According to the survey, 45% of men said they occasionally or consistently sleep in another room, compared with just 25% of women. In addition, nearly half, or 43%, of millennials have sleep divorced, followed by 33% of Gen X, 28% of Gen Z and 22% of baby boomers.
“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,” Khosla said. “However, if it is one partner’s loud snoring that is leading to separate sleep spaces, then you should encourage that partner to talk to a doctor about obstructive sleep apnea. This applies to both men and women who may snore.”
Having your sleep disrupted on a regular basis isn’t just harmful to your health, though. It also can damage your relationship.
A 2017 study found that people “who slept fewer hours in the past two nights had higher inflammatory responses following marital conflict than those who slept more.”
A February study suggested lack of sleep can decrease a person’s ability to experience empathy, meaning they might misunderstand or misinterpret their partner’s feelings.
“The effects of sleeping in separate rooms can be extremely positive for a relationship, extremely negative for a relationship, or anything in between,” Manhattan psychologist Dr. Joseph Cilona told USA Today in 2021.
Ultimately, he said, it depends on the couple’s initial reason for desiring separate sleeping spots.