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Family 411: Sleeping Apart

CINCINNATI (Sheila Gray) -- Want to know the key to a happy marriage?
A study out of Toronto says for up to 40 percent of couples it's sleeping in separate beds.

Newlywed Chloe Hamilton says, "I'd rather sleep with him. Maybe that's change after a couple of years of him being on the same shift, I'll be like, can you sleep on the couch?"

Women have mixed emotions about the idea, but not everyone's surprised to hear that some couples think separate beds make for a better relationship.

Mike Lasalle of Mattress Innovations has a vast knowledge of the way people sleep.

He said, "When my dad started the company, I delivered after cross country practice 'til 9:00 at night."
Mike and his brother, Murphy, own Mattress Innovations.  He says it's part of the job to see everyone's house, where they sleep and how they do it.  Sometimes you see two full sized mattresses or two queens; even two king sized beds in one bedroom!  Mike has a theory after 16 years in the sleep business.

"I think from time to time, 25 percent or 1 in 4 Americans probably do on a weekly or nightly basis sleeps in another room," he tells Local 12's Sheila Gray.

Mike is right on target.  The National Association of Homebuilders reports about 25 percent of all high-end houses being built in the last couple of years have dual master bedrooms.  This isn't about an unhappy marriage, it's definitely about the sleep.

A lot of couples may be too embarrassed to admit they sleep in separate beds.  One marriage counselor says that may be because they're confusing sleeping together with intimacy.

"They assume somehow that intimacy, closeness, kissing and loving goes away if you're not sleeping in the same spot," said Dr. Bruce Kline.

Dr. Bruce Kline says couples sleep separately for any number of reasons, "Somebody snores, sleep apnea, diabetes, and they're up in the night."

Busier work schedules or opposite shifts.  And most anyone would admit they're not exactly at their best when they don't get a good night's sleep.  Dr. Kline says what's important is not the sleep arrangement, it's the work you put in during the waking hours.

"Do you take the time to connect?  Do you take the time to be positive to enhance your relationship," Kline said.

And he says if the sleep situation is about distance, it might take some extra work to close that distance.  Mike says it could just take a new mattress.

Now if you are having sleep trouble with your partner you might want to talk to your doctor.  Sleep experts say remove electronics from your bedroom and create a dark, quiet sleep environment.  They also recommend investing in a good mattress.

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