A tale of two beds

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life247 Comments

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I have trouble sleeping.

I’m not alone. Nearly 40 million men and women suffer from sleep disorders, ranging from insomnia to sleep apnea to snoring, just to name a few.

I haven’t slept through the night since I was a teenager. That said, during my 20s and 30s, I could fall sleep anywhere and pretty much at any time. Hardwood floors with a blanket? Done. Naps at 2:30 p.m. and still be able to fall asleep later that night? Yes, please! Sleeping was something I did with confidence and ease. I never imagined it would fall into the “Great, Now That’s an Issue, Too” category. I never viewed it as a luxury.

When I hit my 40s, the shit started to hit the sleeping fan. More trips to the bathroom in the wee hours of the night. More difficulty falling asleep. More difficulty staying asleep. You know the drill. Or, if you’re lucky, you don’t.

In 2009, it reached a breaking point for me. I started to have what I can only describe as near panic attacks at bed time. The cause? The anticipation of yet another wrinkle in my already-challenging quest for sleep: my husband’s snoring.

A little backstory: we have no spare rooms in our home and at the time, we had precisely zero couches that you could comfortably grab a few Zs on. After a few completely sleepless nights—and I wish I remembered this more clearly—I basically freaked out and begged Dan to sleep on our futon couch.

In the basement.

And what do you know, he actually agreed.

I won’t say it solved my sleep problems, but it solved my pre-bedtime anxiety issues. I had the bedroom to myself and I felt simultaneously overjoyed and sheepishly guilty.

There’s another piece to this story that has to be included: this all happened about three months before Dan and I started working with a therapist, a woman we still work with to this day. See, things weren’t really all that great between us. On the surface, we looked like any other normal family, but below the shiny veneer we were kind of lost and lacked any real understanding of what the hell was going wrong in our marriage.

Dan told me, weeks after moving to the basement, he felt a sense of relief and freedom from the guilt I was heaping onto him for keeping me awake. It was a relief for him to not be around his difficult wife. And believe me, if I was ever having issues, he was the first person I would blame tell.

Let’s put that aside for a few minutes, okay?

Dan is not a crazy snorer. He does not saw logs in his sleep. That said, I am the lightest sleeper to ever walk this green Earth. So any snoring of any kind, to my ears, sounds like an auditory assault. But having Dan live in the basement wasn’t a viable, long-term solution. Imagine that!

So eventually I purchased a sound machine, numerous boxes of ear plugs and a second bed.

We pushed our queen bed to one corner and the new twin bed to the other of our decidedly small “master” bedroom. Combining that with the artificially generated white noise, ear plugs and 6 feet of separating distance, we began the experiment of two people and two beds.

And it worked. Ward and June Cleaver be damned. (And yes, the work we’d been doing in therapy didn’t exactly hurt, either.)

I remember, however, hoping that no one would come over, glance into our room and upon seeing two beds, wonder, “What’s going on with them?”

In fact, when I bought the bed from the Macy’s Home Store, I told the sales person I needed a bed for a spare room because a relative was coming to stay. I invented both a make-believe Aunt and a spare bedroom rather than explain my weird solution for my sleep issues.

Of course, the truthful answer would have been: I am working on my marriage, my personal development and better sleep, but at the time I was afraid to share this story out of shame and the fear of being judged by others.

Today, I don’t have that particular fear. And guess what? Nearly everyone judges everyone all the time. I speak from personal experience and that’s one of the things I’m consciously working to change in myself.

Today, we have pushed the beds together to create what we affectionately refer to as our Super Bed. I sleep a little better. He snores a little less. I still have nights where I can’t sleep. I toss and turn like a fish on a dock. Hot flashes have introduced yet another sleep wrinkle. I try all kinds of things: lowering my caffeine intake, avoiding blue light devices in the evenings, melatonin tabs, valerian tea, diffusing essential oils. I do not walk around sleep deprived. The quality of sleep I get, however sporadic, is enough to keep me healthy and alert.

And we continue to work on our marriage almost every day.

My therapist told me two things: 1) some couples cannot sleep in the same bed for very real reasons and 2) I was punishing Dan by making him live in the basement.

I’m still working though Number 2 and the truth behind it. There are still nights when I snag sleep on our newer couch that can accommodate a human body comfortably.

But I share my tale of two beds because sometimes you have to try all sorts of things to make something work.

Sometimes it helps to realize that the nuclear idea of happily snoozing couples isn’t necessarily reality for everyone.

And sometimes, doing something unconventional is exactly what is needed.

 

 

 

 

Cathy ZielskeA tale of two beds

247 Comments on “A tale of two beds”

  1. #1
    Jen

    My hubby and I both have bad backs and sleep in two twin adjustable beds. We have a healthy happy marriage and we both get a good nights rest. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I think this is becoming more common too.

  2. #3
    Cheri

    No judging at all! I’ve considered separate beds – even considered separate rooms! We finally have a guest bedroom with a queen bed now that the oldest has left the nest permanently. I do intend to take advantage the next time hubby’s snoring keeps me awake!

  3. #4
    J3SS1C4

    I say let people judge… Usually the best ideas that really work are the most unconventional ones! And if it works for you guys and keeps it so that you both get a good night sleep while still being pretty close to each other, that’s awesome! 🙂

    I think it’s the other person’s loss when they make judgements, not yours. I cop it a bit because me and my partner don’t have a TV, nor do we want one. It works for us, so why cave to other people’s pressure?

    I’m glad you guys have a great idea that works 🙂

  4. #5
    Paul B

    Nope you are not alone. Both Nick & I snore. But I’m lucky, I can sleep through his (which IS the sound of sawing wood). But he can’t sleep properly with mine. Along with anxiety issues similar to yours, I recognise the plight both you & he share. On top of that, there’s the bad backs and endless mattresses we’ve tried lol. And we both have different internal alarms, I’m a lark, he’s an owl. But we’re fine with it. It’s something we muddle through, like everyone else. I’d be surprised if you were judged harshly. I have a sneaky suspicion that those of us in long term relationships and who have hit a certain age, have very similar tales to tell. It’s stars like you who open up and tell your stories and let those who worry about it all alone, thinking they are the only couple going through it, know that the world or even your next door neighbour, is going through similar. Keep being that star my lovely. Pxx

  5. #6
    barbara eads

    I never wanted to be one of THOSE couples who quit sleeping together. But now, after 43 (pretty happy) years of marriage—I’M the one causing the problem. Who knew that I would begin to snore in my “somewhat” older age! He goes to the couch regularly. Oh well, better him than me!

  6. #7
    heidig

    YOU are not the lightest sleeper on the face of the earth because I am that person! Staying asleep at night is the kicker. I don’t think I’ve slept through the night in years and I’m jealous of anyone who does. I feel your pain, Cathy. Thankfully, my husband is not a snorer because I can’t imagine what it would be like to throw that into the mix!

  7. #8
    Maegan

    Separate bed sleepers here too! My hubby and I have two adjustable twin beds pushed together and haven’t slept better since we got them. We always joke to each other to “Mind the Gap!” I think it may be more common than you realize. I do however jump ship during allergy season when my husband’s snoring is off the rails and head for the guest room.

  8. #10
    Lee Currie

    Fabulous! No judging here. Truth be told, should I ever have an opportunity to share a bed ever again there will be two beds – and a long hallway in between 🙂 I’ve told my kids that every home, if you can, should have a his and a her bedroom – and bathroom.

  9. #12
    cathy

    Okay, im having a rough morning, and you just made me weepy. In the best of ways. You know we are going to have a pint together some day. Mark my words.

  10. #13
    Susan

    Totally understand sleep issues. Hubby can fall asleep in 7 seconds (I know – because I’ve timed him!). And he snores too! But, then so do I – so hubby says. And I toss and turn to fall asleep and I have uncontrollable coughing fits with the door closed which wakes hubby up. We use a Hunter floor fan – even in the dead of winter when it’s cold. The fan offers me that ‘sound’ to latch onto that isn’t snoring and because it is on my side of the bed it moves the air effectively and thus solves my own problem of a potential coughing fit in the middle of the night because the door is closed.

  11. #14
    lisa

    I have a friend who’s grandmother told her that as long as both the husband and wife (or partner, etc) are agreeable to what goes on behind the bedroom door, its OK! Now, she wasn’t talking about this but I think it still holds true. If this works for you, why would anyone care on bit??? You were so very brave to put this out there, i have to tell you! Great reading.

  12. #15
    Diane

    You are not alone. We are practically twins with snoring hubby and working on the relationship. I sleep in a different room, and as a coiple we are at our highest point in years. Thanks for sharing. I love your blog and your designs.

  13. #16
    Kelly

    My parents have been married for 37 years. After my father retired from the military he started driving truck. During that time he was gone more than he was home and they got used to sleeping apart. When Dad stopped driving truck they started having issues because once again they were sharing a bedroom/ bed again and they both snore (though they have both snored for as long as I can remember) but they got used to not hearing each other. Now that the kids are gone they have separate bedrooms, on separate floors even (Dad likes the cold basement, Mom doesn’t like the stairs and there are 2 Masters in the house). It works for them!
    I am glad that you guys found something that works for you.

  14. #17
    Tanya

    I love that you share truth. No matter how scary it is to hit the post button. You are a risk taker, Cathy. Those of us who read your posts love you for it. I think it is more common for long-relationship couples to have the sleep issues because we’re honest and real about problems. We’re not afraid to say, “Hey. Your snoring is killing me or keep your freakin’ cold feet away from my warm ones.” What solved the issue of listening to my husband snore was when I got my CPAP machine. Just enough white noise to take care of it, well almost. At least now it’s manageable and I don’t wake up nearly as often. I also asked him to wear socks to bed to keep those cold feet away from me. 🙂

  15. #18
    Stephanie L.

    As a relatively-newly-wed girl I’m so happy when married women share there realities! Oh, man does it make all the issues we might face a little easier! You do what works for you. You adjust what doesn’t work until it does and you constantly readjust. We try to remember compromise makes this thing doable, and sometimes the compromise looks funny to the outside world. Whatevs. I love that you let it be whatever it needs to be. I hope we can be the kind of people that do what it takes to stick, too. Separate beds, gadgets, ear plugs? Absolutely. Whatever works for you. Thank you, Cathy!

  16. #19
    Kim

    After kids, 8 hours of sleep became an elusive dream for me. When the kids were finally sleeping through the night, I was still waking up at 2am. More often than not, my husband would be snoring. I’d smack him on the back, he would roll over on his side and stop. Then, just as I was relaxing back into sleep..he would start snoring again. The the adrenaline rush of being angry kept me up for hours.

    We finally admitted to ourselves that we just did not have compatible sleep styles. He goes into the back bedroom, opens the window in all sorts of weather and snores to his hearts content. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I can turn on the light and read until I get tired again instead of laying there in the dark hating him for sleeping so well. We both get better sleep and we’re both better spouses in the morning.

