For the vast majority of people, the concepts of “living together” or, even more so, “being married” absolutely imply that people sleep in the same bed. When someone declares that he sleeps separately, this can cause bewilderment and resentment. What is the relationship between love and co-sleeping? Why is it so important?
The content of the article
To understand the reason for such a reverent attitude towards the idea of co-sleeping, one must probably start from afar.
A brief excursion into history
Let’s imagine when our ancestors started sleeping together and why.
If we turn to the very origins of the existence of people as a species, then their life will not differ much from the life of any group of animals. Survival conditions were quite harsh and at the dawn of their existence, human communities – tribes and families, perhaps even slept, huddled together. Not knowing fire and not yet picking up a stick and a sharply honed stone to get a warm skin, a person had a hard time. In those distant times, sleeping together was necessary to keep warm and safe.
A little later, when the ancestors dispersed into rather comfortable separate and communal caves heated by a fire method, it became warmer to sleep, and now it was possible to break up in pairs. Firstly, it was easier to keep your half nearby – the partner could not change under the cover of night.
Secondly, if a woman was kept in a cave as a legitimate prey (everyone remembers the glorious way of dragging the chosen one by the hair, which they love to use in animation so much? Suddenly, really?). Being next to a man, she could not escape.
Thirdly, being under the protection of a partner, a woman felt safe, and even in those distant times, the calmness of a woman meant a lot. The one who does not feel safe is another gift.
Further, in troubled and dark times in the villages, they didn’t sleep together so often – not all houses had beds, and you couldn’t really lie down on the benches. Where and when the spouses found the opportunity to have sex is a big question. The village hut, most often, is one-room – so it is easier to heat it. Perhaps that is why they loved so much in the villages to take a steam bath. They washed the baby, sent it to the house, drink tea with their grandmother – and you can slowly, with an arrangement, indulge in carnal pleasures. At the same time, wash yourself and steam with brooms.
Rich noble families were generally weird: they even lived in different halves, not to mention sleeping together. So, they visited as needed. I must say that such a need arose not often. In general, they were entertainers and believed that marital fidelity was nothing more than an eccentric whim. Only merchants and a few townspeople could afford to sleep on the same bed.
Husbands and wives everywhere, at least in Russia, went to the same bed relatively recently: most likely, after the Revolution. There were no more rich people, no nobles either. And in the villages there were beds and partitions in the rooms.
Co-sleeping has become a ubiquitous attribute of family life. By the way, it was still warmer and calmer. In general, there is an interesting statistic: in harsh and difficult years, sometimes more children were born than in well-fed and contented ones (however, with the invention of reliable contraception, this statistic has changed somewhat). In general, the fact that in difficult times people sought consolation in sex is a fact.
Nightstand between beds
The separate sleep of the spouses entered the proverb as a synonym for a quarrel: “divorce and a bedside table between the beds.”
It would hardly occur to young people who are just starting to live together to sleep separately: you never know what thoughts and desires they will visit in the middle of the night or immediately after waking up, and most often they fall asleep by accident, after exhausting physical exertion. Do not drag yourself, the right word, to another bed, and even more so to another room!
The idea of separate sleep first comes when a child appears in the house: a woman gets up to him more than once a night, often takes him to bed in order to sleep better and be more comfortable. Often this prevents a man who gets up in the morning for work and decides on a separate bed. Whether the couple will reunite, time will tell. Unfortunately, this is often the beginning of discord in the family. The statistics are inexorable: almost a fifth of divorces occur in the first year of a first child’s life. Is it not a separate dream that is to blame?
Let us leave the moral and ethical part of this fact aside. Much has been written about the need to share childcare responsibilities. And indeed: the wife is on maternity leave, her husband is at work, and only she can breastfeed the baby. But what about the other, psychological aspect? In fact, we are not as far removed from our cave ancestors as we think. Hugs in a dream give a feeling of comfort, intimacy, for a man in a certain way confirm his rights to a woman, they give her peace and tranquility. In a dream, we forget about gender equality and become just men and women.
Sharing beds during a difficult period, when a woman more than ever needs confirmation of her man’s love and care, is a big mistake. Of course, you can sometimes let each other sleep on a separate sofa, preferably in another room, but this should be the exception, not the rule. Hugs, caresses, even the simple proximity of bodies during sleep is a very important component of a relationship. They must be preserved at all costs.
However, there comes a point in many couples’ lives when having a partner or spouse sleep separately is no longer such a traumatic moment. When age-related difficulties with sleep or health problems begin, one way or another you have to sacrifice being in the same bed.
