Why More Couples Sleep Apart with Age
Part of the reason why more couples are sleeping apart is because we’re all getting older. Age makes sleeping apart both more important and more possible. Here are some reasons why getting older leads to sleeping apart.
Perhaps the most important reason couples sleep apart as they age is that snoring worsens, which is more likely to drive them apart. Snoring worsens with age for both men and women.
For men, snoring largely increases with age because of weight gain. As men get older and less active, they are likely to gain more weight, contributing to snoring. Fat deposits on the neck can compress the airway more, and fat deposits on the tongue fill more airway space, resulting in a narrowed airway. This airway is also more likely to collapse completely, leading to sleep apnea–more about this later. In addition, reduced exercise can lead to less muscle tone, contributing to a sagging and closing airway.
For women, hormonal changes make a bigger impact on snoring. Young women have a much lower snoring rate than men their age, except during pregnancy. However, during menopause a woman’s risk of snoring increases until it’s almost equal that of men. Weight gain can also contribute to a woman’s increased risk of snoring.
If you find your snoring has worsened, we recommend scheduling a consultation with an Omaha sleep dentist to evaluate the possible risks to your health.
Physical Intimacy Is a Lower Priority
Another reason couples choose to sleep apart is that physical intimacy matters less to older couples. It’s true that older couples tend to have less sex than younger, newlywed couples, but that’s not the entire story. As couples bond over time they can establish deeper relationships built on emotional intimacy that helps bind them in addition to physical intimacy.
In addition, long-married couples often negotiate their relationship in ways that may not rely on the simple fact of physical closeness to ensure both partners are happy in their relationship.
Unfortunately, a loss of libido, sexual dysfunction, and decreased sexual pleasure are also symptoms of sleep apnea, commonly associated with snoring. If you find that a snorer has simply lost sexual drive or can’t enjoy sex, please schedule an appointment with an Omaha sleep dentist to evaluate potential causes.
Empty Nesters Have More Space
In addition, older couples are more likely to be able to sleep apart. Younger couples focused on building a family may set aside all the space in the home for children. However, as they get older and children move out to attend college, then live independently, older couples may find they have more unused space to convert to a separate bedroom.
Nor is this just related to children. A couple where one or both partners has retired might find that a home office is better.