  17. #20
    Julie

    Thank you so much, Cathy, for this courageous post. I have struggled with shame about these issues. I have terrible insomnia, any little sound will wake me. I can’t sleep with anyone, even my young kids. Have even lost a perfectly good relationship over it. Having slept alone now for several years, I’m not sure I ever can again. I wish more people could talk about this. Makes me feel less isolated and strange. Sleep is so important to health. I fiercely protect what little I get. Not everyone understands that.

  18. #21
    Nan C.

    Honestly, the older I get, the more you just need to go with what works for you. In life, in the bedroom, in the everyday. If there is a ‘norm’, I have yet to find it and it’s probably not in our house. Ha!! Kudos to you for putting this out there! There always is so much judgement and seriously, there shouldn’t be. This may sound ‘hippy-ish’ (is that even a word?!?) but the world would be much better with love and acceptance.

  19. #22
    Bloomingayl

    Thank-you on so many levels. I have never been a good sleeper and every time I read one of those stories about sleep and longevity I panic. I’m good for about 4-5 hours a night and from there is it’s a crap shoot. I’m also encouraged by the marriage piece of this story. My thought is that marriage would be a piece of cake if life didn’t get in the way. After 41 years mine is still a work in progress. Last year at this time I was thinking how grand life would be if I just had my own little 500ft tiny house in a field of wheat. Your story isn’t perfect, it’s about two people working together because good relationships don’t come easy. It takes a lot of love to wake up each day and say we’re going to make this thing work ~ totally worth it!

  20. #23
    nicole

    I’ve always said our homes should be like those old castles in the romance novels – his bedroom and her bedroom separated by a dressing room or corridor – perfecto. I think we ended up in this one bed idea because of economics (and sex). No judging here as my husband and I share separate sleeping arrangements – he’s a thrasher, a cover hogger, a deep sleeper and to boot he snores hard. I’d wake up gripping the edge of the bed or having a leg or arm suddenly hit me in the middle of the night. And no matter what you said to him he wouldn’t budge. In our next house we will have two queen beds – adjustable to boot! Thanks for sharing. You are not alone!

  21. #24
    Korey Lindberg

    I love that you share your truth with the world! The hubby and I do share a *gasp* full sized bed, but we learned very early on that we each had to have our own comforters to sleep happily. He hugs the wall and I sleep comfortably on the edge of the bed…gotta do what works to get all the sleep you need, we say!

  22. #25
    Karen Lee

    My husband is a TERRIBLE sleeper. I sleep in the guest room half the time to give him and me a break. No big deal!

  23. #26
    staki

    We recently bought a king size bed & it has changed how we sleep completely, we used to spoon all night long turning in sync…since the king size there is plenty of space for each of us & hardly any spoons for the times when we do share the bed. He works away for long, long stretches & when he is home I find it harder to fall asleep than usual. He is hot, but doesn’t feel the heat, it radiates off of him & heat me up (me who has suddenly become the hottest person in the universe, summer pj’s & just a sheet in atumn!) & then I get too hot. He moves. He snores. Even his breathing is annoying. He messes up the blankets. But the first night after he leaves I reach out for him & miss all of the above that I have been moaning about! We also have our almost 4 year old daughter camped out on her old cot mattress at the end of our bed because it makes mornings nicer with no big sisters waking her up. She is a hot sleeper too & the heat they both radiate has me gasping for fresh air.

  24. #27
    Kelly O

    How perfectly timed! My hubby has horrible allergies right now and is shaking the walls of our house with his snoring. I’m a light sleeper to begin with, so this is really tough. We share a king bed and two nights ago the snoring was so loud that I wanted to smother him with a pillow (I really do love him and don’t usually have murderous incliinations). Instead I got out the earplugs and remembered that we do have a guest room. I was just too tired to get out of bed to move to it. No judgement here, just complete understanding.

  25. #29
    Kim H.

    I love this story Cathy!!! My husband and I slept in separate rooms for years because I was the snorer and my husband the light sleeper. I just recently heard an interesting idea about sleeping in separate rooms/beds for couples. It is based on the idea that when we sleep, we recharge our energy bodies and sometimes a couples’ energy disturb each other and they actually NEED separate sleeping space.

    Another “woo woo” thing to try is to do figure 8 motions with your hands between yourself and your bed and visualize how you want to create a wonderful night’s sleep. It helps connect your energy!

    Happy Restorative Sleep to your always!!

  26. #30
    Lauren Hershey

    We lived in two separate households for a year and a half so that our daughter could go to a better high school an hour away. His business was in one town, her school in another so I moved with her. We started to really value our own beds and space! He goes to bed early and I am a night owl. I also have sleep issues related to ADHD and hormones. We are back in one house now and it’s ok but the day will come when we have a bigger house with our own sleeping spaces, or even more than one household again, and we will for sure make arrangements to have out own space. For some, it may be a necessity for harmonious living!! You go, girl!

  27. #31
    Amy J.

    Together for 23 years, we are separate sleepers too and have been for many years!! The day after we got married, 15 years ago, my husband started to snore…I kid you not. We had lived together for years and he didn’t snore, though he was a horrible sleeper (moving and sweating and talking…good grief). I am a LIGHT sleeper. So that was fun (not). When we bought our first home I was ecstatic because it had a second bedroom. We started sleeping apart the week we moved in. And then…oh then…I got pregnant and our second bedroom was gone..Poof. As you can imagine, new mommy, lack of sleep coupled with bad sleep with a snorer…let me add in he was in medical residency and on call (literally the pager and phone went off all night long several nights a week). I can’t even remember much of those years!! We moved into our current home and there was no doubt…we had the room…he would have to sleep apart from me. Years later, we still do it. He recently found out he has severe sleep apnea and has to wear a CPAP machine when he sleeps. He works nights and sleeps during the day (so we naturally wouldn’t sleep together anyway much of the time). Magically, his snoring stopped the first night he used the machine. And we slept in the same bed for the first time in years. It was wonderful. However, when I suggested we start sharing a bed again, my husband looked at me like I was nuts. He said, “Why?” Honestly, I didn’t really care if we did. It is nice now to have that option. Before, we literally had to rent houses on vacation just so he could have a bedroom because none of us could sleep near him! He was SOOOO loud. This year, without hesitation, we rented a house with just two bedrooms. I didn’t even pause about it because I know I can share the bed with him for the week (HOPEFULLY…now I’m nervous). So, all that to say…every person is different. There is no right or wrong. You and Dan have been together for decades…raised two wonderful kids…lived alot of life together. Whether or not you share a bed or a bedroom doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. Doing what you need to in order to live together…that’s what matters!!

  28. #32
    Jodi

    My husband and I have separate beds too. He has back issues and snores. I have knee issues. He used to sleep on the couch until I felt guilty for sleeping in a big bed while he was cramped on the couch. Two beds works for us just fine and if people don’t understand or agree, then pooh pooh on them!

  29. #33
    Susan

    You are such a breath of fresh air! I love that you are so real. I have been reading your blog for well over a decade and some of your life is so in sync with mine. It helps me deal so much better. And feel less alone in this challenge we call life.

    My husband has sleep apnea. He was in denial of it for almost a decade. With the lack of sleep, I just couldn’t function anymore. I was waking up so much it was like we still had a newborn in the house! So I spent most nights in one of my kid’s beds.

    Now that he has a cpap and his snoring is gone, you would think I am back to sleeping in our super comfy king size bed. Nope. Once in a while I’ll sleep in our bed but I gotta admit, it feels weird. I don’t sleep peacefully because I am still waiting for that big loud snore or gasp of air waking me up and keeping me awake for hours on end. So it’s baby steps for now.

    I’m thankful you hit the publish button. Makes me admire you even more than I already did. And that’s pretty big to top! 😉

  30. #34
    Linda

    I think the scenario of separate beds, if not separate rooms is far more common than most people think, or would admit to! My partner and sleep in separate rooms for various reasons. We both snore but I am a light sleeper who is often awake from 4 am, he falls asleep almost instantly and sleeps through the night. He sleeps under a sheet, I sleep under a very thick duvet. Added to all of this are various health problems so the whole separate room thing was the perfect answer for us. Like you we are both still working hard at our relationship and we try not to judge other people. At the end of the day we love each other a lot but if we had to sleep in the same bed one of us would likely murder the other out of sheer frustration and sleep deprivation.

  31. #35
    Michelle

    My husband and I can totally relate. He gets up to use the bathroom every 2 hours all night long; I am in menopause(sp?)and wake up at the slightest noise/movement! As much as I love the old guy I am seriously considering the spare room. I think Robert Parker (the author) and his wife had it right – they lived on separate floors! They both had their own kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms and bedrooms. And they “visited” each other when one of them was in the mood for love. And they really truly loved each other. What ever works for you lady is the best thing to do. And damn to the people who judge;-)

  32. #37
    cathy

    Yeah. We could have called it quits years ago, but there are things worth working for. Its not supposed to work for everyone, I get that. But, well… there it is. : )

  33. #40
    cathy

    I think a lot of women (and men) imagine that little house in a wheat field. You are not alone. : ) Your wheat field might be my little house overlooking the Puget Sound. For sure.

  34. #41
    Deborah Weiss

    My husband spends part of the week in another town, taking care of his elderly parents. Those are the nights I get the best sleep….no one hogging the covers, no one telling me to turn down my white noise, no one coming to bed at 2 am and turning on the lights, etc.
    I feel your pain!

  35. #42
    cathy

    I wont lie. When my daughter goes to college, Im probably going to hit the hat there more than a few times in her absence.

  36. #44
    cathy

    Sometimes I think as fun as sleeping with other people can be, especially in those early years, its not the most enjoyable thing after a while. : )

  37. #46
    cathy

    Kim, Ive read SO much about couples who choose to not sleep together, even couples who design homes with two master bedrooms. Granted, we will never be that couple, ahem, financially, but its so much more common that people realize.

  38. #47
    cathy

    Amy, you bring up another very interesting wrinkle: traveling and vacations. When we went to Europe last summer, I was so, so stressed about how sleeping would go. I brought my sound machine (with an overseas adaptor) and it literally melted after one minute of running. No sleep machine for me. Then we stayed in this charming but truly strange little place with tiny, hot rooms and lets just say I used the few Xanax tabs I had with me to calm down for sleep. Yep. Traveling. When we go to our family cabin and its a full house, I get very anxious indeed.

