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We're better off sleeping apart

Want to have more sex? Try sleeping alone, says Daisy Buchanan

By Nic Hopkirk 18/09/2012 14:47

 

Rex Features

 

Quite a few of my fantasies take place in hotel rooms.

I dream of the swish of glass and gilt revolving doors. The smouldering nod from a well tipped doorman who knows exactly what I’m up to. My shiny shoes tapping across a marble floor, taking me into a mirrored lift. I have no luggage, just a room key and a toothbrush. Lustily, I look forward to what’s waiting for me behind the bedroom door.

An empty bed.


Crisp, egyptian cotton sheets and silence. The chance to spread out like a starfish and sleep, uninterrupted for fourteen hours. The chance to order room service, finish all the coffee and not have anyone nicking the tiny pot of raspberry jam. Sleeping alone doesn’t sound sexy - but it’s one of the most self indulgent things you can do.

 

If you prefer to sleep apart from your partner, does it mean your relationship is on the rocks? Or does it mean that you’ll feel fully rested on waking

And according to research by Illicit Encounters, if you like sleeping alone, you’re not alone. One in ten couples sleep in separate bedrooms. If you prefer to sleep apart from your partner, does it mean your relationship is on the rocks? Or does it mean that you’ll feel fully rested on waking and more likely to greet your loved one with “Good morning!” instead of snarling “What have you done with my work trousers? They were on the chair!” with a mouth full of unbrushed teeth.

If the idea of a night without your partner makes you feel a bit weepy, imagine this. No snoring. No alien drool cooling on your pillow. No-one suddenly sitting bolt upright, shouting “COUNCIL TAX!” at the ceiling then collapsing back into a coma as the other remains awake, anxious and bewildered. No tense, angry fights about the duvet and how one of you always takes 75 per cent of it like a greedy, grasping music mogul ripping off royalties from a boy band.

 

there’s much more to intimacy than getting physical. The nights when you silently, sleepily reach for each other’s hands in the dark

Obviously there are upsides to bed sharing, otherwise we’d never bother doing it in the first place. In theory, the bedroom is for sex. But there’s much more to intimacy than getting physical. The nights when you silently, sleepily reach for each other’s hands in the dark. Being the only one who knows your partner well enough to recognise the scent of their skin first thing in the mornings. The Saturdays when you stay in bed until noon, with tea and toast, laughing and singing to the radio.

 

And how much sex are you having when you’ve got a chin soaked in Sudocrem, your lover is wearing their mouth guard and you’re both zipped into your flannel Winter onesies? When you’re constantly together, you get used to each other. Occasional separate sleeping means that sharing a bed becomes exciting again. The hottest encounters can happen after some time apart, whether you’ve been separated by a whole continent or a landing.

It’s possible that the people who most enjoy being in bed with their partner are the ones who don’t do it seven nights a week. If you’ve got the space to sleep separately every so often, you might find that you both get more rest - and as a result, get on better when you’re awake. Sleeping alone sometimes signals the end of a relationship - but you might find that it starts off something wonderful instead.

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