Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today

Happy African American couple



Rewards for Good: Test Your Retirement Smarts






AARP Games - Play Now!

Most Popular



Separate Beds Can Bring Couples Closer

If you or your spouse are suffering restless nights, consider sleeping apart

En español | Most couples enter long-term relationships assuming they'll share the same bed for life. But after the age of 50, sharing a sleeping space can strain relationships and ruin sex. You might feel more loving toward one another — and enjoy sex more — if you slept in separate beds, or even different rooms.

See also: 5 habits of successful couples.

I marvel at my 20-something kids' ability to sleep soundly almost anywhere on sofas, airplanes, air mattresses, even on the floor — without regard to sunlight or even loud noises. I used to be able to do that, too. But now, if the room isn't silent and pitch dark, I'm tossing and turning. Speaking of tossing and turning, my wife, Anne, does a fair amount of it, which wakes me. But who am I to complain? Most nights, I snore like a chain saw, which sometimes drives her into the guest room.

I LOVE LUCY, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, 1951-1957 in separate beds that can bring couples together

If restless nights are sapping your energy for lovemaking, try sleeping in separate beds like Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. — Courtesy Everett Collection

It took years of complaining about my snoring before Anne could bring herself to leave our shared bed for quieter surrounding. She believed deeply that "till death do us part" included sleeping arrangements. Anne tried earplugs and stabbing me with sharp elbows. I tried training myself to sleep on my side, the position that minimizes snoring, and sewing a tennis ball into a pocket on the back of my pajama tops to make sure I wouldn't sleep on my back, the position that makes snoring most likely. I also tried using a special pillow and abstaining from alcohol within three hours of retiring. Everything helped, but nothing solved the problem.

Then Anne started emailing me information about expensive gadgets and even more costly palate-reduction or -stiffening surgery that claimed to end snoring once and for all. The gadgets did not inspire confidence, and I was not about to spend a fortune for surgery when all one of us had to do was relocate across the hall.

Meanwhile, after my snoring disrupted Anne's sleep for a few consecutive nights, my kind, loving and understanding, not to mention alluring, bride became no less alluring, but somewhat less kind, loving and understanding.

This strained things out of bed — and dampened her enthusiasm for that other thing we do in bed.

What to consider before you abandon a noisy bedmate. »

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Member Benefits HomeServe

Members can protect their homes with comprehensive repair plans from HomeServe.

grocery coupon center member benefit aarp

Members can print savings coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by

Membership Discount Benefit Pet Plan Dog

Members save 10% on Petplan pet insurance premiums when purchasing a policy online.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.