  39. #50
    Molly

    I’ve started getting that crazy anxiety / bordering on panic attacks right before sleep too! My body usually jerks awake at least twice before falling asleep and sometimes it wakes me up enough that I’m wide awake and just can’t relax and get into the groove to try and sleep. What’s helping are those “Mack” brand ear plugs. I push ’em in tight and they really help block out all sound (including husband, dogs, creaks in the house, etc) and all I can hear is my breathing. Then I have to focus on the breathing only – in and out, in and out – and it somehow seems to help me me calm. It works most nights… So weird because I never used to have issues falling asleep but I totally get your panic attack reference. The other option is to stay awake until 2am drinking gin and tonic and that usually does the trick too 😉

  40. #51
    Andrea Grimes

    Thank you so much for your honesty and sharing this with us. I am in a long-term relationship/live with a man that I love very much but cannot sleep with (and he feels the same). We decided when we moved in together that we needed separate bedrooms. But I am like you: I still feel like this isn’t what couples do. I still feel like I need to explain to anyone who hears us say “my bedroom/his bedroom”. This despite the fact that he is the best man ever and I am completely and blissfully happy with him. The negative voices in my head are still there, and that’s a shame. By the way, I have not been able to sleep through the night since forever. I remember this even as a teen. I finally started taking an OTC dose of diphenhydramine every night before bed and it’s changed my life. Being able to get a full night’s sleep makes you feel like a different woman…

  41. #52
    Beth Holmes

    You are certainly not alone. I just turned 50 and hubby and I have been married for almost 26 years. We currently sleep in one Queen size bed together in out not large master bedroom. I also can’t remember the last time I sleep through the night and I am an incredibly light sleeper too. I frequently go to the guest room to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night and his snoring keeps me from going back to sleep. I found myself panicking last week because we were about to have a house guest for 2 weeks and I wouldn’t have my sleep sanctuary to retreat to!!! So, yes I’ve been thinking about separate rooms — not just for the sleeping but so I can have my own space to decorate and live in the way I like to. The idea of two beds and a white noise machine is interesting though as separate rooms seems a bit sad to me — I’d miss the cuddling we do. Thanks for being so real!

  42. #53
    AudreyV

    The timing of your post is funny/ironic. I woke up this morning from the sound of my husband getting ready for work, and was wondering why he has to be so noisy. I really value my sleep, and my best sleep is in the morning, so I was so irritated that he woke me up. Really, does he HAVE to go to work? lol. I laid in bed wondering about my natural sleep cycles, and if I lived alone, with no one to wake me up, what time would I naturally wake up. I know that is so selfish, but I was thinking about it any way. I was thinking what retired people do about sleep when the kids leave and you don’t have to get up for a job.
    Thanks for your honesty, I think there is value to “airing” those little things that shame us, because it helps us to let it go. And you’ll find out, like you have today, that there is really nothing to be ashamed about!
    You rock Cathy!

  43. #54
    Susan B

    It so funny to read this…last night my husband was downstairs watching the BB games late and did not come up to bed. I was thinking that it was such a treat to have the bed, ALL TO MYSELF. I was a little disappointed when he arrived! No judgement – it’s real life!
    : )

  44. #55
    Cindy

    First of all, you write so well. Very fluid and funny and enjoyable to read. Ok about sleep. I’m almost 43 now, and I’ve had trouble sleeping for the last few years, to the point of having a lot of anxiety over it. One thing I do now (because I’ve tried everything you mentioned) is that once a week or every two weeks, I pick a night when I know I’ll have a chance to sleep in and I go to bed early with an Extra Strength Nytol (over the counter). I’ll go to bed around 10:30pm (which is really early for me) and I’ll sleep until 8:30am or later if I can. That’s 10 hours! I still might have to pee in the night but I find the Nytol keeps me groggy and I can go right back to sleep. Now I’m a lot less stressed about not getting enough sleep during the week and I think taking away that anxiety has helped me a lot. And the Nytol is more effective than a prescription sleeping pill that I’ve tried. Good luck! And PS I blame my husband for too many things. In therapy too. You’re not alone.

  45. #56
    Kathleen

    Oh, sweet old friend…I know your pain! I’m going to sound like a freaking infomercial but here goes: We bought a sleep number bed. Mike is a 70. I am a 15! Years of sleeping on a hard mattress and waking up unrested with back pain, and I find out I sleep best in a hole that feels like a hammock. When the kids needed new mattresses, we bought sleep number. We have one in our guest room, and most of our guest our now sleep number converts. Yes, they are pricey. Worth every penny. Infomercial #2: I heard Don Imus on the radio raving about the mypillow.com pillow. I am not usually one to buy the “as seen on TV/heard on radio” kind of gal, but I bought it. And it changed my life. No joke. Everyone in the family has one now. We have gifted these pillows to the grandparents, and anyone else we want to bless. I have become one of those people who travels with their pillow. Here’s the thing: You spend one third of your life in bed. This is not a place to skimp. And I firmly believe we all get along much better when we are well rested. We now return to your regular programming 😉

  46. #57
    annie

    Sing it, sista…we’re all struggling with something…your honesty helps us all feel a little bit better about our own “issues.”
    Love you, CZ.

  47. #58
    bdaiss

    Love this post. Here’s a question I’ve been pondering since the arrival of my children:

    Why do we spend so much time and energy and effort teaching kids to sleep alone…just to then expect when you find a partner you’ll spend the rest of your life sleeping with them? If we’ve been trained since (near) birth to sleep by ourselves, then obviously tossing another human, one with their own quirks and rituals and styles, into our personal space is obviously not going to be all rainbows and kittens and unicorns all the time.

    Good for you (and the rest of your lovely commenters) for admitting what is probably more common than anyone thinks. Sleep is an essential part of living a healthy life. Do whatcha gotta do. (And yep, I’ve been known to sleep on the couch/in the guest bed when my husbands snoring kicks up.)

  48. #59
    Colleen

    Your post could not have come at a better time. I am feeling immense guilt for my husband not being able to sleep well at night. I’m 7 months pregnant with twins and the square footage I take up in the bed with pillows combined with my tossing and turning keeps us both up at night. Normally he is a very heavy, quick-to-fall-asleep sleeper, but not these days. We have a hide-a-bed and the past two nights he’s slept there. I want to be close to him but there’s just now way we can both get the sleep we need in the space we have.

    I feel like I now have permission to sleep in a separate bed. Thank you for that, and thank you for always keeping it real. I always appreciate that about you – that you are willing to share the realness of life with us out here on the internet. You don’t have to, but you do anyway, and I’m not sure you know how many people you probably help by being your true self.

    Have a great day, missy!

  49. #61
    cathy

    the adrenaline rush of being angry Yes. Oh my God, yes. I still experience that to this day. Although its less anger and more anxiety. Or maybe equal parts.

  50. #62
    Vicky C.

    No judging here. The main reason I love you and your blog (or anything you do) is because you keep it real. Cathy Zielske does not sugar coat! Don’t worry about those who judge. They’re just afraid to be honest like you. You rock! Hope you have a great day and a good night’s sleep:)

  51. #64
    cathy

    I always figured if Dan and I didnt work out (I dont say that to be flippant) but I would never share a room with anyone ever again.

  52. #66
    cathy

    Your attitude of no big deal is SO refreshing. Im just gonna say that. Because we have experienced that it is a big deal. Lots of layers underneath that one…

  53. #67
    Joanna

    I notice a lot of people chimed in with the problem of waking up around 2am. I’m curious if you’ve read any of the research about how this is actually a natural human sleep pattern! Sleeping through the night is a new fashion, since the invention of electric light (?perhaps), and there are many references in Medieval writing to being awake in the middle of the night and going to visit with people/having sex/doing some work and then going back for the second sleep. Any time so many people say they have a “problem” and it’s the same problem, I start wondering if maybe it’s not a problem at all… This NPR article has a little info but also google “second sleep” http://www.npr.org/2012/08/07/158087512/dreamland-open-your-eyes-to-the-science-of-sleep Maybe you would sleep better if you stopped trying to sleep through the night…?

  54. #68
    cathy

    Cindy, thanks for your kind words about my writing, and for sharing your story. Also, for your last line. Its funny what you learn in therapy. The whole blaming him for everything in my life? That one? Huge. Working to change that.

  55. #69
    Desiree

    Cathy~I feel at times, that we are twins that have never met! Your honesty about your sleeping habits and working on your marriage are REAL things everyone experiences…those who say they don’t are lying to themselves. Keep posting these real life saga’s…love to read them!

  56. #70
    cathy

    Hey friend, now the sleep bed… I dont know if that will help Dan not snore, but… I will totally check out the pillow like now. The other part of the sleep bed? It would be us in the same bed and right now, Im good having my own space! LOL!

  57. #72
    cathy

    Colleen, your situation sounds like just that: situational. You have to do what is needed for both of you. You just wait. Once that baby comes and your body returns to a more manageable size, itll probably come around. : ) Of course, youll have a baby, but thats the fun part! right? ; )

  58. #73
    Desiree

    Oh, I meant to say that when we are snowbirds down south, we share a king size bed and it’s divine…back home for seven months, we share a double bed –>that’s back to REAL life! Yawn.

  59. #74
    cathy

    Thank you, Desiree. My goal is to write more personal stuff. Somehow, it just makes for better writing than always writing about Project Life. No disrespect to PL. Its just how it is.

  60. #75
    Sharon

    Thank you and Amen sister!! My hubby and I have our own rooms. It started with his back pain, light sleeping and tossing and turning that he would move to the couch in the middle of the night so as not to disturb me, to my snoring and hot flashes, to him just sleeping on the sofabed, then we finally broke down and bought a second bed and reaaranged a second bedroom used as a music studio, into “his” room. Why is it we feel we need to explain anything. After 28 years together, it works for us to have our own spaces, to read or just be alone with our thoughts. We spend time together everyday, walking each evening, sharing our days , hopes, thoughts, etc. I too say its our “spare room,” but in reality when we travel we get two queens. We are still very affectionate, but sleeping is sleeping and done best for us, anyway, in our own spaces. Thank you for the courage to hit the publish button.

  61. #76
    Susanna Boyd

    Thanks for sharing this Cathy. I’m where you were several years ago — on the verge of twin beds and a therapist. Its nice to know that someone else has gone through this and that they emerged whole at the other side. If you ever wonder if you should share, think of me. You’ve helped and inspired in many areas of my life!

    Thanks!

  62. #77
    Christine

    I read this book about sleep and the researchers did some experiments with married couples and determined that nearly EVERYone sleeps better in separate beds. That’s really no shock, right? But, as you point out, other things suffer like the relationship. It sounds like you’ve done a good job of finding a solution that works for you. It’s not easy, especially when it confronts these large conceptions and expectations about how things should be or what a “good” marriage is.

  63. #78
    diane

    From an ear plug wearing, sleep deprived, forty something year old woman…I TOTALLY understand! Thanks for being brave enough to share, it makes me feel a little less alone in that particular struggle.

  64. #80
    Stacey

    I’ve never felt compelled to respond to a post until now. For several years I walked(okay, stomped) to the basement bedroom in the middle of the night, hoping to get at least 2-3 hours of sleep before the babies woke and I had to get ready for work the next day. So much anger, so much frustration, mostly directed at my hubby, who, of course, couldn’t help snoring. Or rolling. Or breathing. Or whatever happened to keep me awake that night. Finally I just said, “the hell with it”, and we bought a mattress for our 4th (unused) bedroom. Which is now my room. Best decision ever. When we had friends live with us last summer while they found a house, I was anxious about them discovering our “secret” sleeping arrangements. Guess what? They slept the same way! Once I got over being embarrassed (?!) and told a few friends, most of them voiced jealousy, not judgement.

