Dear Mrs. R – An Advice Series for Women of All Ages
I am so excited to bring you another installment of Dear Mrs. R. This week I address a Reader’s question about peri-menopause and sleep.
In an effort to protect my readers privacy, I will refer to only a First Name and Last Initial when posting to Dear Mrs. R. So, please do not worry about your confidentiality as it will be protected. That’s my promise to you! Also, I will not publish any question without the express permission of my readers.
This week I chose a question from Lori A., Lori asks:
Dear Mrs. R, My name is Lori and I’m one of your blog subscribers. First, I wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying your Dear Mrs. R series. You really seem to hit on some tough topics. I guess when you said there is no question too big you really meant it lol. Well, I have finally got the courage to send you this email with my question and I’m a little embarrassed to ask so I’m just going to jump in, ok?
I’m 49 years old and have been experiencing peri-menopause symptoms. I get the usual hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, you know and all the lovely little extras that go along. There is one issue that I don’t have a solution for and that’s sleeplessness. I know a lot of it has to do with the night sweats and flashes but I’m finding it difficult to sleep in the same bed as my husband. I always end up moving to the couch which isn’t very comfortable. His body heat radiates through the sheets and I think it causes me to have more night sweats than I should. I’m also always worried about waking him up when I get out of bed multiple times to go to the bathroom, move to the couch, pace the house when I can’t sleep.
One night I was so tired and sore that I skipped going to the couch and ended up sleeping in our guest room. Mrs. R, it was the best night’s sleep that I have had in a very long time. I have been thinking about permanently moving into the guest room and make it my room! But, I feel like I’m going to start problems with my husband. When I go into that room it makes me feel like it’s a safe haven, I can keep it as cold as I need it and I don’t have to worry about bothering my husband. But, secretly sleeping in there has been such a god send. I actually feel like I’m getting the rest that I need.
Do you think I’m being selfish and do you think it’s appropriate for a wife not to share the same bed as her husband?
This post contains affiliate links to products I recommend and have personally read with the exception of Dr. James Hamblin’s new book, If Our Bodies Could Talk. I recommend his book based on his interviews on the same subject discussed here.
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Boy, Oh, Boy … I really love your question! I’m so glad you sent it in. I have heard from a few of my Readers for this same reason. Quite a few of them, while already feeling guilty, sweaty and totally unattractive, have contemplated this same thing, sleeping in separate bedrooms from their husbands.
Here’s a little secret 😉 … my husband and I have separate bedrooms! Yes, ma’am we do. When I was going through severe hot flashes, night sweats and terrible mood swings I moved out of our bedroom. At first, I did it in anger which was really just the mood swings I was experiencing. My poor husband thought for sure divorce was emanate. We didn’t speak for a couple of weeks.
Looking at it in hindsight, I did it because I needed my own space. I couldn’t sleep next to him without going into a hot flash which would last for approximately an hour each time. He likes to keep the room warm, I need the artic. I’m a night owl, he’s a morning person. I like a softer bed, he likes a hard bed. So, it came to my attention that after 18 years of marriage we were complete opposites. I was just going along with what I thought “should” be. You know, a couple “should” sleep in the same bed.
A few weeks later, my husband and I sat down to talk about it. I better explained to him what my problems were. I also told him how I felt about disturbing him every night by getting in and out of bed. I knew it was taking a toll on him as much as it was on me.
He admitted that it hurt him at first but after letting some time pass he realized that he was sleeping better than ever. He was able to get to sleep earlier. He also admitted that he was finally feeling refreshed when he woke up for work at 4am. His job performance was much better and he was less cranky.
I smiled at him while he was telling me this because I knew it was taking it’s toll on him. I told him that I was getting better sleep, my hot flashes weren’t as consistent, my joints didn’t ache as much and I felt less cranky than usual. Lori, 3 years has passed since then and we still have separate bedrooms. We both love it.
I know it’s a widely held belief that couples “should” be sharing the same bed. But, at what price? The price of your sanity, your health, your job? I don’t think so. If you feel that sleeping in the same bed as your husband is having an adverse effect in your daily lives then I suggest you just give it a trial run. Don’t do what I did … that was really counterproductive on my part but thankfully it did turn out for the better.
Sit down and discuss it with your husband. Let him know it’s just a trial run to see how it works for you as a couple. Just because you are not sharing the same bed doesn’t mean your marriage is in turmoil, there is a lack of sexual interest or you are both unhappy. You both just want a “good” night’s sleep and if that means separate beds … then so be it … if for nothing else do it for your health.
I’ll give you a little heads up, you will also find that sex can be a bit steamier than you thought possible as well. Sometimes, my husband will text me and invite me for a night cap in his room complete with music and candles. There are times, I will invite him to my room to watch a movie, eat popcorn and enjoy a nice massage … which always leads to the Big Badda Boom … it puts a nice little spin on the ordinary, don’t you think? Imagine all the possibilities.
Lori, don’t let social convictions dictate the health and well being of your family. If you feel this is something that will benefit you both then give it a try. You won’t know until you at least try. You both may feel that this has been the best thing that has happened in the long run.
I’m going to leave you with a few recommended books on the subject in case you would like to dig a little deeper. But, really I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. You are not being selfish you are a forward thinker. xo
If you have a question you would like me to address, please send an email to email@example.com. I will do my very best to give you a well researched answer and hopefully together we can come up with a solution. There are no questions too big or too small!
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See you in the comments,