Sometimes traveling to different beds, and even different rooms, has such a beneficial effect on the life of the spouses that, having solved problems with healthy sleep, they have enough vigor so much that they begin to enjoy each other’s nightly visits. We went “for a visit”, and then again – to our bed. Often it is these people who talk about the beneficial effects of separate sleep. However, do not forget that he became so only due to the fact that there were serious problems during joint sleep.
For someone, sleeping together is so important that even serious problems cannot force them to stick the notorious bedside table between the beds. Even in old age, the ability to feel the warmth of each other’s bodies for loving spouses remains one of the basic needs. The matrimonial bed can be empty only in one case – when one of them is gone.
If the decision that everyone now sleeps separately is caused by objective reasons, then, almost certainly, life together will not only not suffer from this, but will also benefit. The “sacrificed” nighttime intimacy of a partner will only more arouse the desire to get enough of her in the evening. She can and should redouble her tenderness for each other during the day. After all, so many hours pass in separation!
What psychologists say
As often happens, the opinions of experts are divided into diametrically opposed ones: some believe that only co-sleeping strengthens relationships, and different beds kill them. Others argue that everything is exactly the opposite. Who is right?
The benefits of co-sleeping are:
- the possibility of intimacy at any time;
- more time for communication, it’s so nice to whisper before going to bed;
- hugging and feeling the body of a partner during sleep give a feeling of peace and security.
Cons of sleeping together:
- for some, the inability to get enough sleep due to snoring or a different regimen;
- the impossibility of creating comfortable conditions for both: someone loves fresh air and coolness, and someone loves warmth and the ability to sleep without clothes or blankets.
- restless sleep of one may disturb the other.
Advantages of separate sleep:
- own space;
- the possibility of choosing conditions for recreation;
- you can safely read or watch TV for a dream to come, without interfering with the light of another;
- no one kicks at night, does not lay hands or feet on a partner.
Cons of separate sleep:
- less time spent in each other’s company;
- body contact, which is important for intimacy, disappears;
- less likely to have sex off schedule.
The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle. If the reasons for parting and sleeping apart are serious and objective, of course, this should be done. However, try to fight to the last for a close night relationship.
Of course, everyone is free to choose what is more convenient for him. But it is worth remembering that at the very beginning of a relationship, on a honeymoon, nothing probably interfered with a sound sleep together: neither heroic snoring, nor kicking legs. From the cold fresh air from the open window, warm hugs saved. A hot body under the covers aroused in a split second.
If something suddenly began to interfere, you should still think about whether everything is in order in the relationship. It is possible that the reason lies not at all in snoring. It is unlikely that happy healthy spouses need free space. Being together for them is happiness, because during the day everyone is at work, the night is the only time when they belong only to each other.
An objective reason for separate sleep can only be a medical exemption, as from physical education at school, and even then a loving couple will always violate the regime established by doctors. In no case should a child serve as a reason for the separation of parents from each other. This is detrimental to the family, children unite.
At the moment of the appearance of the child, it is still worth stopping separately. Of course, this is a rather difficult time, a real test for marital relations. It’s amazing how our ancestors had children “as many as God sends”, clearly did not lose attraction to each other and left strength for sex, even after the birth of the tenth child. Miracles or a reasonable distribution of time and effort?
It would seem that in those days there were not even a tenth of amenities: washing machines, steamers, microwaves, convenience foods, ready-made baby purees and mixtures, robotic vacuum cleaners and even kindergartens, not to mention diapers and condoms, and women continued to let husbands, and not fought back with rolling pins. How did they do it?
Perhaps the fact is that in those ancient times, the spouses always remembered that they were the most important for each other. Children are beloved, extremely important people for everyone, but they are with their parents not so much – some eighteen or twenty years, and the spouses are united in a family for life. Divorces had not yet been invented either.
So it turned out that the child did not destroy the family, but united it. The mother did not have to decide what was more important – to spend the night with her husband or to rock the child in her arms. The cradle coped with the child. It would never have occurred to our great-grandmothers to drive out of bed a husband.
By the way, many modern parents who calmly overcome not only the birth of the first, but also the second and third child, try to learn as much as possible from the experience of their ancestors. Taking your baby to bed with you is not a problem and not a violation of hygiene, but just a convenient way to sleep.
The child, feeling mom and dad nearby, falls asleep perfectly, parents also get enough sleep and the whole family is united in one small space of a common bed. And for the most important, you can carefully shift the baby to the crib, which is nearby. In no case should we forget that if anyone is superfluous in the matrimonial bed, then this is the youngest member of the family, and in no case is dad.
Remember that marital intimacy is not only sex, and not even the unity of souls. Sometimes words need to be taken literally. Intimacy is when you spend as much time as possible huddled close to each other, when hearts beat nearby.
Is it possible to sleep in different rooms in a marriage? What does sleeping in different rooms in a marriage lead to? Satya das