Ep 42 - Does sleeping apart spell relationship trouble? We think not.. with Bonnie Bliss
Bonnie Bliss is a Sematic Sexologist pleasure expert and women's embodiment teacher based in Australia. She has taught thousands of people all over the world in adult sex education, embodiment, sexual wellness, and pleasure.
Join us as we discuss the stigma and judgement associated with sleeping apart, the power and necessity of open communication, how to foster greater intimacy when you don’t sleep together, some options for compromise, the associated costs of separate rooms (including travel costs!) and we even share our own personal situation.
Listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast and more.
Broadcast: December 2, 2022
Here’s a snippet of the full podcast...
The importance of conversation..
I've spoken to people who've said they sleep really badly - maybe the partner snores or they wiggle around a lot or there's just some issue - one of them has insomnia or anxiety, or they just really struggle with bad sleep or they have health stuff going on and they're like, 'God, I would just love to have my own space'. What I notice with my work with intimacy coaching is a lot of people are hesitant to talk about this stuff in their relationships. There's this idea that if you're talking about anything related to your sex life, your intimate life, your relationship generally, that it means that something's wrong.
Relationships can take whatever form we choose.
.. we don't need to do things the way that we've been told. Like there's this idea that everything should be this particular traditional way - we can make our own relationships. We can make our own plans and fulfil our own desires and see what we need. And sometimes what we each need in a relationship might look very different to what we thought we needed at the start, or what our friends need, or what other people in society say they need. And there's no shame in that.
The importance of quality sleep for a healthy life.
And we know now there's a whole science of sleep and how important it is to wind down well and to just get a good restful sleep. And we know that sleep is when our bodies repair and restore themselves. And it's not just our energy levels and what happens the next day, but our longevity and capacity to nervous system regulate.
The importance of prioritising intimacy.
We get quite used to intimacy being an evening thing and a lot of people I know, they fall into bed together really late. They're exhausted. They've maybe had a massive day at work, or there's been a lot going on with parenting, or they've just got the kids down or you know, they just feel completely flat. And of course, that is not the greatest recipe for deeper intimacy, right? Just falling into bed together, sleeping in the same bed doesn't mean that you're likely to have better sex or even a good sex life. It doesn't necessarily have a bearing on that because it's a lot to do with how you take care of yourself and are you prioritising intimacy or connection in the relationship. And that can look like different things..
The small shifts to make things work.
It's just having those conversations and saying 'Hey, we've been doing this, but this isn't actually working for us, and what little shifts can we make?' And maybe that's creating a better sleep environment in the room that you both share. Or maybe it's finding some way to sleep separately some of the time, or for some people, most or all of the time.