Survey: American Couples Have Trouble in Bed

Sleeping Together Can be a Nightmare for Couples

American couples reported they’re having trouble getting along in the bedroom and these problems are drastically affecting their sleep. The Better Sleep Council conducted a survey to explore the issues couples are experiencing in the bedroom.

Survey Shows Sleeping Together Can Be Problematic

American couples are are not spending every night together, and in fact many find that sleeping separately leads to a better night’s sleep.

Sleep separation solves slumber problems

The perfect night’s sleep means getting some space for most couples.

  • 63% of couples sleep most of the night separated
  • 26% of respondents reported sleeping better alone
  • 20% percent, or one in five, claim to “cling to their respective corners”
  • 9% percent, or almost one in 10, say they sleep in separate bedrooms
  • Almost 2 in 10 Americans say their dream home has separate master bedrooms

Women are losing more ZZZs than their partners

Women are more sensitive to their sleep environment than men.

  • 20% of men claim not to have any problems sleeping vs. 12% of women
  • 44% of women claim that tossing and turning keeps them up at night vs. 34% of men
  • 42% of women claim that snoring keeps them up at night vs. 20% of men
  • 60% of women say that their sleep environment keeps them awake more than their sleep partner, while only 48% of men make this claim

Young adults don’t sleep as well as older adults

Age impacts how greatly your sleeping environment affects you.

  • 66% of 18- to 34-year-olds claim to have issues sleeping
  • 53% of 35- to 54-year-olds claim to have issues sleeping
  • 49% of adults 55 and older claim to have issues sleeping

Aging leads to more distance in bed for couples

55-year-olds and older are the least likely to cuddle close and spoon (only 7% report doing this), compared to:

  • 19% of 18- to 34-year-olds
  • 15% of 35- to 54-year-olds

55-year-olds and older are more likely to sleep in separate bedrooms (only 16% do so), compared to:

  • 3% of 18- to 34-year-olds
  • 7% of 35- to 54-year-olds

Most Americans are not dozing off easily

A huge majority of American adults (85%) report they have problems sleeping at night and say it is due to:

  • Temperature in the room (43%)
  • Spouse/partner tossing and turning (40%)
  • Snoring (32%)
  • Mattress quality, age and/or firmness (28%)
  • Mattress size (10%)

Couples will do anything to get some shut-eye

We asked American adults in relationships to tell us the craziest things they’ve done to get around sleep issues with their partners. Here’s what some people said:

  • Ask him to sleep in the living room
  • I just try to remember there will come a day when I might not hear that snoring
  • I have perfected defensive sleeping. I cling to my side, waking up to rearrange my husband, so he won’t punch or kick me during the night. I use my feet to keep track of where he is. I also kick back.
  • Have a multitude of pillows that I can almost hide in to sleep
  • I only sleep in the bed with my partner for our alone time together and then I get up and go sleep in a recliner
  • When snoring becomes a problem I ask him to sleep in our spare room
  • Wear ear plugs
  • Wear ear muffs
  • I’ve changed my sleeping schedule
  • We take naps at different times of the day ALONE. That helps later that night. AND yes, we are retired (thank goodness).
  • I wear pajamas and a sweatshirt and use an afghan over our light blanket to keep me warm. My husband sleeps nude and likes only the light blanket. Now I’m warm enough, and I sleep very well.
  • I’m fine with the cool temps as long as I bundle up. Now we both sleep very well, right next to each other, always touching in some way.
  • If he starts the snoring routine, he is sent to the sofa
  • King-size comforter on a queen-size bed
  • Make more whoopee
  • Sleeping head to foot
  • Twin beds
  • We each use our own blankets
  • We usually put a pillow or blanket between us so he doesn’t roll over on me
  • I make him wear socks to bed so he doesn’t scratch me with his toenails
  • When feeling restless, I throw a blanket on the floor, and lie there till I get sleepy again

Survey Details: Conducted in September 2012 with a statistically representative sample of U.S. adults (18+) in a committed relationship; a sample size of 542 yields a confidence interval of 95% +/- 4.2% .

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