    Thank you so much for this post, from a now-much-happier-married, much-more-rested middle-aged reader.

  65. #81
    cathy

    Susan, the whole anticipating the next big noise… I tell you, when I do wake up (which is several times) I also deal with that anxiety. Thats when I go downstairs and hit the couch. I bought a super cozy twin sized down comforter that we keep in the family room. Great for watching movies, and… for mama to get some quieter sleep. Also, thanks for reading all these years. I promise, better writing is coming.

  66. #82
    Lori P.

    Cathy, Thank you so much. When we go through things, we sometimes think we are the only one. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone. 🙂 I am a night time person and not a morning person. Sure, I can do mornings once in a while, but too many of them and you will learn it is not good. I am starting to realize that part of my night time schedule that it is like a little kid thinking she/he will miss something, loose precious minutes, etc. I do love a good nights sleep, do not get me wrong but it usually happens from around 2/3 a.m. to about 10/11 a.m. Now my hubby who snores has a different sleep schedule (9 p.m. to 4 a.m.) You can hear him through the wall into the living room and the kids (when they lived at home) would ask, “you can fall asleep with that?” I can once I get comfortable. It is just telling the body or brain that it is okay to sleep is the hard part. It became harder a couple years ago when I got hit with the “C” and I got through that great. But when you do get hit with that crap I think it changes you sub-consciously IF you don’t realize it. Like now I do not want to sleep for different reasons. I am starting to figure out some of those reasons. Sorry, got off track a little… THANK YOU for being so open and letting some of us know we are NOT alone! Now if anyone post BS to you, flush it, this is your blog. Luv ya!

  67. #83
    Lee

    Diphenhydramine is also known under the brand name Benadryl. It’s an antihistamine used to treat allergies. Check for contraindications and drug interactions – including alcohol. And be cautious if you have sleep apnea.
    All that said, it does have a sedative effect and is sometimes prescribed for insomnia.

  68. #84
    dawny dee

    its a fact that sleep depravation is a form of torture. we NEED to sleep. the fantasy of falling asleep with limbs intertwined is a joke. sure i could do it as a youngster. but now? never. it may look nice but it feels horrible and makes people feel inadequate and hurt and frutrated when they try to achieve it.
    i guess for people who use nighttime as their only was to express physical contact, it can be significant to be avoiding each other. but a couple that is close mentally and spiritually will find a way to be physically close during non sleeping hours.

    your writing is really evolving into something special. please continue sharing in your unique genuine voice. it is an honor and pleasure to be part of your blog community.

  69. #85
    Jacquie Desilets

    If I had read this post 30 years ago (I am 61), I would totally have judged you! Sleeping together with your partner went hand in hand with marital bliss. And I agree with so many of your readers, that separate sleeping quarters are far more common than most think. I am single now, and have struggled with insomnia/sleep issues and feel your pain. Thank you for sharing your stories with humility and humour. You made my day.

  70. #86
    Vickie

    Oh, I love that we can all confess here! My husband started sleeping downstairs 15 years ago (his choice). He goes to bed really early (I mean like 7 pm) and gets up in the middle of the night, can’t sleep, so he either watches tv or goes to work. I cried for days, weeks when he started doing this. And I was ashamed for years- trying to hide it from my kids and friends.
    So now he’s off work after knee replacement surgery. Sleeping with me again- which is really nice but a little hard to get used to. When he wakes up after 3 or 4 hours of sleep, he can’t just lay there so he heads downstairs to watch tv. I imagine that when he goes to work next week, he’ll probably go back to his old habit of sleeping downstairs but after being married (mostly happily) for 43 years, I think it’s going to be okay. And it’s so nice to hear that others have similar issues. Thanks, Cathy.

  71. #87
    cathy

    Well you just summarized this beautifully. I know it was hard for Dan, the idea of us not being in the same bed and he admitted clinging to the fantasy of two people entwined, the closeness of that. But I am learning that real connection has very little to do with physicality. I appreciate your comment.

  72. #88
    cathy

    Vickie, I think there is that idea of having shame if youre not doing it right—were SUPPOSED to sleep together. But that is an idea and ideas are not part of reality. Ive spent a lifetime living based on my ideas. Im changing that now.

  73. #89
    jenny

    Once again…I could have written this myself. Wish your therapist made house calls. I think we’re at that point. 🙂

  74. #91
    StephJ

    Let me chime in and say that this post is very well-timed, thank you for your honesty and vulnerability, and thank you to all the commenters who have shared their experiences. DH and I have been married 16 years, living together for 18. Like another of the commenters, I recently have had all my kids finally sleeping through the night, but found myself struggling with signs of sleep deprivation, to the extent that I saw my Dr about it. He sent me for a sleep apnea test, which was basically torture for someone as sensitive and who sleeps as lightly as myself, and determined that I DON’T have sleep apnea, but it’s DH who is keeping me awake. He has allergies and snores off and on. I can totally relate to everything you wrote, and others wrote about having anxiety either before sleep or when waking up in the middle of the night, like if one of my kids DOES wake up (I have a 3YO who still does occasionally wake up) I find it so hard to fall back asleep. DH is always asleep in SECONDS when the light turns off, which is so frustrating because I can hear him either snoring or just breathing REALLY heavily. The other thing that often happens to me is that I am JUST about to fall asleep and something wakes me up (probably DH) and I startle awake, only to lie in bed for another hour… earplugs have helped, and sometimes we do use the guest room in the basement for DH when he is on call or his allergies are particularly bad. It’s good to know A) that I’m not alone and B) that there are solutions I hadn’t thought of. We don’t have room in our bedroom for another bed other than our Queen-sized one, but maybe we can come up with something else?

  75. #93
    mollie bryan

    We’ve had issue like this off and on and have often said. “if we had another room..” Now that we are a bit older and he’s been diagnosed with sleep apnea and has the machine, it’s getting worse for me, better for him. Mostly. He still has moments where he is wide awake at four, and gets up, which wakes me up. And there you have it.

  76. #96
    Katie

    Crying as I type. This post – the last lines specifically – hit me square between the eyes (and heart). Thank you for being honest and real with your readers. It is so very appreciated.

  77. #98
    Heather

    Another couple who don’t share beds here. I sleep with my 8 year old daughter. It works best for our family. Hubby doesn’t like my snoring. I don’t like his extremely early schedule. She likes cuddling with Mom. It’s good, except when she burrows her feet under me for warmth. Life.

    I’ve only been to your blog a handful of times. Now I’ll be a regular reader. I think I’m going to check out a class from you too. Keeping it real is awesome!

  78. #99
    Kimberly

    “But I share my tale of two beds because sometimes you have to try all sorts of things to make something work”

    Again your words hit my heart,just when I need them 🙂
    Thanks again ~still in working on things every day

  79. #100
    l

    Husband one and I couldnt share a blanket and soon found our own beds in our own rooms worked better. Actually. Our own houses works much better. Ha husband number two… Shares a blanket, bed, room
    And home woderfully well. I leven find his snoring comforting and stayed awake until 1am so i could hear him sleep on facetime audio while he was deployed. Hope things are going better and you guys are happy.

  80. #101
    Brenda Howell

    Thank You!!!!!
    My partner and I used to share a King bed and well, let’s just say I looked forward to the nights he stayed up playing on his computer!!! Between his snoring and me ( according to him) wiggling like a worm in hot ashes to get comfy the bed was turning into a battleground!!
    Now confession time……
    Due to his medical issues he now sleeps in his power recliner and I am now happy to have the bed all to myself!!!
    Of course now the stupid hot flashes are an issue!!!
    Cathy, try iCool and One a Day Menopause ( yes, I say they are for my grandmother when I buy them) vitamins at night!!!!

  81. #103
    cathy

    I should echo the loud breathing thing. Sometimes its not straight out snoring, but irregular loud breathing. You are not alone.

  82. #107
    Kelli

    My husband is a snorer.When I mentioned separate bed rooms, the poor guy teared up! We have since put him on an allergy pill that really helped! And a couple months ago, costco had a sale on mattresses, and we got one. Both of us sleep so much better and he hardly ever snores.

  83. #109
    Laurel Holman

    I applaud your courage. I love that you share so openly, and I find it so refreshing and so helpful. There’s no right or wrong answer about how to sleep with your spouse, and I love that you found a creative solution that helped, at least somewhat, to make things better. I frequently have to go to the couch when my husband has a bad snore night. I wish I could discern the pattern, but there seems to be none. Some nights it’s just awful, and other nights he is quiet. Who knows. I get angry and anxious on those bad nights, and the flood of adrenaline keeps me awake until I finally decide to make the big move to the couch. It takes me about 10 minutes to calm down, and then I sleep well until morning. But it feels yukky. I wish I had a guest room, I think that would feel better. Maybe I should try the white noise machine… Thanks for the great post.

  84. #110
    Stacy

    I grew up with parents that had twin mattresses in a king-size frame because my mom twitches like nobody’s business when she sleeps. Perfectly normal, perfectly acceptable…and most of all, nobody else’s damn business.

    I love how open and honest you are, and I have LOVED your posts on how you and Dan are working on and honoring your marriage. You rock out loud.

  85. #112
    cathy

    Stacey, thanks for posting, first off, and second, you can add me to the group of those envious of the arrangement. Truly, if we had a spare room, I would be exploring that option. When my girl goes off to college, Im quite certain Ill crash when needed in her space. : )

  86. #113
    cathy

    I sort of forgot how when Cole was younger, i would say, Do you want to have a sleepover with Daddy? just so I could have his bed to myself. Of course, now that cole is 14, that ship has sailed. : )

  87. #115
    cathy

    Gin and tonic. Yes. I am partial to red wine but then I have more hot flashes. Trade offs are a b#tch. ; ) Ill have to check out that particular brand.

  88. #117
    Tina B.

    Cathy, I want to thank you for posting this. My husband and I have been together for 24 years and we have been sleeping apart for probably 16-17 years of that togetherness. He snores very bad and keeps me up at night. We are okay with this arrangement and when people find out, I can see them cringe and you know what? It works for us and we are working on our marriage everyday and the whole not sleeping together is not even a part of that. We love each other dearly and not sharing a bed at night is not going to change that, so thank you from the bottom of my heart and our rested eyes…you are an amazing and awesome lady!

  89. #123
    Amy J.

    Yup! LOL…that’s what we do (when we do, lol…but that’s a whole other Tale of Life in Your 40s!)

  90. #124
    Amy J.

    I am noticing a trend…hmmm. Women are generally very light sleepers and men are not.

    Well, my best friend and I have a theory as to why that is (universally true for most of our female friends).

    Babies!

