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We've been led to believe that separate bedrooms is the last resort of couples who don't love each other anymore, but what if that simply isn't true? A nationwide study of British couples has found that, of those who no longer share a bedroom, more than a third (34 per cent) claim that they have better sex, and more of it.
The study also found that the majority of couples who've opted to sleep apart (51 per cent) do so because of their partner's snoring.
These findings come just in time for National Stop Snoring Week (22-28 April). Reportedly, 40 per cent of British couples sleep apart from their other halves.
Reasons aside from snoring include having different sleep cycles (24 per cent), one partner wriggling too much (21 per cent) and having different bedtimes (18 per cent). The research additionally found that 74 per cent of Brits have a partner who snores - with 23 per cent of people admitting to hitting their partners due to the noise!
Those with partners who snore have admitted that the noise drives them crazy and leads to constant arguments, so in that case, sleeping apart could be the only option. Many of us believe that sleeping apart will lead to never having sex at all - but it makes some sense.
If your partner only drives you crazy while they're asleep, why not ensure you have sex in one of your beds (or elsewhere!) before you settle in for the night, and then blissfully separate for the worst of it. Getting a good night's sleep will also ensure that you scrap less generally - and could improve your relationship overall.
Culturally, we're taught that we have to share beds with our partners, and many of us couldn't possibly imagine sleeping separately. But in the real world, that isn't always possible, and when so many of us have different sleep habits and schedules, it makes sense to sleep apart for the quality of not only our sex, but our relationships on the whole. The sleep expert for Bensons For Beds, who presented the survey, said: "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 less arguments!".
However, 36 per cent of Brits say that they could never sleep apart. In that case - or in the case that you, like many people, simply don't have the room to sleep apart - there are other steps you can undertake before the last resort. Here are Bensons top tips to combat snoring AND how to cope with your partner if they snore:
1. Some people who snore tend to sleep on their back which can make snoring worse, so turn your partner on their side
2. If your partner snores - don't poke them too hard. Just gently - this will get them out of their snoring state but hopefully not interrupt their sleep too much
3. Get your partner to try the tennis ball technique. This is a technique we use where you get a t-shirt with a pocket and put a tennis ball in the pocket. Put the t-shirt on backwards as this will encourage your partner to learn to sleep on their side.
4. Some of the time it's our airways which are the problem and not the nose. Nasal strips for the nose and other over-the-counter remedies won't always relieve symptoms, so don't be fooled into thinking they will solve your partners problems.
5. Alcohol or other sedatives and depressants do not help - the more your muscles relax, the more it can lead to snoring
6. If you sleep with a snorer, get them to use an extra pillow for elevation which can reduce snoring
7. Encourage your partner to lose some weight if needed. Carrying extra weight round the neck area can lead to snoring because of the pressure that rests on the throat
8. Your partner should contact their GP if they are nodding off regularly during the day and snoring or making gasping sounds at night. This could be a sign of a sleep disorder which can be remedied
9. 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 less arguments.
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