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Sleep Divorce: Why Sleeping Separately Is a Growing Trend Among Couples

Currently, 27.5% say they regularly sleep in a separate bed to avoid their partner’s habits


Over the years, the trend of ‘sleep divorce’ has become more popular with couples, with celebrities such as Cameron Diaz preaching the benefits. Couples’ bedtime habits are a topic of wide discussion, with arguments galore as they try to navigate new and old nuisances – Mattress Online previously showed over half of Brits sleep separately at night to avoid them. But which bedtime habits annoy partners the most and how can separate sleeping improve relationships?

Mattress Online asked 5,000 Brits to reveal their biggest bedtime grievances with partners – firstly ‘sensory-related’ habits (e.g. snoring, room temperatures and smells), and then general bedtime-related habits (e.g. tossing and turning, hogging blankets). They also reveal the impact of these on their relationships.

Key findings:

  • Currently, 27.5% say they regularly sleep in a separate bed to avoid their partner’s habits
  • A quarter of Brits (24.3%) disagree over room temperature before bed – the biggest sensory nuisance among couples
  • Eating in bed comes in second at 23.7%, with 26.8% actually admitting to the habit
  • It takes 30% of Brits over an hour to go back to sleep if disturbed
  • Restless tossing and turning is the biggest general annoyance amongst Brits – at 18%
  • Almost a fifth (18%) of Brits sleep with a snoring pet – 15% claim this as their biggest annoyance
  • A third (33%) of Brits say sexual intimacy is affected by bedtime habits


We hope you find this information useful; if you wish to use it, we kindly ask that you credit appropriately with a link to Mattress Online, who commissioned the study.

The most common sensory grievances at bedtime

Please find the full survey results attached here.

The most common sensory nuisance amongst British couples is temperature disagreements at 24.3% – anything from leaving the bedroom window open to arguing about the heating. With the current hot temperatures, this doesn’t bode well for couples who can’t agree!

The second most annoying sensory habit is eating in bed, which leaves crumbs and other mess – 23.7% of respondents chose it as their biggest pet peeve at night. Interestingly, even more (26.8%) admitted to doing it themselves despite it annoying their partners!

This is followed in third by the well-known culprit – loud snoring! 17.6% of Brits name this as their biggest grievance.

The most common general grievances at bedtime

Mattress Online were also intrigued to investigate the worst general disturbances between couples, and they can reveal the top answer to be restless tossing and turning, which annoys 18.1% of people.

The second biggest annoyance is bringing work to bed on, for example, a laptop, with 16% choosing this as their biggest irk. Interestingly, a higher percentage (18.4%) admitted to the bedtime crime on a regular occurrence.

This is followed closely by sleeping with a snoring pet in third place. It’s easy to say yes to your dog’s pleading eyes, yet 15.1% of partners say it affects their sleep. Not only that, there are many alleged health concerns with sharing a bed with your pet.

Finally, Mattress Online were eager to investigate the strain annoying bedtime habits can have on a relationship – they found that:

  • Bedtime annoyances cause regular arguments amongst 30% of Brits
  • A third of people (33%) even say it has reduced sexual intimacy between a partner
  • Further still, one in 10 (10%) have broken up with a partner due to it


Bedtime annoyances can shatter a relationship’s foundations, which is why there has been an increasing number of people choosing to sleep in a separate bed from their partner. While the trend of ‘sleep divorce’ can reduce arguments between couples and strengthen relationships, it can also help improve a person’s quality of sleep by eliminating the grievances that might keep someone up at night.

Note to editors

We hope you find this information useful. If you wish to use it, we kindly ask that you credit appropriately with a link to Mattress Online, who commissioned the study. A linked credit allows us to keep supplying quality information that you may find helpful for future articles.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any further questions.


1. Mattress Online were eager to investigate which common bedtime habits annoy British couples the most, and how relationships have been affected by them.

2. They collaborated with the official survey company, to conduct a survey of 5,000 British residents between 18th May and 23rd May 2023.

  • Residents across age, gender, relationship status and profession were consulted for a reliable results base.
  • Respondents were firstly asked which ‘sensory-related’ bedtime habits annoy them the most, for example those related to hearing, smelling and temperatures. They were then asked the same, but for general bedtime annoyances like hogging blankets, frequent bathroom tips, and tossing and turning.
  • These were followed with questions like how often they are disrupted by bedtime habits, their most annoying general bedtime habit, their most annoying sensory bedtime habit, how many of them were guilty of any of the listed bedtime habits, if you have been confronted/confronted your partner about any habits, and how much they have impacted your sleep and relationships.


3. The results were collected across respondents, and final conclusions were drawn. Please find the full survey results attached here.


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