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Bert and Ernie might have had a point. Our favourite Sesame Street characters were famous for their separate beds – no Morecambe and Wise-style sharing for this comedy duo. And it seems that more and more couples are taking their lead.
New research from bed brand Sealy UK shows that over one third (36 per cent) of couples that live together regularly ditch our partners and sleep alone. And one in ten of us sleep separately all year round. What's more, it could be doing wonders for our love lives.
The survey questioned 1,000 people from around the UK. And interestingly, those aged 24-35 are most likely to sleep apart (21 per cent), as are those living in the south of England (62 per cent).
It's not necessarily every night – only 10 per cent admitted it was a permanent thing. But a fifth of couples will choose to sleep in a different bed to their partner at least one night a week.
So what's driving us apart? Snoring seems to be the biggest culprit. 48 per cent of those asked admitted they moved to escape their other's half's wheezing. Tossing and turning came second with 27 per cent of the vote, while 20 per cent said they just preferred having the bed to themselves. Presumably so they can spread out, starfish style.
Even if they don't want to sleep with their partner, for some it's still important to have something to cuddle up with – 10 per cent of those asked said they preferred sleeping with a beloved pet!
'Getting a good night’s sleep can impact on so many aspects of our lives,' says Neil Robinson, Sealy’s Chief Sleep Officer. 'From efficient memory function to positive mood, improved energy levels and general wellbeing.'
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'The research findings are particularly fascinating, as we would commonly expect couples to share a bed when they sleep. However, rather than viewing sleeping in separate beds as a negative, it's really just a reflection of our evolving sleep behaviour. Couples are placing increased emphasis on getting quality slumber time.'
If it's good enough for our future king and queen, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, it's good enough for us!
Amy Cutmore is Editor-in-Chief, Homes Audience, working across the Future Homes portfolio. She works on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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