When Did Married Couples Start Sleeping In The Same Bed? The tradition of couples sleeping in the same bedroom is almost as old as marriage itself. In recent years, however, there has been a trend towards “solo retreat”—or separate beds for husband and wife.
As recently as the 1970s, it was most common for couples to share the same bed. The popularity of twin-sized mattresses (a trend that began in the 1930s) during that decade encouraged partners to share their beds more regularly.
However, the question arises, when did this practice begin? Was it a norm from the very beginning of human civilization or did it take some time to develop?
Today, sleeping in the same bed may seem like a natural and straightforward choice, but this was not always the case.
In fact, the history of couples sharing a bed together dates back to ancient civilizations, where it was often seen as a practical solution to cold temperatures and the need for physical protection.
In this post, I dive into the history of the custom of married couples sharing a bed as well as how it has changed over time.
When Did Married Couples Start Sleeping In The Same Bed?
Married couples sleeping in the same bed has been practiced since ancient times, with evidence of this behavior discovered in numerous societies throughout history.
Couples sharing a bed was widespread in ancient Egypt, as demonstrated by hieroglyphics and artwork from the time period. However, in ancient Greece, couples were more likely to sleep separately, with the husband sleeping in a separate room.
Couples sharing a bed was popular in Europe during the Middle Ages, albeit the beds themselves were generally fairly small and narrow.
It wasn’t until the Renaissance period that larger beds became more common, and couples began to have more space to sleep comfortably together.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, the practice of couples sharing a bed became more widespread and accepted in Western societies.
However, it was still not considered the norm in some cultures, and there were still some individuals who preferred to sleep separately.
Today, the vast majority of married couples in Western societies sleep in the same bed. However, with changing societal norms and the rise of sleep disorders, there is a growing trend toward couples choosing to sleep separately for practical or health reasons.
Why Did Married Couples Stop Sleeping In Twin Beds?
The mid-20th century was a time when married couples frequently slept on twin beds, especially in America. The trend started in the 1950s and 1960s, as it was believed to be a more modern and practical sleeping arrangement.
The popularity of sleeping together again among couples, however, caused this habit to start fading in the 1970s and 1980s.
There were several reasons why married couples stopped sleeping in twin beds. One reason was the changing cultural norms around sexuality and intimacy.
As society became more accepting of sexual expression and less repressed, the idea of sleeping in separate beds was seen as less necessary and even a hindrance to intimacy.
Additionally, the idea of romantic love and the importance of physical closeness between partners gained more prominence, which made sharing a bed more appealing.
Another reason why twin beds fell out of favor was due to changes in bedroom design. It got simpler to fit a larger bed that could comfortably fit two people as bedrooms grew bigger and more comfortable.
Additionally, advancements in mattress technology, such as the introduction of memory foam and adjustable bases, made it easier for couples to customize their sleeping experience and find a comfortable sleeping arrangement together.
Finally, it was challenging to obtain lodgings with two separate beds in the same room, which was considered cumbersome for couples that traveled.
This inconvenience contributed to the growing preference for shared beds, as couples found it easier to maintain their preferred sleeping arrangements while traveling.
Why Did Married Couples Sleep Separately?
The reasons for married couples sleeping apart have varied across countries and eras throughout history, but it has been a frequent practice.
Some of the most frequent explanations for married couples having their own beds are as follows:
Married couples may have slept apart to lower the danger of infection in the past because it was thought that sleeping near together could cause the transmission of infections and diseases.
Sleeping preferences can vary widely between individuals, and one partner’s sleeping habits may disturb the other’s sleep. For example, one partner may snore, toss and turn, or prefer a different level of firmness in the mattress. Sleeping separately could help both partners get a better night’s sleep.
Sharing a bed with a spouse was frowned upon in some cultures, particularly in the early years of a union. Sleeping separately could provide more privacy and allow each partner to maintain a sense of independence.
In some cases, sleeping separately was a symbol of wealth and social status. Wealthy couples often had separate bedrooms, with the master bedroom reserved for entertaining guests.
Certain religious beliefs discourage or prohibit physical intimacy between partners, and sleeping separately may be seen as a way to uphold these beliefs.
Married couples have slept separately for a variety of reasons, including concerns about health, comfort, privacy, status, and religion. However, the practice has become less common in modern times as cultural norms and sleeping habits have evolved.
Best Beds For Married Couples
Finding a mattress and bed frame that satisfy the comfort and support needs of both spouses can be difficult when choosing a bed for a married couple.
Here are some factors to consider when selecting the best bed for married couples:
➤ Size: The size of the bed is a crucial factor for couples, as it affects both comfort and intimacy. The ideal option for couples is typically a king-size bed because it provides enough room for both people to sleep comfortably without feeling crowded.
➤ Firmness: The ideal firmness level varies depending on personal preference and body type. However, in general, a medium-firm mattress is a good option for couples as it offers a balance of support and comfort.
➤ Motion Isolation: A bed with good motion isolation can reduce the amount of movement transfer between partners, minimizing disruptions during sleep. Memory foam and latex mattresses are known for their excellent motion isolation properties.
➤ Temperature regulation: Couples may have different temperature preferences when sleeping. Look for a mattress with cooling features such as gel-infused foam, breathable materials, or moisture-wicking fabrics to keep both partners comfortable.
