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'We Should Normalize Separate Bedrooms,' Cameron Diaz Says

The walls start to tremble from his snoring. She radiates an enormous quantity of heat. You both tend to sleep through the night or get up at dawn for frequent potty breaks. Perhaps you have trouble sleeping or experience sleepwalking. Such interruptions during the night are, according to specialists, extremely prevalent.


In a podcast episode of "Lipstick on the Rim" from December 2023, hosted by Molly Sims and Emese Gormley, even a film star, Cameron Diaz, has an opinion. Diaz calls for separate bedrooms in marriage


"We should normalize separate bedrooms," Diaz remarked, gushing over her "wonderful" eight-year marriage to Good Charlotte musician Benji Madden.


"We both have our homes; it doesn't matter to me. In the center, we have a family home. I am going to my room to sleep. You retire to your chamber to slumber. 'I'm fine,' she reassured. 'And in the center, there's the bedroom, where we can gather with our relatives.'"


Divorce in the sleep


According to Wendy Troxel, a senior behavioral and social scientist at RAND Corp. and author of "Sharing the Covers: Every Couple's Guide to Better Sleep," an increasing number of couples are contemplating the benefits of a "sleep divorce," or the utilization of two separate bedrooms, to optimize the quality of their sleep.


Regarding your well-being, a lack of sleep is unacceptable: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that not getting seven or eight hours of sleep every night increases the risk of diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and dementia.


According to Troxel, there is an emotional toll; mood, impatience, tolerance, empathy, and communication with your partner and other significant others can all be impacted by sleep loss.


Dr. Raj Dasgupta, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, told CNN in 2022 that people are less resilient when they don't get enough sleep and are consequently in a bad mood.


The lack of sleep, according to Dasgupta, "is often linked with diminished capacity for empathy and emotional regulation, which in turn can lead to misunderstandings and aggressive responses when disagreements arise."


"I am still trying to figure out the solution. Using a separate bed, thus evicting your sleep partner, is a viable choice."


'Is it awful if my boyfriend and I sleep apart?' is the question that usually comes up. "Not necessarily," Troxel responded. "Some substantial benefits may even result from it."


A well-rested individual is "a better communicator, happier, more empathic, more attractive and funnier," according to Troxel and her colleagues' research. According to Troxel, these qualities are crucial for building and maintaining healthy relationships.


According to Troxel, couples who sleep separately report higher levels of happiness, less resentment, and more enjoyment of their time in bed together, especially on weekends when job obligations are lower.


"I advise couples to view it as forming a sleep alliance rather than a sleep divorce," she said. "Getting a good night's sleep is the most important thing you can do for your health, happiness, and sex life."


Dismiss any potential sleep problems.


When a loved one starts showing symptoms of a sleep disorder, it is usually the sleep partner's job to get them to see a doctor or sleep specialist. You and your spouse risk your future health by ignoring sleep issues.


Because you might hold the key to discovering and treating a serious health problem, doctors recommend seeing a sleep specialist to rule out and treat any underlying conditions before you leave your loved one's bed.


Is seppoisosis the cause? Suppose your partner's snoring is the main complaint. In that case, it's essential to determine if they have obstructive sleep apnea, a severe sleep disorder in which they temporarily cease breathing for 10 seconds or longer.


The risk of hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and early death is significantly increased in cases with untreated obstructive sleep apnea, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine


Irregular leg movements. Your companion may be suffering from restless legs syndrome, twitching legs, or periodic limb movement disorder (sometimes called Willis-Ekbom disease). Modifying one's way of living and taking prescribed medicine helps alleviate the symptoms.


Think about medicine. Sleep problems, such as insomnia, can be caused by many common medications. Many prescription drugs, including those for cholesterol, asthma, high blood pressure, steroids, and depression, can hurt sleep quality.


Is it a medical issue that has not been addressed? Chronic pain or frequent bathroom breaks can also disrupt sleep for those with diabetes, kidney illness, heart disease, cancer, and other prevalent medical conditions.


Adaptation measures


After ruling out any medical issues, Troxel suggests that couples who experience emotional bonding while sleeping in the same bed try practical coping strategies before deciding to sleep apart.


Alcohol is not allowed. The doctors recommend avoiding alcohol at least a few hours before bedtime if you have trouble sleeping. While it may seem like it's helping you sleep, alcohol triggers those pesky awakenings in the middle of the night that aren't easy to get over.


"Because, as everyone probably knows, if you sleep with a snorer and they have one too many drinks, the snoring will be much worse that night," Troxel added that snorers should also cut out alcohol.


That is because snoring becomes more likely as the alcohol further loosens the muscles in the throat. According to Troxel, Partners can be effective and influential sources of what is known as "social control" in this context.


"Maybe you'll be more motivated to cut back a bit if you're prone to drinking, but you know that the consequences are going to be bad for your sleep and your partner's sleep as well," she added.


Stand up straight. According to Troxel, anything that elevates the head to maintain an open throat, such as an adjustable bed or extra pillows, can help with snoring.


"A little head elevation can be helpful for many people whose snoring is worse when lying flat on their backs," she said.


She said a humidifier could be helpful if congestion were the real problem. "Nasal strips sold at drugstores have helped some people maintain an open airway."


Put an end to the din. Troxel stated that trying to muffle the sound is the first defense when coping with a snoring spouse. Run a fan or a white noise machine while wearing earplugs.


Investigate the possibility of coordinating your sleep times. Troxel stated that a snorer who shares a bed with an insomniac can facilitate better sleep for that person by staying in bed later.


"A snorer, for instance, can put off going to bed by half an hour to an hour," Troxel explained. "When the snorer goes to bed, that helps the partner get into a deeper sleep stage and maybe remain there."


Could you find out how the snorer moves their jaw? The most conducive position for snoring when sleeping is on one's back, as this position causes the tongue and soft tissues of the mouth to sink into the throat. People snore as they sleep because they inadvertently push air past their sensitive tissues.



Editor: Marina Ramzy Mourid

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