    We are trained as mothers to wake if the air moves when we have a newborn. I don’t think any of us ever sleep “deeply” again after we have babies! I know I haven’t. I also can live easly on 5 hours of sleep if I need to! ; ) Women do live longer, so maybe we are the superior of the sexes! lol

  91. #125
    madeline St onge

    I have had my own twin adjustable bed for the past 15 years, it started out in the Master Bedroom but now due to his snoring and his bi pap machine I have it in the guest room and that is where I sleep, and I wake up every morning at 3:27 am, no lie, and that is as much sleep as I get, even with all the quiet
    Don’t feel alone Cathy because you are not

  92. #126
    Teresa Igo

    Great post. Thanks for sharing. I was just thinking last night that I wish we had an extra room. My husband snores and if I wake in the middle of the night(which happens often) it takes me forever to go back to sleep, I “shake” the bed to make him rollover or at least stops him for a few minutes. Sometimes he does this thing that’s worse than the snoring it’s just this phew that comes out with every breath. (just a repetitive thing). I plan on getting a chair that turns into a single bed for my craft room for the worst nights. Not sure which of us will be using it yet though.

  93. #127
    MelissaL88

    No judging from where I sit. I have a similar problem…my Dan can be prone to snoring, which keeps me awake. We also struggled with how to handle it. Our solution is that he cannot go to sleep (or “lights out” as I like to call it) at the same time as me. He is welcome to either sit up in bed and read until I fall asleep or he can stay downstairs and do his thing until I fall asleep. The best part is I tend to fall asleep a lot faster if I know he’s not trying to go to sleep at the same time. The old insomnia/snoring issue seems to come into play when we try to go to sleep at the same time. We’ve been doing this for a year/year and a half? And for the most part it works for us.

    Thanks for sharing (and making me feel a lot more normal).

  94. #128
    Yolanda

    Thank you, Cathy. For hitting Publish. I think all these comments are clearly saying that a lot of people live this, or something very similar. I totally get the surface stuff going on here and the under-the-surface-hard-work-of-marriage stuff going on, too. Thank you for being willing to share what is real. And, can I say, I’d love to see a clean and simple page telling this story, too. You are opening my eyes to some real, truthful, stories lately and they are feeling like the kinds of stories I want to tell, too.

  95. #129
    Tracy

    If I had a really viable option, I’d have a separate bed and/or separate room for myself! He snores and I’ve had sleep issues for 4-5 years now. Do what you need to do, I say.

  96. #130
    Kathryn Benfiet

    I love your honesty about real life issues and your sense of humor (which I believe is essential in life). I’ve always been the “princess and the pea” kind of person. Every wrinkle or lump in the bed or bedding irritates me and I need soft, not rough scratchy sheets. I am a light sleeper and discovered years ago that a box fan drowns out almost all noises. My husband rarely snores, but he does “poof” which is equally irritating. Several years ago we got matching Lazy boy recliners and let me tell you that made a huge difference in our sleeping. He falls asleep by 10:30 and after an hour or so (while I read, journal, watch TV, etc.) I wake him up and he goes to sleep in our bed. I rarely fall asleep before midnight or 1 am but almost always in my chair and I often sleep soundly there until he gets up at 5 am and sends me to bed, where I sleep until 8:30 or 9 am. It works for us and we’ve been married for almost 32 years. Life is too short to care about what other people think. Thanks for pushing the publish button…keep doing so. Your blog is just one of a handful that I continue to read because you inspire me, make me laugh and cry…you are real. Thanks!!

  97. #131
    Esther

    I was in the hospital having things checked out two days ago, because I’m tired all the time, and one of the things they asked was whether I’m sleeping well. I had to say no! My husband snores, and last year I’ve spent 9 months in the attic, sleeping between the cardboard boxes. Then I’d had enough of the attic, ordered custom made earplugs and am sleeping in the same bed again. But I have to admit that I really enjoyed the peace and quiet, but as you said, felt guilty of feeling that way.

  98. #132
    Karen S

    Thank you for your honest words. Getting good sleep is so hard as you get older. I wake up to every (real) noise and every (dreamed) noise. I often lay awake for hours because of it. And the next day, I’m no fun. Have you ever tried guided imagery?
    Go to Healthjourneys.com and type in sleep in the search box.

  99. #134
    Greta Sutherland

    This has been a very delicate issue to me. For the past few months my husband had been ‘banished’ to a twin bed in the other room. I have always been a very light sleeper but add to that the trauma of being in my forties (okay, LATE forties) and you get a toxic sleep scenario. Plus, he is called to work at all hours of the day and night. I have also tried to keep this little ‘situation’ under wraps. Mostly because I remember thinking how crazy it was when my ooooooldddd grandparents slept like this – sacrilege! I would never!

    I have tried Ambien and it worked perfectly for me; I went to sleep easily and slept perfectly through the night, waking up refreshed and not feeling drugged. Unfortunately, insurance companies feel this is Michael Jackson addictive and limit the supply. (All the while telling us how important a good night’s sleep is for our heart health and mental stability.)

    When I can manage staying up late (against my nature), I generally sleep more soundly. But it’s hard staying up when you’re tired!

    Tales of two beds in Omaha sends good wishes to tales of two beds in St. Paul/Minneapolis. May the guilt, shame and stigma be released and kudos be felt for thinking outside the box(springs).

  100. #135
    cathy

    Ive never taken sleeping pills. I have a propensity for addiction (read: 25 years as a pack a day smoker) and I also spend a lot of money on my therapist. : ) But believe me… some days I consider calling my doctor.

  101. #136
    Melissainsc

    And then there is this which is probably not helpful at all, but rather interesting: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-16964783

    It made me think that my own tendency to wake at 2:30 or 3:00 and remain awake until 4:00 or so is not so bizarre after all. Now, I’d rather not go through this and on the mornings when I do wake up at 4:30 or so and realize that I slept all the way through the night, I have a tiny celebration in my head.

    Sometimes I do wish we even had a basement when I’m awake and DH is snoring away. Then again, I can sleep through the noise most of the time so it could be worse. My parents have separate bedrooms, my grandparents had separate beds. Whatever works. (I’m secretly jealous because I’d rather like to have my own room).

  102. #138
    Annette

    I’ll just say ditto to two of the comments above. 1. Diphenhydramine. It’s the bees knees. I was prescribed it by my PA, specifically for sleep. It was life changing. And 2. You’re awesome.

  103. #140
    Molly

    I get the soft smooshy clear circular ones from target. I think they’re mostly for swimming. Beware though for some crazy reason my dogs love to eat them. I can set them on my nightstand and remember 15 seconds later and they’ve already found and eaten them.. Yuck. At least they’re inexpensive 🙂

  104. #142
    Miranda

    I never liked being crowded or pinned down by the arms/legs/whatever of my spouse during my 11 year marriage. It was so confining, I felt almost claustrophobic and just angry because I always seemed to be uncomfortable. Having now been single for the last 9 years, I honestly have no idea if I could go back to sharing a bed with another human. I too struggle to fall asleep and when I manage it, to STAY asleep. One thing that seems to be helping me lately is something I didn’t even start doing for the sleep issues. Tart cherry juice concentrate. I started drinking it for the pain/swelling that comes along with my arthritis. During my Internet searches when looking for more info on it I saw many people mention it helped them sleep. So I drink 2 oz. at night before bed. It’s not a miracle cure or anything, I still wake up occasionally. But I’ve found it really does seem to help me relax, fall asleep and stay asleep on a more regular basis. It’s tasty too, if you like cherry pie. It is pretty sour though so if you give it a shot, beware of that first sip. 🙂

  105. #143
    suetreiber

    I love this post!
    I am a very poor sleeper, have been for as long as I can remember. Every night I go through the “Will I sleep tonight” question. My husband is a snorer, as am I, but most of the time I can get past that. I toss and turn, always searching for the cool spot in the bed. My entire torso is like an oven. He uses a mattress pad warmer and a down comforter, while I’m trying to push it all off me and the bed. It gets to the point where touching the sheets is almost more than I can handle, so I head out to a couch. Not the best option, but until a kid goes to college, my only one. Luckily, I don’t work outside of the home right now, so I can nap or be a zombie on occasion, but it really is the most frustrating thing.
    And the mention of vacations is enough to make me break into a cold sweat. 4 people in one room? Gah.

  106. #144
    Candyce

    Cathy,
    I’ve read every response to this posting, and can honestly tell you that no one has given you the advice you need. As a Registered Nurse, sleep issues are very common (especially when you add menopause in the mix). Most of us deal with this problem in the same way. When I worked PM’s I rarely got to bed before 0200; it takes that long for your mind to quiet down after a busy shift. But now that I work day shift I found a new problem. I have to wake up at 0450, and every minute that I lay in bed NOT asleep increases the anxiety level. The solution? Ambien 5 mg. You can take 5-10 mg. but newer studies have shown that women metabolize this drug differently than men and are now recommending only 5 mg. for women. You want to take this medication as you are going to bed, not before. After thirty minutes if you are still awake you can repeat the dose one time. I could tell you more about the risks and benefits in a private email. But this medication is a life saver. You would be amazed at how many people (Nurses) take this medication. Talk to your doctor. (I don’t take it every night, only when it is imperative that I get to sleep.)

  107. #146
    cathy

    Candyce, Ive never tried sleeping pills. I have this tendency to become addicted (read: 25 years of smoking) so I have a natural fear of medications for stuff like this. That said, I spoke to my doctor back at this time, and they were extremely hesitant to prescribe sleep aids. To the point that I realized, They dont want to do this so screw it. Being on an HMO, I felt I didnt really have any other recourse. Id be really interested in hearing more.

  108. #147
    Stephanie Howell

    Cathy I love you. I love that you are transparent. And authentic. And REAL. I love you. You have enriched my life SO MUCH by being in it. More than you can know. Thank you for just being YOU.

  109. #148
    Mary

    Cathy, I always love your honesty. I sleep well, but last November about a year after ending a relationship and many ensuing life changes I started having my near panic attacks in the morning. I would start to freak out about my coming workday and that I couldn’t get to work fast enough. Now my job is in fact intense, but once I got to work the extreme anxiety would evaporate and I would go about my business. For reasons that I don’t understand but will be forever grateful for, a voice inside me said you ” you need to reach out” and I started seeing a therapist. I had (have) not processed all the sadness and although my life was really wonderful then and is now, I needed help. It sounds like your body may have been taking an old nemesis of yours, sleep, and using it to make you realize that you needed help. You should be so proud of your journey–the size of your bed seems pretty meaningless in comparison. xo

  110. #149
    Dawn

    This is so awesome that you shared this. When I was pregnant with my first child, I could never get comfortable in bed, so I started sleeping on the couch. Years later, combined with arms going to sleep, both of us snoring (or so I am told), him being such a light sleeper, and myself sleep like the dead on the couch, I have remained on the couch. I am short, so fit fully on a couch and fall asleep in less than 5 minutes, in bed I toss and turn, arms fall asleep so toss and turn some more, have fitful sleep and keep waking him up. This way works best for us both, we both sleep better, and are a lot less cranky in the am.