➤ Support: Proper support is essential for reducing pressure points and ensuring proper spinal alignment. Consider a mattress with targeted support such as zoned support or hybrid mattresses that offer a combination of support and comfort.
➤ Adjustable base: An adjustable bed base can allow couples to adjust the position of the bed to their preferred sleeping positions, reducing discomfort and promoting better sleep.
Selecting the best bed for married couples requires consideration of several factors, including size, firmness, motion isolation, temperature regulation, support, and adjustable features.
Choosing the right bed can help both partners get a good night’s sleep, promote intimacy, and enhance overall well-being.
Why Do Married Couples Sleep In Same Bed?
Several factors influence married couples’ decision to share a bed, including:
1. Intimacy: Sleeping together encourages physical contact and a sense of closeness, which fosters intimacy and a sense of community.
2. Physical protection: Couples sometimes sleep in the same bed to reduce the risk of getting attacked, making them feel more secure.
3. Comfort: Sharing a bed can make sleeping more comfortable and reduce nighttime disturbances.
4. Flexibility: Sleeping in the same bed may be more convenient when one spouse has work obligations after hours or during the weekend.
5. Health benefits: Sleeping in a narrow area limits blood flow and helps regulate body temperatures that are higher during pregnancy, flu season, or hygienic conditions such as morning sickness.
6. Sexual Satisfaction: Couples may choose to sleep in the same bed in order to improve sexual satisfaction.
7.. Improved Sleep: Sleeping in the same bed can give couples a more restful sleep and allow them to wake up without disturbing each other.
Before humans started sleeping together as husband and wife, there were many cultures that encouraged it.
Many married couples share a bed since it can be the first place they’ve slept together or because it’s the most comfortable spot for them to do so.
Sharing a bed may also be a way for couples to establish a more intimate relationship, going beyond physical attraction. As with other traditions, such as exchanging rings and kissing in public, sleep sharing is sometimes used as an informal practice of courtship before marriage.
Why Do Married Couples Sleep In Same Bed?
Married couples sleep in the same bed for several reasons, including intimacy, comfort, convenience, emotional support, sexual satisfaction, and improved sleep. Sharing a bed can promote a closer and stronger bond between partners, leading to greater happiness and overall well-being.
When Did Western Couples Start Sleeping In The Same Bed?
During the 19th century, sharing a bed with a married couple became more typical in Western countries. Couples used to frequently sleep in separate beds or even rooms before that.
This was caused by a number of things, such as worries about cleanliness, social customs, and the practicality of sharing a bed with kids or other family members.
However, sharing a bed became increasingly socially acceptable and common with the start of the Industrial Revolution, the development of the middle class, and improvements in cleanliness practices.
Most married couples in Western cultures were sharing a bed by the middle of the 19th century. The availability of larger, more comfortable beds and the cultural shift towards valuing intimacy and emotional connection in marriage also contributed to the popularity of sleeping in the same bed.
Today, sharing a bed with a spouse or partner is considered a normative practice in Western cultures.
What Percentage Of Married Couples Sleep In Separate Beds?
It is challenging to determine precisely what percentage of married couples sleep in separate beds, as studies on this topic have produced varying results. According to some research, up to 25% of married couples sleep in separate beds or bedrooms at least occasionally.
The percentage of couples that sleep apart can, however, differ significantly based on a variety of variables, including relationship happiness, age, health, and sleeping patterns.
For example, older couples are more likely to sleep separately due to health issues or snoring, while younger couples may choose to sleep in separate beds due to work schedules or different sleep preferences.
It’s worth noting that sleeping in separate beds or bedrooms does not necessarily indicate problems in a relationship. Some couples find that sleeping separately helps them get better quality sleep and can even improve their relationship by reducing sleep-related conflicts.
In the end, each couple must decide for themselves based on their particular requirements and preferences whether to sleep in separate beds or together.
Did Couples Sleep In Separate Beds In The 50s?
Yes, it was common for married couples to sleep in separate beds during the 1950s, especially on TV shows and movies where married couples were often portrayed as sleeping in twin beds. This was due, in part, to the prevailing cultural norms and beliefs, which valued humility and decorum in both public and private life.
The image of married couples as chaste and respectable resulted from a fear of sexual promiscuity and a focus on maintaining the purity of marriage.
Additionally, since beds were frequently smaller and less comfortable than they are now, separate beds were also a practical consideration in the 1950s.
Separate beds were more practicable since couples were more likely to have large families and because it was typical for kids to sleep in the same room as their parents.
Sleeping in the same bed as a married couple, however, became more acceptable and even expected as the 20th century went on due to more liberal ideas on sex and marriage. Today, sharing a bed with a spouse or partner is considered a normative practice in Western cultures.
In conclusion, the practice of married couples sharing a bed has a long and fascinating history, evolving over time and varying across cultures.
Despite changes in societal norms and modern trends towards separate sleeping arrangements, the tradition of sharing a bed remains an enduring symbol of intimacy and closeness in many marriages.
The cultural and societal norms of the time have had a significant impact on how couples have slept together throughout history.
In the end, sharing a bed is a behavior that is essential to intimate partnerships, and whether or not to do so should depend on personal tastes and requirements. Despite the changing times and customs, the desire for intimacy and connection between couples remains a constant.