Want better sleep (and better sex)? Don't share a bed with your partner

Snoring one of the most common reasons for sleeping apart, but there are more reasons you may want to sleep in separate beds

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hands up anyone who's been woken up by their partner's snoring? We can all agree that this common condition can take a serious toll on our ability to get a good night's sleep – and on our relationships, right? 

So, you won't be surprised to know that, according to recent research by Bensons for Beds, a very high number of us (74 per cent) report that our partners snore, with 45 per cent regularly woken up by the sound. For 37 per cent, their partner's snoring was so disruptive that they had to wake them up in the night. Sound familiar?  

To make matters more complicated, a third of those polled claim that their partner denies snoring, which has led a quarter of respondents to record their other half's snoring as proof. Er... guilty. 

It's no wonder, then, that snoring accounts for over half (51 per cent) of cases of couples sleeping apart. However, where the research gets especially interesting is when those couples who have taken to separate beds are asked about the state of their relationship. Far from being the death knell of a relationship, sleeping apart appears to improve it for more than third of couples (38 per cent), with 34 per cent even reporting having more sex than before. 

Bensons For Beds Sleep Expert, Stephanie Romiszewski comments, 'If you need to, separate the bedrooms. It is the social norm that we should sleep together – but we weren’t made to sleep in someone else’s sleeping pattern. In the worst-case scenario, don’t be ashamed to sleep in a separate room if you need to – you will have a good night’s rest and potentially fewer arguments!

'A lot of insomniacs struggle to sleep because they’re interrupted by their partners snoring. In fact, up to 40 per cent of people snore, and with other symptoms such as significant nodding off during the day this can be a sign of a more serious sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea. Speak to your GP for more information.'

Still not convinced? You're not alone: 36 per cent of the participants said they'd never sleep apart from their partner, as they'd miss them too much, with 35 per cent believing this would have a negative impact on their relationship. So, if you'd rather develop coping strategies and try to remedy the situation than sleep apart, here are some of the things you might want to try:

  • Try asking your partner to sleep on their side: many snorers tend to sleep on their back (you'll need to look at our buyer's guide to the best mattresses for side sleepers in that case);
  • Try the tennis ball trick: tape a tennis ball to your partner's t-shirt; it will prevent them from rolling back onto their back (good luck with that);
  • Anyone who has a snoring problem should reduce alcohol intake and try to lose weight, as both can contribute to snoring;
  • Blocked nasal passages can be the culprit, so get checked out by a GP;
  • If your partner regularly dozes off during the day or makes gasping sounds at night, they might be suffering from sleep apnoea, which can be serious. Again, a visit to a GP is a must;
  • Earplugs can be a great short-term solution. Try out a variety to find the most comfortable fit. Just bear in mind that you might not hear your alarm in the morning.

Want more advice? Find out how to sleep well in our guide.