Can a “sleep divorce” help couples to avoid a legal divorce? The question might seem like an improbable one, but according to a recent article in Healthline, sleep divorces can result in more stable relationships in certain situations. In short, sleep is particularly important for a person’s emotional and physical well-being. Many married couples assume that they need to sleep in the same bed as a result of socialized norms, but some researchers intimate that moving into separate sleeping environments-or a “sleep divorce”-can result in a relationship with fewer problems.
Less Sleep Means More Marital Problems
Believe it or not, researchers have found that married couples can have more difficulties in their marriage when one or both of the parties does not get enough sleep each night. As the article explains, a study conducted in 2017 determined that getting fewer than seven hours of sleep per night can result in “marital spats” and greater hostility toward a spouse or partner.
Why does less sleep often equate to more relationship problems? Sleep deprivation has more psychological and emotional consequences than you might think. The article cites the following as frequent consequences of not getting enough sleep:
- Weight gain
- Fatigued driving
- More frequently contracting illnesses
- Heart disease
In addition, lack of sleep increases a person’s stress-related information, which can result in a person experiencing chronic health problems. People who are unhealthy-emotionally and physically-are less likely to think or behave rationally when a problem arises in the marriage. Accordingly, lack of sleep, researchers suggest, ultimately can lead to more marital difficulties that eventually lead some people to file for divorce.
What is the solution? Certain researchers argue that a “sleep divorce” may be able to prevent one or both of the parties in a marriage from filing for divorce legally.
What is a “Sleep Divorce,” and Can It Help?
A sleep divorce involves moving into separate bedrooms and sleeping alone. According to Margo Regan, a relationship therapist, engaging in a sleep divorce may be able to lessen problems associated with sleep deprivation, including marital strife. For some people, a bedroom is like a “sanctuary” that provides individual space and allows for an individual sleeping routine. In particular, when people get married later in life, they have typically already developed sleeping habits that can be difficult to change. In such cases, a sleep divorce may lead to better sleep and fewer marital problems.
However, a sleep divorce cannot solve all marital problems. As the article points out, for many couples, the problems in the relationship are bigger than those resulting from a lack of sleep. If you are considering a sleep divorce because you want to spend less time with your spouse, it may be time to consider talking with a Michigan divorce lawyer.
Contact a Michigan Divorce Attorney