With a visitor in town occupying the second bedroom of our Manhattan apartment, my three-year-old son, a infamous sideways sleeper, bunked with my pregnant spouse & me. plenty of snores & tiny feet in the back of my neck, I relocated to the couch, where I was lucky with the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months.
As a self-diagnosed insomniac, a nice night’s rest for me lasts anywhere from to hours. I usually break up the slumber with walks around the apartment, followed by lying awake & unearthing inconsequential paranoia that, come morning, won't live up to the hype. When I listen to people claim they get eight hours of sleep each night, they might as well be speaking about the Loch Ness Monster, or alien life. All are things I suppose it’s feasible someone may have encountered, but I cannot personally confirm their existence.
The sleeping conditions were sublime on that couch: a slight rain outside, the muffled traffic of Amsterdam Avenue, & the epiphany that I was sleeping alone—cushions, pillows, & silence all to myself. By the time I awoke, the pigeons were cooing on the windowsill. I had slept through a complete night.

 “It’s called enlarged mucus membranes. That’s what happens when you’re pregnant,” my spouse will portray on nights I reference her snoring. Her job in pregnancy is obvious. Mine is to lie awake, keep calm, & seldom, ever Google “pregnancy mucous membranes.” & I cannot confess to her that I slept better on the couch than in our bed. After all, we’re married, & married people sleep together.
“People don’t require to speak about it. It’s an unclean small secret,” says Lee Crespi, a New York City-based couples therapist. “There are individuals who say sleeping apart is not lovely because it fosters distance, but I think you can argue both ways. People do, in fact, sleep more soundly when they sleep alone.”

Years ago in the coursework of a dinner with friends, the topic turned to a married couple that not only slept in different beds, but different rooms. They were parents, they loved each other, & that was the arrangement that clicked. My spouse & I agreed that would not work for us, that it was important to sleep in the same bed no matter the challenge. of the perks of being in a relationship is waking up next to someone. Also, more practically, they lived in Manhattan & could not afford separate bedrooms.
 Sleep, much like walking a marathon or chewing food, is a solitary activity. They physically lie next to each other, but they sleep alone. So why did this practice originate? According to Virginia Tech professor Roger Ekirch, an historian and author of the book At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past, there was one time a financial incentive to sleeping together, as recently as the 1800s“

Even livestock often resided under the same roof, because there was no other structure to put them in, and they generated welcome warmth. Among the lower classes in preindustrial Europe, it was customary for an entire family to sleep in the same bed—typically the costliest item of furniture—if not to ‘pig’ together on a straw pile,” Ekirch says. “Genteel couples, for greater comfort, occasionally slept apart, especially when a spouse was ill.”
downton abbeyScreen grab/Downton AbbeyRobert and Cora Crawley.
 Television affirms this, but only partially. Charles and Caroline Ingalls shared a bed in the late 1800s on Tiny House on the Prairie, the cabin of which, true to the programs title, was far tiny for a relatives of six.

But Robert and Cora Crawley, who definitely had the funds to support separate snoozing quarters at Downton Abbey circa the early 1900s, still selected to toss and turn on the same mattress.
It appears our history of bunking together runs much deeper than financial necessity. They human beings are also terrified of the dark.

Night, mans first necessary wicked, inspired widespread fear before the Industrial Revolution,Ekirch says. Never did families feel more vulnerable than when they retired at night. Bedmates afforded a powerful sense of security, given the prevalence of perils, actual and imagined”from thieves and arsonists to ghosts, witches, and the prince of darkness himself.
We cuddle, we laugh and at the end of each day we remove the onerous cloaks we’ve donned to face the world, and we want to do this lying next to our best friends, to know we’re not in it alone
 Borrowing from another tv style, horror film fans know the safety of sleeping with a partner, under the covers, with the door shut.
Its when bedfellow goes on solitary reconnaissance to inquire in to a midnight noise that the chainsaw-wielding madman leaps out of the shadows. Nowadays, sleeping together has less to do with being afraid of witches or burglars, but the fear of a different, social devil.

The main issue is if you're not sleeping in the same bed, the perception is you're not having sex & people are afraid to admit to sleeping apart, Crespi says. I've seen it be problematic & not problematic. & a lot depends on what is going on in the relationship.
Witches, murderers, & marital sex aside, sleeping together has long been a bonding experience. 
Often a bedmate became your best mate. Not married couples, but sons sleeping with servants, sisters with another, & aristocratic wives with mistresses.

Darkness, within the intimate confines of a bed, leveled social distinctions despite differences in gender & status,Ekirch says. Most individuals did not readily fall sleep but conversed freely. Without light, bedmates coveted that hour when, often, formality & etiquette perished by the bedside.
 We sleep together not because it’s fiscally responsible, but because they are affectionate beings. Our minds need rest, but our minds also need camaraderie and intimacy and whispering. Anxiety and stress appear less intimidating when discussed with a partner while wearing pajamas. It’s important to speak about our days lying side by side, speak about children and household situations, gossip about neighbors and colleagues, plan for tomorrow in the confines of private chambers. They cuddle. They laugh. At the finish of each day they remove the burdensome cloaks we’ve donned to face the world, and they would like to do this lying next to our best friends, to know we’re not in it alone.
“We are creatures of attachment,” Crespi says. “We like to have anyone close, to be in nearness to other people.”
Even when they snore. when they sleep sideways.

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