TODAY

TODAY   |  September 13, 2013

Sleeping separately can maintain marital bliss

Dr. Carol Ash, Director of Sleep Medicine at Meridian Health,and Psychologist Jeff Gardere reveal why nearly 40% of couples decide to sleep in separate beds, citing snoring and contrasting work schedules as two common explanations.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> sleep. in the classic 1950s sitcom "i love lucy " ricky and lucy were famously known to sleeping in separate beds been that was due to television standards back then and it didn't always mean bliss for them.

>> could it be healthy for your relationship? here to hopefully put the subject to rest so you can get some, dr. carol ash, the director of sleep medicine at meridian health and dr. jeff garde gardere. we were talking about the number couples that sleep in separate beds. according to one study, 40%. that seems high.

>> does that mean separate rooms, like lucy and ricky, what?

>> separate beds, sep rad rooms. it's actually a surprising number. i would agree with both of you. there's reasons why you may not be able to sleep in the same bed with someone. there's a different temperature ideal for each of us. menstrual cycle, menopause, pregnancy.

>> snoring.

>> a big one.

>> and you might just be a light sleeper . you know, for people who want to sleep apart, it's okay.

>> but we hear so much about the fact that there's a negative impact on your health.

>> some of us don't get rest.

>> how many years is this taking off my life?

>> it definitely causes premature aging . it causes many diseases we hope to prevent. there's also underlying issues and sleep disorders that you don't want to ignore.

>> what could it do to a relationship? because kathie and i were talking about this.

>> it's a statement.

>> it is a statement. both of you agree on the separate beds or separate bedrooms, then it works out. if it's only one of you who wants to do it, then of course you're going to have a partner who's upset about it. and i believe it really does build that wedge in the relationship. and it makes it much more at risk for more issues that may eventually end up in a break-up.

>> then you haven't dealt with the problem. but yet you've established a precedent.

>> exactly. we see if it's only one person wants to do it, usually there's some sort of an emotional conflict in the relationship and it becomes, you know, avoidance.

>> one person doesn't have any trouble sleeping . they're like, i'm fine. and the other person is the one who doesn't get any rest. i guess you have to weigh what's worse, not sleeping or harming your relationship.

>> the problem is, you don't want to fall asleep on the relationship. and that's the problem because if it's about your own selfish need to get sleep and you're not really attending to the needs of the partner, then that could be a real issue.

>> well, you brought a couple of items here that might solve some of the problems.

>> these are some simple things you can use if you decide i don't want to sleep apart but there's still that restlessness. this is called night wave. it emitts a blue light , a pulse, on the wall that you synchronize your breathing too. it helps you relax.

>> think about it like counting sheep. regulating your breathing and your rhythm.

>> oh, wow, okay.

>> it's like glow to sleep mask . there's little lights inside the mask you can focus on and that helps eliminate the worry and the intrusive thoughts.

>> it's not soft.

>> on the inside, it's tough, i would agree with you.

>> they'd be -- i don't know that that would look --

>> it really does work, but the other thing you see with that, it allows you to increase melatonin, production of melatonin, which makes you much more tired and allowed you to sleep.

>> naturally.

>> the last couple of things?

>> if your temperature is an issue, this pillow is a cooler fabric and it also has greater aeration so it will keep the temperature cool and the pillow sonic speaker blocks out noise that you might have problems with if you're a light sleeper .

>> thank you very much.