  111. #150
    Susan

    oh how I understand this….you’re certainly not alone
    I live with a snorer. I am also the lightest sleeper ever.
    I sleep with one of the children’s swimming earplugs (their soft squishy silicone) in one ear (the one that’s not on the pillow) and I take zzz-quil every night. I like it better than Advil PM or melatonin….and sometimes I still wander into the spare bedroom if that all fails.

  112. #151
    Lynda Paredes

    Just my 2cents, try drinking hibiscus tea, cold or hot. I perspire like I’m in a sauna.
    A maybe a lil listening to Bauhaus! 🙂 thanks for sharing.

  113. #153
    Janetta

    Sleep has been a major problem for me the last ten years. I usta be able to get by on 3 hours sleep, no problem. I now need close to 12. That is near impossible to get. Luckily the huz indulges me most Saturdays and Sundays. We’re both sleep apnea people. Me just over 7 years, and he’s a user just over a year. (if only I could have got him there long ago) I love my machine, I love my mask. Sleep without it, is just awful (power outages are not my friend) We also have had for about 4 years a Sleep Number bed (individually adjustable, so it is like two California Twins put together) So wonderful. I do not hear or feel him flop. He flops all night. I lay still all night, even if I am not sleeping. Many times sleep does not come until 4 am. I so wish I could sleep all night, every night. You are not alone!

  114. #154
    angieU

    Your honesty about your marriage, your work on the marriage, and your self reflections, is so incredibly beautiful. When two people meet and can say, “hey, me too!” the connection, even if it’s virtual, is felt deeply. We’re no longer alone and let’s be honest, that feels good! You have a way of showing so many that we’re all more a like than different.
    My husband started using a CPAP machine to help stop his snoring and we have both benefitted! We thought it could be a romance sucker…not a problem! Just keepin’ it real.

  115. #155
    Christina

    OMG look what you have started!!! I won’t bore you with my story but suffice to say that you have made me feel SO MUCH BETTER about our sleeping arrangements!!! Love your honesty!!!

  116. #156
    karen

    Cathy I read your blog for many reasons but the most important one (other than the great photos, wonderful inspiration and PL spreads which encourage me to get it done, GRRL!) is that you really do take the CRAP out of stuff and tell it as it is for you. I honour that in you.

  117. #157
    Lyndel

    Great post Cathy. Thank you for sharing your story.

    I will always remember the people in the next room banging on the wall to complain about my husband’s snoring on the first night of our honeymoon. He had given up smoking when he met me (for which I am forever grateful) and put on some weight and with that the snoring started. After a very long period of headaches, neck pain, irritability, poor memory, lack of patience, reflux and just plain feeling crap, he was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea.

    The CPAP entered our lives and things got so much better. It’s a bit like sleeping with Darth Vader (the sound of rushing air) and it must be horrible to sleep with something strapped to your face every night, but he feels so much better and is a much better person to live with. These days when I hear snoring that’s a bad thing as it means the mask isn’t fitting properly and I do need to wake him up. The CPAP goes everywhere with us, even camping. We know that it is reducing his risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, as well as generally making him a happier (not oxygen and sleep deprived) person. He’s been away this week and I kind of miss the sound.

    I just read that it is believed that 25% of Australian men have clinically significant obstructive sleep apnoea, with the large proportion undiagnosed and untreated. If a husband snores it might just be the time to lovingly support him not just into the spare room, but to a sleep clinic for testing.

    We do have a king size bed that we both love and each have a single bed doona – he sleeps hot and I sleep cold (except when I’m having hot flushes – thank you for letting me know that’s not weird at 48).

    Thanks again Cathy for keeping it real.

    XOXO, Lyndel

  118. #158
    Nancy Barnes

    A radio personality here in the Phoenix area used to say that when it comes to the business of sleeping, you need your own space. My hubby and I sleep in separate beds in the same room. We have for quite a few years. He is a restless sleeper – moving constantly and I have always had trouble sleeping. I think this has saved my sanity and our marriage. Sure there are times when I miss him not being within arms reach but I am a nicer, better person for the sleep I am getting. I would never judge a couple sleeping in separate beds. I say hurrah for them! for realizing how important sleep really is.

  119. #159
    Bonnie

    I’m generally a good sleeper, thank goodness. My husband snores and if his mother is any guide, it will only get worse as he ages. I’m good if I get to sleep before he comes to bed. If we go to bed at the same time, I’m in trouble. Hubby falls asleep in minutes and will start snoring while still partially awake! I naturally need more sleep than he does so going to bed a little earlier than he does isn’t a big deal, except when it comes to hanky panky. There’s been more than 1 night when I have completely woken him up while crying, begging him to stop snoring so I could sleep.

    Luckily, it’s not an every night problem. I’ve warned him that I will drag his ass to the doctor one day, just to make sure this isn’t a sign of a health problem. The more sleep I lose, the more likely I am to call the doc. He’s very resistant to this idea, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    I totally understand separate beds, or separate rooms. I can see that happening one day for us. Do what works for you. I think all these comments prove that you are not along on this one. Very brave of you to put it all out there.

  120. #160
    Sherry Eckblad

    Glad to hear that I am not alone. I too do not sleep well and haven’t for years. When I first go to bed I am out in about 10 minutes and sleep soundly for like 3 hours and then I wake up to go to the bathroom and that is the end of sleeping soundly for me. I always go back to bed but never go into a deep sleep more of a maybe I will fall asleep if I just lay here. Hubby and son are night owls so by the time I am getting ready to get up at 3 or 4 they are just going to bed.
    My hubby snores too, but after 40 years I have adapted to that white noise in our room.

  121. #162
    carrieH

    Great, honest, heartfelt post. I’ve been married nearly 20 years (we’ve been together 25–always count the dating years) and honestly, there have been times when I’ve wondered if I could make it for the long haul. He probably feels the same–long-term marriage can be hard. Luckily, we’ve never felt that it was too much at the same time and we have been able to work through whatever problems we’ve had. I’m in it for the long haul, and that means lots of compromises and accomodations as we get older and change. Here’s to the long-married folk out there. There is a lot of good that comes from a long marriage, and I am determined to make the most of it by celebrating the good when it happens and working through the bad (or the mundane) when that comes up. Thanks for your honesty; we should all be so raw and real.

  122. #163
    Sarah Jay

    I think most of us have a highly romanticized idea of marriage and intimacy because so few people talk about their reality. I roll my eyes almost every time I read a novel or watch a movie that shows a married couple snuggling in bed all night. Maybe it’s just the vocal minority that get to enjoy that kind of marriage bed. My reality is a motionless king-size bed, completely separate bedding, white noise, and ear plugs. And there are still nights one of us escapes to the couch. Otherwise we would resent each other every morning. It’s not pretty, but it’s real. Thank you so much for speaking out and setting a more realistic example of love.

  123. #164
    robyn

    at least three times a week one of us sleeps on the couch, due to separate sleep issues. and now we actually both split time on the couch every night, thanks to a one month old who we can’t convince to change her days and nights to some semblance of normal.

  124. #165
    Melissa C

    Well, by now, enough people have written that you know you’re not alone. I’m glad to read that too. I’ll be honest. I’ve been married 19 years next week, and we’ve slept apart for the better part of that (14 years, maybe?). He gets the couch (it’s comfortable!). I used to feel embarrassed about that when the kids would have friends over, but now, I don’t care. It’s my life, and I’ll do what works for us. We both snore, but I cannot sleep through his snoring. It’s not a regular rhythm. It varies in sound and intensity, and just when I think I’ve gotten used to it, it changes. I got tired of it waking me up. He got tired of me poking him in the back to shift so it would stop. On top of all that, he likes a fan going, and I hate a fan going. I hate the noise, and the feel of the “breeze.” So this just works. Not to say I still don’t have insomnia, but that’s mostly stress related. When the stress eases, I sleep good. If people judge, oh, well, I say let them try walking in my shoes (or sleeping in my place, maybe) and see how it works for them. Until then, forget it!

  125. #166
    Kellie

    I’m 46, can relate, peri menopausal= check, sleeping in separate beds- check. husband snores-check. My husband was tested for sleep apnea and now uses a CPAP machine. So I am working on myself and these hormonal changes. Love u!

  126. #167
    Rebecca

    Good for you finding a solution that works for the two of you. That’s all
    that matters. Put the judgy people on ignore!!

    My husband would not go for anythinh but the same bed at this point.
    so I admit being a little jealous.

    He is the most restless sleeper and now that I’m in my late 40’s it keeps
    me awake. Never did before and he isn’t to the point of understanding
    my point of view yet. Maybe someday!

    Here’s to good sleep!!

  127. #168
    Teal

    I recently took a road trip with seven other women and it came out that 6 of the 8 had separate sleeping arrangements, and I had only recently moved back into the same bed after over a year on the couch after my second baby was born. Even more surprising to me was that I, at 39, was the oldest in the group and the others were all in active baby making years. I had heard of some “old folks” in different beds but didn’t expect it of these women who I believed (and still believe) have strong marriages. We need to all do what works for us, and recognize that what works can also change. Thank you for getting this out there so thousands of your readers can feel normal no matter where they get there zzzzzs.

  128. #169
    Marilyn

    Here at our house we have Grandma’s bedroom and Grandpa’s bedroom. It sure works for us. We both get a better night’s sleep and visitation rights too.

  129. #170
    goshery

    Thanks for sharing your story Cathy. As a single woman, one of the best things is that I don’t have to share my bed or bedroom. I recently went away with a group of women to scrapbook and I worried about the fact that I would have to share a room with someone else. I didn’t sleep well at all and was relieved to get home and have my own space. It sounds like you’ve come up with a solution that works well for you, and that’s all that matters!

  130. #173
    Debbie in AZ

    I’ve been reading your blog for more than 6 years — this is your best post ever. Thank you for years of simple scrapbooking, honesty, humor and inspiration. You rock!

  131. #174
    Jane Toft

    Brene Brown will be proud of you for that post. I’ve painted the wall I lie next to a very dark grey, OK, black. I may appear to be a 50 something Goth, but it does seem to have helped me sleep. J

  132. #177
    cathy

    Susan, i do the one ear with the plug thing too! And then when I switch sides, I switch the plug into the other ear. : )

  133. #184
    cathy

    And kudos to you. It is not easy. I realize it probably is for some, but presently, that is not my personal experience, not if I want a real connection with my hubby, which I do.

  134. #185
    cathy

    Okay, that is something i was JUST thinking of. I pretty much will not do a girls weekend for the same fear. Its been YEARS since Ive had a girls weekend. The last one? I snagged a room of my own. Selfish, true. But I slept better.

  135. #186
    cathy

    Sarah Jay, I believe its because we are sold a real bill of goods, a fantasy of what marriage is supposed to be. Thats what Ive been learning in therapy, anyway. Its helping. A lot.

  136. #190
    Marcie L

    I agree with you on the “Mack” ear plugs! My husband snores and we too sleep in separate rooms, but when we have guests and he “moves back in, lol” or when traveling, I can only block it all out with Macks. Other brands just don’t do the trick!

