sleep schedules, preferences, and habits often cause couples to lose out on precious sleep, and cause tension and arguments in relationships, and sometimes even lead to divorce. Yet the majority of people continue to sleep in the same room.

However, 1 out of 5 couples surveyed claim they sleep in separate rooms, and are much happier and healthier for doing so.

The main reason the majority of people don’t have separate rooms is to keep up appearances with other people, and because they don’t have the space to accommodate separate rooms. But if separate bedrooms would make your life better, ignore those concerns and share your hopes with your buyer’s agent for help finding the perfect home to accommodate your lifestyle within budget.


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