September 9, 2009

Should we be sleeping together?

"We all know what it's like to have a cuddle and then say 'I'm going to sleep now' and go to the opposite side of the bed. So why not just toddle off down the landing?"


Joe said...

"Dr Stanley... points out that historically we were never meant to share our beds."

Besides making no sense (we were never meant?) it's bullshit. At the same time high brow Victorians were sleeping in separate beds, my lowly ancestors weren't. Historically, sharing a bed was simply the most practical thing to do. Only the wealthy had the luxury to not share a bed (and I'm sure many a wealthy Roman shared their bed with a mistress.)

Putting history aside, he's probably right that many couples don't physically sleep well together. My paternal grandparents didn't. My best friends parents didn't (though I think that was because he had a bad back and needed a very different mattress than his wife.) If it doesn't work for you, then don't do it. (Of course, sleeping in separate rooms often isn't affordable for many people and it would be tough to fit twin beds in my master bedroom.)

Synova said...

"Dr Stanley, who sleeps separately from his wife, points out that historically we were never meant to share our beds.

He said the modern tradition of the marital bed only began with the industrial revolution, when people moving to overcrowded towns and cities found themselves short of living space.

Well, other than this bit being somewhat laughable... because yes, before the industrial revolution when people moved into crowded towns the peasants in the country sides had cottages with a room and bed for each family member... Uh huh.

Other than *that*, the guy probably has a good point. Sometimes it would be nice to have my own room and sometimes he does snore and sometimes I want to read and we *do* keep each other up.

But it's nice to be together, too.

Synova said...

I think that "Historically" we were meant to sleep in puppy piles.

Probably with some real puppies, too.

Bissage said...

If sleeping apart was good enough for Rob and Laura Petrie, then by gum, it’s good enough for the rest of us!

ricpic said...

Separate beds? Those with the wherewithal maintain separate bedrooms.

ricpic said...

Laura had a stronger sex drive than Rob. But not as strong as the average male. So it was probably alright with both of them to sleep separately. Yes, I have an opinion about everything and you're going to hear it, like it or not.

peter hoh said...

Speaking of people sleeping together, Dan Savage has a fun little quiz today.

rhhardin said...

The key is whether one partner wants to get something out of bitching about being disturbed.

The thought experiment is sleeping with a dog. You both like it.

Yet there are disturbances! They don't count, however; they can't be played for advantage on either side.

J said...

"He said the modern tradition of the marital bed only began with the industrial revolution, when people moving to overcrowded towns and cities found themselves short of living space"

That one jumped out at me too. I wish when reporters were doing these stories, they'd ask people who make this sort of statement "is there some actual evidence to support that claim, or did a giant leprechaun just tell you to say that?".

Bissage said...

Mrs. Bissage and I sleep in the same bed and always have. We do so at her vehement insistence, which I suspect is the product of her indefatigable sentimentality combined with her persistent fear of invisible monsters.

In any event, I have come to believe that this needlessly cramped sleeping arrangement is a burden to me and that it does, from time to time, induce strange bedtime imaginings beyond my control.

The most recent of these has been painstakingly memorialized for all posterity and would seem to be merely the latest installment in an undependably continuing series. LINK.

Fred4Pres said...

Sleeping together is often more an issue of economics and habit than acutal comfort. Still, I kind of like it.

pduggie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BJM said...

Woolf's assertion that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction" is coming full circle as many of us in long term relationships/marriages find ourselves wanting more personal space.

About ten years ago the Spousal Unit slipped three discs. Post-surgery I moved down the hall to the guestroom for six months. We discovered that we both slept so much better apart.

I am a night owl, he's an early riser. We had been fighting our sleep cycles for thirty years.

When we built our current house we configured two master suites with a connecting atrium. Now I can putter around on the computer, listen to music and read without disturbing him and he can do the same at 4:30 AM.

The only downside is a pet critter deficit or surplus depending on who is awake.

save_the_rustbelt said...

When we are on opposite schedules (she gets to bed about 1:00am, I get up at 6:00am) I may crash on the couch or the recliner, but most nights we tolerate the blankets wars and occasional snoring just fine, and once in a while we still meet in the middle.

Too many experts writing nonsense.

Salamandyr said...

"Fearless doctor finds his research confirms his at 11!"

If I wanted to sleep alone, I wouldn't have gotten married.

traditionalguy said...

The fake science sell is always the lead these days, like a religion that requires belief from members. IMO People needed each other for warmth in Northern Europe behind the Glaciers. In my experience, a woman usually wants the security of having her man's strength close by to sleep well. A King size bed allows all the room either one needs after the couple decides that they have to quit talking around 1:00AM to get some sleep.

AllenS said...

"Should we be sleeping together?"

Well, we haven't heard from Meade lately, so would you go downstairs to the basement, and untie him?

William said...

Rob and Laura Petrie were too congruent, too cute together to be a real couple. I always thought there were some sparks passing between Mary Richards and Lou Grant. I could see them having some Blanche/Stanley--we had this date from he beginning moment after the Xmas office party. Mr. Granr was kind of thuggish and Mary wanted to feel the brute boot of the fascist kicking against her fluttery heart.....Bob Newhart and Suzanne Pleshette slept together in a double bed, but I never believed it. With a sadness beyond measure and almost beyond endurance, one observes that guys like Bob Newhart never get to end up with girls like Suzanne. They get a summer fling when she wants a change of pace, but that's it tops......Desi and Lucy slept in twin beds, but there was a lot of sexual electricity between them. You could see what held them together. I always felt if Penelope Cruz and I had been properly introduced we would have had that same kind of action going on, but, alas, it was not meant to be.

Bruce Hayden said...

For me, the problem is that I have spent much of the last 15 years mostly living alone. And ditto for the SO. So, we really do sleep better in separate beds. The last time we tried an all nighter together in the same bed, I woke up to her using her quite powerful legs to lever me out of the bed, without, of course, her waking up. Partly, it is because she sleeps hot, and an additional heat source in the bed is a problem.

I don't really hold it against her, personally. Over the extended Labor Day weekend, she tried sleeping with her young grandsons in bed with her, and wasn't able to sleep soundly with them either. After five nights of that, she slept for 14 hours last night, after she could finally sleep alone after I took the kids back to their mother.

Our big issue any more is not whether we sleep in the same bed, but rather, whether the two beds can be in the same room. We both snore, and keep the other from sleeping soundly.

And, yes, our timing is often very different too. She pops up at 5 in the morning ready to rock and roll, but then fades when evening comes. I do my best work in the late evening, but am not a happy camper in the early mornings.

ricpic said...

Never in my life have I ever encountered guys at the Penelope Cruz level who give the slightest damn about the frustrated aspirations of Bob Newhart betas. William's capacity for empathy tells me that though he may be a playa, his heart debars participation in total game.

blake said...

I'm pretty sure the usual custom is to all pile up together, as Synova said. Dad, mom (and possibly mom, mom, mom and mom, depending on circumstances), kids, assorted animals.

When you spend your days chasing the mammoth (or riding dinosaurs, if you prefer), you don't have "sleep disorders".

Synova said...

"And, yes, our timing is often very different too. She pops up at 5 in the morning ready to rock and roll, but then fades when evening comes. I do my best work in the late evening, but am not a happy camper in the early mornings."

I trust I do not have to point out the wonder of lunch dates?

juniorfruit said...

ann- I'm not following the thread, but do you feel freer, now that you're married?
no joke.
Do you feel less inhibited, writing/blogging stories about sex, for instance?

Shawn Levasseur said...

"spend your days chasing the mammoth"

I'll take 'things that sound like euphemisms, but aren't' for $100, Alex.