  137. #192
    Marcie L

    My husband and I have been married for 20 years and for the last 10+ have slept in separate rooms because of his snoring, my light sleeping. Ear plugs work to a point, but I don’t need to repeat what has been so well said here by so many! I was berated in an email from a relative of my husbands for “kicking my husband out of our marital bed”. Can you imagine? I wish I could send her a link to this entire post/comments, but we have cut her out of our lives (imagine that). So I add my name to the list of being so happy to read your post and all the comments. Thanks for always being real!

  138. #194
    Sara

    Thank you for this post. I really love reading all of the comments. I was reading some of them to my husband last night and told him, “See there are others out there like us.’
    He snores like crazy and I am a light sleeper. I agree what someone else said. Having children chances the way woman sleeps forever. Not so much for a man. 🙂
    I rarely spend the whole night in our bed. When we travel we try really hard to get a suite because if we don’t I barely sleep.

    I think people who judge think gosh if they don’t sleep in the same bed at night they can’t be having sex. First they shouldn’t judge and second it’s not true. Separate beds and sex can still work out just fine. 🙂

    Yes, I miss snuggling with my husband at night but I just can’t function on sleepless nights. Plus, like others have said, I would wake up and get so dang mad and resentful at him for snoring that was not worth trying to suck it up and make it all night in our bed. Plus I was afraid of giving him bruises from all my “gentle” middle of the night kicks.

    Thanks again for sharing and opening up this discussion.

  139. #195
    Laura

    Long time marrieds here, too. We went through a stage involving sinus issues in one partner along with obesity (both of us.) One partner fell asleep often on the couch watching TV and didn’t come to bed for hours or opted to sleep out there for comfort reasons. Now after weight loss on both our parts, a new bed to replace the worn out one, and sinus surgery, we’re sleeping well and happy as clams. I think all marriages go through different seasons and some are happier than others. But if your husband is your lobster (Friends reference, anyone?) it’s totally worth it.

  140. #198
    Grace

    Oh man do I know this story…even down to the marriage needs help bit. Hubby snores like a freight train on a long ride thru a tunnel and I’m wide awake at the slightest noise like my brain didn’t get the sleep memo. As I lay there trying to get back to sleep I would count the number of seconds that he didn’t breath (reached 40 secs once!). Finally, finally convinced him to go to doc for a sleep study. He now sleeps with CPAP machine and the quiet with him in the bed again is amazing! And for those times when he can’t because of a cold or nasal congestion he heads to the other room we affectionately call “Daddy’s sleep room”.

    Cathy altho it’s not great knowing that you’ve been thru a lot, Paul B is right…letting us in on the fact that we are not the only ones trying to muddle thru helps indeed.

  141. #200
    Ximena

    I think it does more good to our marriage, our kids, our jobs, our friends, for us to be a sane person by having enough sleep (because, at least in my case, if I’m even slightly sleep-deprived I become a lunatic) than to share a bed, or do anything for that matter, just because we’re expected to or because we don’t want to rock the boat. And with your post, I personally think that you’re making the world a little bit better for everyone. Not only are you helping people dealing with this particular issue by bringing it out in the open, you’re setting an example of honesty, vulnerability, and courage by posting this. Never regret being authentic, Cathy. That’s why you have so many fans! 🙂

  142. #201
    {vicki}

    my husband and I sleep in separate rooms. He snores and likes the room 75 degrees and the door open. I like a cooler room(62 degrees), totally dark, quiet and the door has to be CLOSED!

  143. #203
    jenwcom

    See, Cathy, I’ve let you go a year without my stalking, and then you go and show up in my oils FB group AND write a post like this. I love you. To pieces. And back again.

  144. #204
    Sky R

    My husband and I have an upstairs/downstairs relationship. When our house burned down in 2010, we had an chance to rebuild our house. While we loved the original floor plan, we gave him a bedroom, bathroom and man cave upstairs and a master bed and bath for me downstairs. We put in heat/air units for each floor so he can keep it as hot as he wants in the winter and I can keep it as cold as I like. We both sleep better and are much more pleasant people to deal with in the morning. We got Tempur-Pedic beds too. Losing our home and all our belongings after 36 years was a tragedy but we made our house and lives better. The only thing we have to decide is “my bedroom” or “yours”?

  145. #205
    Lauri

    Wow. Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate in so many ways. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  146. #206
    TracyB

    “Nearly everyone judges everyone all the time.” That. So do what you want or need to do.
    My husband snores like a freight train and tosses and turns. I’m a pretty good sleeper but geesh sometimes he’s awful. Getting a king sized bed helped – the bed is larger and absorbs some of the movement and he’s a bit farther away with his snoring. I do wear earplugs. And the best thing is if I can get to bed and sleep before him.

    I’m surprised that more couples don’t sleep together. Whether side by side beds like you have or even in separate rooms. A good nights sleep is so important for your health. More so than sleeping in the same bed together.

  147. #207
    Robin

    OMG … WOW!! You hit a nerve with this post. As of the time of my response, you have 203 comments!! That should tell you that you are sharing something that resonants with your readers. Just that alone, I hope, brings you comfort…You are not alone with the this struggle/dilemma. Bravo & good for you for being brave enough to say these things out loud.

    You cannot know what a relief it is to hear you tell this tale…I, too, struggle with sleep…you name it, I’ve tried it….melatonin, lithium citrate, Ambien, Xanax, magnesium citrate, Sleepytime Tea, stinky valerian (I mean, really, do you know how bad that stuff smells??) that alone should explain how desperate I have felt when I cannot fall asleep or stay asleep.

    Back story, we have been married 42 yrs.,(we are a youngish couple 63/62, considering we have been married 42 years), he is the “KING of snore”, he, too, isn’t happy with separate sleeping beds (sounds exactly as you have described “the fantasy of two people entwined) AND add to that, he had a heart attack a short while ago (adding to the fear of death, I’m alone, don’t leave me alone, I might die alone, get it?) all of which adds anxiety of our sleeping separately…but…we are….

    It took nearly a year following his heart attack for me to leave the “shared bed” again. Believe me, it was not without a huge dose of (Catholic) guilt that I left “our” bed…but my sanity & sleep was at stake…just the action of getting into our bed at night, my anxiety would hit the roof.

    Fortunately, we have the luxury of a spare room. There are many nights when I can hear him from upstairs (we are a bi-level house) & I just smile & say thank you for my separate room. And yes, we have (I have) been in therapy for years!! I’m right there with you!! Again, bravo for coming forward!

  148. #208
    Abby P

    Sista – you are NOT alone! My hubby has severe sleep apnea…and the snoring that goes along with it. For YEARS, yes YEARS, I slept on one (or the other) children’s extra twin bed in their room. Once he FINALLY did a sleep study and discovered (low and behold) it wasn’t be being over sensitive (although I am DEFINITELY a light sleeper and have bionic ears to bood), he realized I wasn’t avoiding him. I was avoiding the endless sleepless nights. Enter the C-PAP machine to stop the snoring, and I’ve been in our bed since day 1!! You are SO not alone. But there are ways to work through it — and yes, many are unconventional. Once we started “joking” about our situation to close friends, they fess’d up that they, too, are in the same situation. It’s like the elephant in the room. You will find a way that works for YOU — that’s all that matters! Oh! One more thing: my husband is in construction (high-end for those wealthy people). The #1 request? His and Her bedrooms — due to sleeping (or lack thereof) issues.

  149. #209
    jenny

    Omgosh – really? Are you willing to share her name? Therapists are one of those people you’d like to see on referral but it’s not something you really want to ask your facebook friends? : I could e-mail you, too, if you’d prefer not to put her name public?

  150. #210
    MonicaB

    Cathy, you are amazing and inspiring. No judging here. We have a guest bedroom but the kids now call it Dad’s room. Believe me I always feel judged when they call it that in front of other people. I just couldn’t handle the snoring anymore and was miserable. Is it the best solution? It’s not perfect but we are both sleeping and no one is mad or feeling guilty. Sometime I wonder what would happen if he stopped snoring…I like having the big bed to myself. 🙂

  151. #211
    Jill

    Cathy – I see you mentioned you are hesitant to try sleeping pills and I don’t blame you. I didn’t see anyone mention this in the comments yet. But, have you ever considered trying essential oils? Pure, completely natural, therapeutic essential oils? I have always been a light sleeper too but once I started using essential oils I was able to sleep more deeply again and actually wake up feeling rested. The first time I used Cedarwood oil on my feet, I felt like I had taken a Nyquil because it knocked me out. I have also used lavender oil and a blend called Peace & Calming. I even use the oils on my 4-year-old twin girls and they sleep much better too. No crazy upside-down moving around and kicking like they used to. If you want some more information, I would love to email you more.

  152. #212
    RobynS

    I read your post and replies last night and tossed around the idea of replying. Obviously I did not reply…but this morning after waking up on the couch I thought this is stupid I should reply. Hello my name is Robyn. I have been with my husband since 1990 and we often sleep apart in the same house. There you go. A mulitude of reasons that I will not go into. I fantasize of an addition with a nice bedroom just for me.
    My mother had colon cancer in 1970. After having most of her colon removed she started sleeping on the couch so she could “dash to the bathroom without waking my father”. It seemed pretty normal to me. Guess when you grow up with it then you do things the same.
    I can tell you I would have the best sleep when I was unemployed in 2010 I would drop the kids at school and come home. Put clean sheets on the bed and nap for a few hours. Silence in the house and pure bliss. I do love a bed with clean soft sheets.
    Thank you Cathy for telling about this. Very much a secretive subject.

  153. #213
    Julie

    Oh my! I wish more people could be more honest about the reality of sleep deprivation and it’s effect on relationships, and how sometimes it does not work to share a bed when you begin to resent the lack of sleep! A radio presenter here once let slip that he and his wife slept in separate beds and opened a can of worms. What surprised him was the judgement people passed on his marriage. I got my husband to a respiratory specialist who diagnosed sleep apnoea (after sleep-overs in a sleep lab). Sweet relief!! Until he started sleeping with his mouth open. Gahhhhhh!! Sleeping in separate rooms is not a good answer but a restful one. I like your idea of two beds in a room – my husband has resisted that for years. We’re about to renovate, and I’d love a solution!

  154. #216
    cathy

    Yeah, this has been so enlightening for me. I was not aware, even just in my blog readership, how many of us deal with this. : )

  155. #217
    cathy

    Loved reading this, Robin. Thanks for sharing. Just the common thread of that anxiety at night. In fact, I have now spent the last two nights on the couch. One night, I just couldnt sleep and needed a change of venue. Last night, much of the same, but there was snoring and my anxiety was rising and I said, Time to go. : )

  156. #218
    cathy

    : ) I just wish that EOs helped me with sleep. They dont seem to, and let me tell you, Im trying all sorts of combos, including cedarwood, but other than loving the smells and feeling super relaxed, solid sleep has not been a happy byproduct.

