The Pleasures and Perils of Sharing a Bed
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October 14, 2014

Sleeping together, and actually sleeping?

In the movies and on television, it always appears so blissful and calm: His arms are wrapped around her body, or she's snuggled against his perfectly chiseled chest. Sounds lovely, doesn't it?

Here's what I know:

  • I LOVE turning my head and seeing the sleeping face of the man in my life.
  • I LOVE the sense of security that I have with him next to me.
  • I LOVE hearing him say "je t'aime" and mean it, just as he drifts off.

DM Sleepless Woman.jpgBut I've got news for you. Life doesn't always imitate art. Sleeping together can be perilous.

When I wake in the morning after a night during which my man has managed eight consecutive hours of sleep, I'm typically rattled, grouchy, and my eyes are burning for more zzzs.

I've likely spent those same hours enduring kicking, snoring, overheating, chills, and interrupted dreams... to name a few.

I'm also lucky if I've cobbled together five hours of sleep.

As for waking snuggled in the arms of the one I love, he might enjoy it (if it were possible), but I would be miserable. With a tricky back and an aching arm, pain would trump togetherness, and that's all she wrote.

Now this isn't a problem I dealt with in marriage. My ex traveled, our hours were different, and on average I estimate we shared a bed three nights a week. (It was also before the injuries to my back and arm.) As I am a 'challenged sleeper' under the best of circumstances, the nights I had the bed solo were my best shot at recouping rest. I was thrilled when I could get five or six hours.

These days?

Try as I might to get used to sharing a bed every night, the reality is that I continue to struggle. And with sleep deprivation a serious health issue, consider this, describing the impacts of chronic sleep loss:

"… obesity risk jumps… diabetes risk goes up… stroke risk quadruples… risk of some cancers may increase…"

Scary, no?

  • So it isn't about a little crankiness now and then.
  • It isn't about a foggy morning or two.
  • It's about overall health and well-being.
  • It's about feeling too tired for exactly the sort of play a couple requires.

My man friend and I are compatible in soooooo many ways, and we're doing pretty well with living together. But the issue of sleeping together - for me - is growing more difficult, rather than easier. Will I have to take refuge on the couch? Is it just a matter of investing in ear plugs? Do I tuck an extra cover beneath the pillow for those moments when he rips the comforter away?

I recall reading an article about three years ago that noted a trend in married couples taking to separate beds. I'm beginning to understand the wisdom to that approach, but I'm not willing to give up the good fight... just yet.

There was another article, in the Wall Street Journal, saying the way to wow a woman into bed was to offer her sleep - not sex. Sex will follow... if she first gets some zzzzs.

Meanwhile, however weary I may be, I'm glad I like strong, black coffee.

Other than that, I'm open to suggestions...


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