I love you, but I don't want to sleep with you. After 21 years, I am requesting a sleep divorce.
The Sober Glow Studio is a weekly newsletter providing stories, recommendations, and resources on the art of living an alcohol-free lifestyle, navigating midlife, and anything that simply feels good.
Sharing the Covers by Wendy M. Troxel, PHD: Let me just say straight away I have not read this book. I literally just found it while I was researching this topic and ordered it. I also realized that the phrase sleep divorce is not something I just coined….although, for a moment, when titling this issue, I thought it was pretty genius of me. Dr. Wendy Troxel states couples who sleep in the same bed “is a socially constructed belief system, not science-based.” So we really do need to change our perspective to decide what’s right for us as a couple. However, science does come into play when we talk about how people interact with one another depending on whether they are sleep deprived or not. Dr. Matthew Walker brings in the science piece below. What happens if you and your partner don’t sleep in the same bed? Listen here.
Why We Can’t Sleep by Ada Calhoun: “I try not to give advice as much as possible. Because one thing we get a lot of is advice. And I think there is this self-help industrial complex that leads us to believe that if we get the right diet or the right chore chart that everything will fall into place. It continues this idea that if we can’t fix our lives, it’s our own fault. We think if we just work harder we’ll have money in the bank. We’ll have health insurance. We’ll have the family we want and the job we want. But there are other forces at work. I think we need to understand that context before we can hope to find true peace. But if pressed I guess I’d say: get off the internet as much as possible because social media is designed to make you sad, find a good menopause-trained gynecologist, and start a club with other women your age where you can actually talk honestly about your life.” - Check, check, check. This book won’t give you tips and tricks to get to sleep, but it will make you feel less alone and more normal, and it’s facinating how the author explains how and when you were raised most certainly affects why you are the way you are. And if there is one sentiment that the author shares that I wholeheartedly agree with…..surround yourself with women you feel safe with and who allow you to be free because they too are free. It’s hard to do, but once you find them, keep them close.
The Matthew Walker podcast Sleep & Sex Ep 33 & Ep 34: I assume you know Dr. Matthew Walker, but if not, here you can find his bestselling book and his Masterclass. He is hands down the go-to expert on sleep. In these short and sweet podcast episodes, Dr. Walker speaks about how you can discuss and decide if a sleep divorce is right for you and your partner. 1) Be honest with yourself and what you know you need for a successful night’s sleep. 2) Then have an honest conversation with your partner. 3) Don’t speak in absolutes. 4) Focus on the bookends of sleep with your partner, good nights, and good mornings. In part 2, Dr. Walker goes into the science of how the intimacy of relationships can actually improve when we sleep better / sleep apart.
Scroll on to read the short and the longer version of how I am implementing a sleep divorce in my marriage. Plus more resources…..always more resources.