  157. #219
    cathy

    Yep. The new trend in construction. You have an idea perhaps of how much I would love to win the lottery and do just that. ; )

  158. #220
    jenwcom

    They have not helped me one bit either. As with you, my body is relaxed, but my mind is not. Add a snoring husband and I’m kaput. He’s resorted to sleeping on the couch to avoid my kicks and complaints. Do not even try the oil pills. I tried them for two nights and all I got was a head and stomach ache. Stress Away has helped with my low-level anxiety, but once it hits a certain point, nothing helps. Trudging along with you.

  159. #221
    cathy

    Jill, yep. I presently have the whole basic kit, plus cedarwood. While I really do love PC diffusing at night, they have not had the effect on me that some experience. Ill admit. Im kind of jealous. Ive tried a whole handful of combos, too.

  160. #222
    cathy

    I know for some people, the stuff really works wonders. I dont fall into that category for the sleep stuff. But who knows, I have been using Thieves for two months, a few drops in water, and its knocked a few colds out before they ever took hold.

  161. #224
    Kerri

    I’ll think of you when I wake up at 2:30 a.m. to pee as I will myself not to look at the clock and ward off a panic attack that I won’t be able to go back to sleep. The first half of my life I couldn’t fall asleep and then I developed a new problem when I had kids…not staying asleep since my body clock was trashed from nursing during the night. My words of wisdom – air-purifier with adjustable fan PLUS the sound machine, and WAX earplugs. My husband can sound like he is sawing logs! He uses breathright strips (though it sure doesn’t stop him from snoring…it might be a little softer). I’ve tried all kinds of meds (prescription and OTC)..no magic pill. Sweet dreams!

  162. #226
    Delisa

    Wonderful post! I’m currently on the couch because I can’t sleep, toss and turn, go to the bathroom and my spouse snores in every position, even sitting upright! We are purchasing a kingsize bed, June delivery date, and I’m going to try earplugs.

  163. #227
    Maureen

    Just now getting caught up on my blog reading from the past week or so and when I saw this post, I knew I had to weigh in. My DH and I have sleep issues. It takes DH 5 minutes to fall asleep (I’ve timed it!). It takes me an hour and a half (he’s timed it). He hates covers except a light top sheet. I like lots of covers, even in summer. He only needs 4 hours sleep to be a normal functioning human. I need 8 at the very minimum. He snores. I don’t. We are completely incompatible as sleeping partners but the weird thing is, when he is not home, I don’t sleep at all (even if I know he is in a safe place). I try to go to bed before him. I try to fall asleep before him. Neither of those 2 things happen very often. And even if I do get to bed and fall asleep, those are the nights he snores so loud it wakes me and the dog. So, to the couch, downstairs, is where I go. I can still hear him snore, although not so loud. But at least I get some sleep. This arrangement thoroughly confuses our dog, who is normally snuggled up right between us. So when I go down to the couch, she spends the night making trips between the upstairs and downstairs and then she sleeps most of the next day because she is tired from switching sleeping places all night. My DH tells me to wake him when is snores and he will go downstairs but I don’t have the heart to wake him from a good sleep because I know I wouldn’t want to be woken up from a good sleep. So he ends up feeling bad for me because I go down to the couch and I end up feeling bad for our dog who doesn’t understand why we are sleeping in 2 different places. We have not come to a good solution for this issue and we laugh about the notion of sleeping entwined because it simply wont ever be happening unless I can find magical ear plugs that would block out the snoring but still enable me to hear my 5:30am alarm. (BTW: I don’t mind the couch, it’s quite comfy but I hate that it makes him feel bad when I go there to sleep.) Thank you for sharing your sleep issues with us. It’s nice to know we are normal, just like everyone else who has sleep issues.

  164. #228
    DLinBham

    Thanks for sharing! We sleep together most nights but luckily have a guest bedroom for those nights when one of us is having trouble sleeping. We just got back from a work trip (we work for the same company) where we had a room with two doubles and were happy to each have our own to fall into at the end of the 16-hour days.

  165. #229
    SarahJane

    My dad has slept in the recliner in the basement since the mid-90’s. (His choice!) My mom (happily) occupies the master bedroom two floors up. She’s gotten used to sleeping ALONE that now, when they come to visit, neither of them sleep well together because HE misses the recliner and SHE is used to having the bedroom to herself. They BOTH call the other “snore monsters”. It works for them. • • • In my own world, I was glad to have a spare twin bed in the office because last night, I tried to go to sleep, but couldn’t fall asleep with hubby’s snoring. (I was glad – for him – that he was sleeping so soundly. He, on the other hand, tends to grab ahold of my pillow and tug it out from under my head during the times that I have a headcold and am snoring; LOVE THAT! NOTE: 100% sarcasm!) There was a TV show a while back (perhaps The Doctors? or NBC Today?) that had talked about more and more people going to separate bedrooms and how well it really DOES work. They encouraged that there is still some SHARED bedroom time, NOT for sleeping. *Wink, wink*. For the record, I slept GREAT in my own room last night… and I’m pretty sure HE DID, TOO!

  166. #231
    Elise

    Totally random jumping I here, but the whitenoise app might be helpful while traveling! We use it with ellerie all the time. xo

  167. #232
    Sara Belgrove

    You don’t just take the crap out of scrapbooking, you put the real in real life. Thank you.

  168. #233
    Rachael

    I am really thanking you for sharing this post. I sleep in our room and my husband sleeps in what used to be an office in our garage. Sounds worse than it is. But I struggle a lot with feeling guilty. Sometimes I feel like I this is a bad solution. However after reading your post and several comments I now realize I am not alone. My husband snores LOUDLY – I can still hear him in the garage at night but it’s a distant noise that I can ignore instead of something that irritates me and keeps me awake. I can stay up later and have lights on if I want to read. For years I was reading with a flashlight under the blankets. Ridiculous!!! It is an odd solution but seems to be working. He is happy!! He is an introvert and loves retreating into his “man cave”. For now, I will be inspired and encouraged by your words. THANK YOU!!!!

  169. #234
    cindyeaster

    You are SO not alone! My hubby and I have slept separately (in different rooms even) for 21 out of 27 years. He snores like a freight train and I’m a light sleeper (have been since the children were born). Sleep deprivation and young children do not go well together (I can get mean when I don’t sleep), so it was out of necessity that we discovered the band-aid. It’s not perfect. But it works for us. I would say we’ve a happy marriage. And I am more than positive that our marriage would not have lasted this long had this not been an option.

    Thank you for stepping out of your fear of judgment. You have definitely hit on something that is common, yet not spoken about. Yay you!! 🙂

  170. #235
    Jen

    I used to be able to sleep through the night, but after having my first kid and 8 months pregnant with baby #2, I wake up at almost any noise. Hubby is a dead log when it comes to sleeping and I’m up every 2-3 hours because Baby is jumping on my bladder (or even worse, giving me leg cramps in the middle of the night), or the toddler needs me for something. He sleeps through it all. Luckily he understands and takes over for the toddler on the weekends so that I can attempt to get some decent sleep.

    If what some relationships need are separate beds (or rooms) in order to get some good night sleep, then so be it! My parents did that for years, due to my Mom’s asthma and allergies (she slept on the couch in the living room). If it works for you, then it works.

  171. #238
    cathy

    You just made me realize another thing, and some women posted this on the other blog post, that panic to fall asleep first. I cant stay up late to read, because then it always seems like Im really risking not being able to fall asleep at all. Yep. Theres that.

  172. #240
    Rosa

    Cathy, I love your raw, honest, truth. It’s refreshing. There have been many nights where I have woken up because of my husbands snoring. Lying in bed, elevating my blood pressure type of angry because he keeps on snoring. I wake up with headaches if I don’t get enough sleep. We have a guest room and a really comfy sofa too… so I always have options. 🙂 There have been quite a few times where I’ve just dragged myself downstairs just to get a good nights sleep.

    Regarding your sleep: Have you tried the Clean Cleanse? It’s a cleanse by Dr. Junger. He has written a couple of books about it too. I wasn’t sleeping well, had frequent headaches… it’s a change in diet for 3 weeks time, (not eating certain foods) and reintroducing the foods that may be “toxic” to you. Maybe worth a try? It has worked for me and apparently lots of others. No more headaches! Better sleep (even remember having dreams!). Clearer mind, better mood, weight loss and clearer skin. Maybe something to try to help your sleep?

    I love your blog. Scrapbook related, PL related, LIFE related. It doesn’t matter. You write from the heart and I love that.

  173. #241
    Terri

    Hi Cathy –
    I met my husband when I was 23. We finally decided to get married 9 years after that, with the agreement that I would give up my own house – but not my own bedroom. We have had our own bedrooms since day one and have never been sorry about it. It has never been a reflection on our relationship. We just like to be able to sleep at night. We have always been open with our friends about the fact that we have separate bedrooms, and insist on separate beds when on vacation. It is amazing how uncomfortable others become about the topic of separate bedrooms (largely because many wish they had their own room, but don’t want to admit it). Great topic! Sorry I’m so late in joining the conversation.

  174. #243
    Patricia Rodriguez

    You have no idea the relief I feel right now. It’s like I’m reading my own story, minus a few details.

    It is also giving me so much hope. There is a solution. There are happy days ahead of us. We just have to find out own “unconventional” solutions. Love conquers anything right?

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post and for your honesty! (don’t freak out, but if were living in the same area I would go and give you a hug!)

  175. #244
    Melissa O.

    I tease my husband all the time (& he teases right back) that what we really need is a duplex that’s connected by our son’s room. There’s no doubt we love each other & enjoy spending time together, but we are two completely different people in almost every way. If there was ever a prime example of opposites attract I think we would be it. LOL! Anyway, in this daydreamed scenario, we would live in opposites sides of a duplex where our son’s room has a door to each side. We come & go throughout both sides of the house as we please, spend time together during the day/evening & disburse to our designated areas at night. I run my house as I see fit & he runs his. You might say, “Now, Melissa, don’t you think this would be awfully problematic seeing as how you’re trying to raise a child?” But surprisingly our parenting style is one of the few things about us that’s actually alike. 😉

  176. #245
    Andrea Johnson

    Just getting around to reading this post. All I have to say is Thank you.

    Thank you for sharing REAL Bits and Pieces.

    I needed REAL.

  177. #246
    n6watson@msn.com

    I am a complete mess when it comes to sleeping. I have a hard time falling asleep, and an even harder time staying asleep. I grind my teeth at night and am plagued with night terrors. My husband has had to tackle me to the floor in the middle of the night due to one of my “episodes”. I’ve woken up to find out that the bleeding claw marks on his chest are from your’s truly as well as the teeth marks on the nightstand due to my launching him out of the bed in the middle of the night. He may be the one who eventually jumps ship, for his own safety. There are so many mornings that I wake up and mention that I can’t understand why I feel like I’ve been run over by a freight train. My husband responds drolly, “I can give you a few reasons.” Ugh. By the way. Love your blog. And your scrapbooks. You’ve been one of my favorite scrapbookers for over a decade.

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