What Are Some of the Common Myths About Love and Sleep?

Being in love is a beautiful feeling and one that guides us through empathetic, compassionate, and passionate relationships with our partners. While the love may be strong, it comes as no surprise that every relationship brings about certain challenges. Some of those challenges come from external pressures, societal expectations, and shady comments shared around the dinner table. We hope that by the end of this article, you can build a more trusting relationship that revolves around what matters most to you and your partner, not the preconceived ideas of how you should be living your relationship.

You Shouldn’t be Sleeping in Separate Beds

‘Sleep divorce’ is a dangerous phrase shared by couples and individuals with the belief that sleeping in separate beds is a sign of a toxic marriage (1). This old-fashioned notion could not be further from the truth as many couples amicably agree to the decision. These kinds of private decisions are made with each party’s best interests in mind, designed to bridge the gap between common concerns that certain couples are unwilling to talk about. Maybe a partner suffers from sleep apnea, troubling the other and disturbing their sleep, for example (2). One partner can sleep undisturbed while the other is not constantly worrying that they are making the other’s sleep more uncomfortable. Conscious and collaborative decision-making sits at the core of a successful relationship, and one should dismiss the notion that having an open and honest discussion about sleeping in separate beds is taboo.

You Shouldn’t Go To Bed Angry

The idea that you should not go to bed angry perpetuates gaslighting culture as it calls for one partner to forego their feelings or emotions for the sake of keeping the peace (3). Couples should be able to openly and freely talk about their emotions, even those with anger. In many cases, problem-solving takes time and couples need to sleep on it in order to wake up with a fresh perspective. Researchers believe that a more compassionate approach to this myth is to shift the idea from ‘don’t go to bed angry’ to ‘don’t fight before bed’ (4). This validates each partner’s emotions and encourages them to avoid unnecessary confrontation before bed rather than try to resolve the most complex parts of their relationship in an unnecessarily abrupt amount of time before bed. 

Sex Will Help You Sleep Better

While there may be some level of truth to the myth, it is completely subjective (5). Orgasms can and do make some individuals feel more relaxed as specific relaxing hormones like oxytocin are released during an orgasm. However, the myth does not account for the range of complex behaviors and internal activities that occur when one sleeps. Some people experience night terrors, waking up in a panic and subsequently disturbing their partner’s sleep. Other people may suffer from insomnia, a disorder where an orgasm will do little to assist in the sleep department. 

Morning People and Night Owls do not Work

The myth that two people with different behaviors cannot get along and do not belong together is an age-old idea that is spread across various areas of relationships. With regards to sleeping together, the myth suggests that night owls and morning people cannot get along. While couples that may have different sleep-wake cycles might naturally spend a little less time together than others, partners can still prioritize each other during the windows that they are both awake and active.

Furthermore, couples can and do enjoy loving relationships while still maintaining a level of their own, individual independence. Couples can spend that time focusing on the things that bring them personal fulfillment, whether that be passion projects or learning something new, without having to experience the fear of disturbing each other. Furthermore, couples who are up late can still make time to cuddle with their partners that fall asleep early and then carry on going about their business after that. Compromise is critical to enjoying a successful relationship, after all (6). 

Men Are Better Sleepers

Unfortunately, men are more prone to snoring. So this myth has been flipped on its head. In fact, the underlying data still suggests that in general, men are more likely to experience sleep disturbances and women get more sleep overall (7). But even so, every individual sleeps differently and one cannot merely sweep the statement across all men and women. Sleep behaviors are completely dependent on the individual’s emotional and physical wellbeing rather than their gender. Therefore, we need to be more respectful in discussions about who sleeps better than the other. 

Spooning is the Most Comfortable Sleeping Position for Couples

Another myth perpetuated that does not take into account each individual’s personal preferences is the idea that spooning is the most comfortable sleeping position for couples. That may be true for some, but others may strongly disagree. Some individuals sleep on their stomachs while others sleep on their backs. Everyone has their own preferred sleeping style and couples should instead investigate a position that works best for both parties rather than living a relationship on the assumption that spooning is most comfortable for both (8). 

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