Sleeping Solo No Longer Sign of Sour Marriage

It doesn't sounds sexy, but sleep experts say more and more married couples are living by the motto "Till Sleep Do Us Part."

One in four American couples sleep separately, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Dr. David Luterman, medical director of Baylor's Sleep Center, said he expects the number to grow.

"The husband will snore very loudly, and the wife will ask him to go get it fixed," he said. "Finally the wife says, 'I can't take this anymore.' She's not sleeping. She's moved out of the room. He gets serious (and) he comes in."

Two North Texas women said they made the first move and moved to the guest room.

"We sleep in different rooms -- actually in different beds -- and it's because he snores very bad," Janie Deubel said.

Billie Jean Cole also sleeps apart from her husband.

"That way if he wanted to stay up all night and play poker on the computer, and I could still sleep good," she said.

The National Home Builders Association estimates that 60 percent of custom-built homes will be constructed with two master bedrooms by 2015.

Mattress-makers are also capitalizing on the sleep separation, producing more dual-adjustable beds.

Christine Cook, president of Sleep Experts, said a two-mattress purchase is quite common.

"In the past, we'd seen that this skewed for older couples, but we are seeing younger and younger married couples coming in," she said. "In our busy lifestyles, sleep is important, and if it requires separate beds, then they're purchasing different beds."

But Luterman said couples should fix the sleep problem and get back in bed together.

"Patients talk in bed, wind down together," he said. "It's a part of the relationship that's missed when you're in separate rooms."

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