Ask E. Jean – The Benefits of Sleeping Alone


Dear E. Jean: I recently started to see a man who’s wonderful and so right for me in nearly every way. But he cannot fall asleep in the same bed with me! He says he “can’t sleep” with someone next to him. He’s so snugly, so affectionate, and good at the things one does in bed when we’re not sleeping, but every time he’s here and with me he ends up leaving in the middle of the night! I know this isn’t normal, and he has tried (he even fell asleep for an hour last night), but if this relationship progresses—and it has great potential—what do I do about this? We can’t have separate beds! This is not the ’50s! What would you suggest I do? —Abandoned in Bed

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Abandoned, my cuddlebug: For many discriminating individuals, the formal ritual of “sleeping together,” otherwise known as snoring, eructing, hiccuping, burping, kicking, cover-tugging, and letting the winds go free (read: Nabokov’s Ada), is best carried out in separate beds. Let the lad get his rest, for God’s sake!

According to a 2005 study by the National Sleep Foundation, 23 percent of partnered adults frequently sleep solo. It’s totally normal. But maybe you should buy a king-size bed in case he does decide to stay over, or just send the enticing bugger to Auntie Eeee. I promise I won’t sleep with him.

This letter is from the Ask E. Jean Archive, 1993-2017. Send questions to E. Jean at E.Jean@AskEJean.com.



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