Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Pillow Talk

It was 4 am and I was awake. Usually at that time I’d be dreaming up plans of grandeur and opulence. But, alas, I was awake. I tried counting backwards from 100 but my counting was interrupted by the drone of my beloveds snoring.

This all started when I was pregnant. There were many things I loved before that I started to dislike; ice cream was one of them – to my horror. There were many things I hadn’t noticed or even minded before that became a real issue e.g. my beloved's snoring. And although pregnancy is beautiful, it doesn’t lend itself well to sleeping. I used to wake up so much to use the bathroom and on my return one fateful evening; I heard the most alarming rattling noise. Opening the door to my bedroom, I was shocked to learn that the noise was coming from my beloved.

It became a real issue. His snoring would wake me up so much so, that I would ‘gently’ nudge him so that he could stop. My ‘gentle’ nudges turned into ‘gentle’ pushes and were often accompanied with angry mumblings and cries of ‘I can’t sleep’. I would wake up exhausted and worse for wear but, my beloved would be bright and fully alert. It got so bad that some nights, he would leave the bed for me to allow me to sleep. And as I lay on my memory foam bed on one of those nights, I could hear the rattling snoring buzz from my beloved over the sound of the TV, I started thinking…what if having separate rooms was the was a long term solution?

Sleep deprivation is actually used a form of torture, it’ll turn even the world’s best superhero a little nuts. It has been discovered that a lack of sleep can contribute to a greater risk of heart disease, diabetes and depression. Worse of all it can impact on your sex life because you are less likely to be in the mood and you probably won’t even have enough energy to initiate or reciprocate. We all know that once intimacy in marriage starts to diminish, the marriage may also start to diminish. So, what would it be like to have separate rooms?
If we had separate bedrooms it could mean that both of us would sleep a whole lot better. My beloved could snore to his hearts’ content without the fear of being nudged out of bed or being ranted at. My sleep wouldn’t be interrupted which means I’d wake up looking more like a beauty and less like a beast. I could roll from one side of the bed to the other, not being confined to flipping from side to side. I could spread out like a cat or lie curled up in a ball in the middle of the bed.
Individually, we would be to create our best sleeping environments; soothing music, cool air conditioning, warming electric blankets or reassuring side lights. And because each person has control over their sleeping environment, we would each have a higher quality of rest. When beloved and I are more relaxed, we are better lovers and we have fewer arguments over little annoying habits like leaving wet towels on neatly made beds or leaving all manner of hair products, weaves and wigs on display.

There is always the fear that not sharing bedrooms is the beginning of living separate lives. The left hand will not know what the right hand is doing; how could they if they only see each other to exchange pleasantries or share meals? There is something about sharing a room with someone that allows you to see them more clearly. In separate rooms, husband/wife could be ‘entertaining’ guests without the others knowledge and they could be nursing harmful habits or addictions. More importantly though, is the affect that this could have on our intimacy. If we no longer shared a bed, we don’t have that daily physical contact that is essential to create the mood for ‘things to happen’. Sex would probably be more planned and less spontaneous. Where would it happen? Would we take it in turns to host an encounter in our individual rooms or would we prefer neutral grounds like the living room? And what would happen after our ‘encounter’, would we both retreat to our separate rooms or would we issue each other with a day pass?

There are many reasons couples may choose to have separate rooms; nursing mothers of young babies may feel it’s better for them to spend evenings in the baby’s’ room to allow their husbands to rest before heading out to the office in the morning. What of the cases where husband and wife work different shifts to each other – one works morning shift, the other the night shift? They will unintentionally be sleeping separately; when one partner is awake the other is recharging to go to work.

In our culture, this isn’t a new phenomenon. Some of our grandparents and dare I say parents have been decorating their separate rooms long since ear plugs were invented. It appears though, that this trend may be making a reappearance. In February 2005, a survey conducted by the U.S. National Associate of Home Builders and architects predicted that more than 60% of custom houses would have dual master bedrooms by 2015. But for me, custom bedrooms/separate bedrooms/twin bedrooms, isn’t an option. As much as the snoring drives me crazy sometimes, I have decided to see it as his way of telling me that he’s alive and right beside me.