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Is it normal to sleep in separate beds during pregnancy?

My wife and I made a pact early on in our relationship that, no matter how big an argument we had before bedtime, we would never sleep in separate rooms.

And yet, during the first trimester of our first pregnancy, we have now slept apart three times over the past month alone…not due to any argument, I must stress, but rather as a direct result of the pregnancy itself.

So in today’s blog I ask, is this new change in our bedtime routine perfectly normal or are we headed into dangerous territory?


The reasons for the change in sleeping arrangements have started innocently enough.

As you know, my poor wife has been suffering from all the worst side effects of early pregnancy, with the most notable symptoms being constant nausea and severe fatigue. Unfortunately this means that if she doesn’t get a solid 8 hours of sleep each night, she has been known to turn into a serious monster.

The snag is, I am a relentlessly restless sleeper as well as a world champion snorer… seriously, I could win awards for the decibels my nightly grunts can reach (or so I’m told, frequently, through gritted teeth). Conversely my wife is the lightest sleeper imaginable, woken by the smallest noise or slightest movement – perfectly suited bedtime companions I hear you say? If only…

As a result, on two occasions when the snoring has been particularly bad, I’ve graciously moved myself to the spare room (soon to be the baby’s nursery) to give the wife a restful night of uninterrupted sleep.

Luckily for me, sleeping alone, spread out diagonally across the bed, on my back, snoring with abandon is one of my all time favourite things to do, so I don’t mind one bit.

Our most recent experience of parting ways at bedtime came after I was struck down with a severe case of the Man Flu / a cold, so again we slept apart to:

  1. Avoid passing on my infection to her and the baby
  2. Save her from having to listen to me cough, sniff and splutter, on repeat, every 2 minutes for the entire night.

Fair enough (and poor woman), I hear you say. But given how easy it has been to slip into this new routine, my concern is:

Where will it end?

Because, as the baby’s arrival draws nearer, I know that sleep will become an increasingly valuable commodity, which most new parents would do almost anything to acquire.

Woman sleeping in her bedCreative Commons License simpleinsomnia via Compfight

I can already think of a growing number of new excuses that we might feasibly use to justify why we should keep sleeping apart;

  • I’ve got a big meeting tomorrow so need a full night of uninterrupted sleep…
  • I was up all night with the baby yesterday – it’s your turn tonight…
  • I’m going to be back late tonight, so don’t want to wake you…

Will this new distance between us mean we drift apart as a married couple? Will we ever have sex again?! Will sleeping apart have some unintended psychological impact on our kids? Or will the extra sleep actually make us better partners and more patient parents?

Only time will tell! Just 28 weeks left to go…

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog. If you’ve been through this all before or are experiencing the same thing with your partner at this very moment, please do share your own stories via the comments section below!

For more advice on pregnancy, birth and parenthood, my new book YOU THE DADDY: The Hands-on Dad’s Guide to Fatherhood, is OUT NOW to buy.


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  1. Josh
    22nd November 2019 / 2:45 pm

    Only 2 months ago me and my wife found out she was pregnant, we are both happy but at bed times she decides to sleep in the spare room and I am
    Alone in the main bedroom , we Never used to and used to share a bed, we only said to have the spare bed when on opposite shifts but now it’s come a permanent thing and I would never stop her doing what she wants to if she feels uncomfortable when pregnant with all the cramps but I feel lonely and would want her back with me so was wondering if this was normal to sleep in separate beds ?

      22nd November 2019 / 4:49 pm

      Hi Josh – from what I’ve heard, lots of couples do it, especially during pregnancy and in the first few months after the baby arrives. Sleep deprivation is the biggest buzz killer and argument instigator, so I’m all for doing whatever we can to get more sleep. Just make sure you spend some 1:1 quality time together during the day to show you’re there for each other…

      • Josh
        5th January 2020 / 1:00 am

        Just seen this now and we are a close couple and spend tine together when we can when we are not working and everything seems normal, we kiss cuddle and love our company together so it just baffled me why she wants to sleep in the spare room and not next to me

  2. Jean
    3rd June 2019 / 9:57 pm

    Am 37 weeks and Newley wed but I just suggested I should sleep in my own bed just to feel comfortable the last weeks of pregnancy are hell yo back yo body everything seems to make you fell uncomfortable so sleeping in my own bed and room feels comfy ..

  3. Bob Hester
    24th February 2019 / 6:48 pm

    How about if you are just at your wits end with the way you are being the harsh 2nd tri? I just finally decided Id sleep in another bed for the night, after complaining about my moving, yelling, and constant new put downs even about the names I come up with for our on the way baby boy. I gave up. I went to sleep in the other bed, shut down, and just ended with “leave me alone”. I think shes more comfortable, but actually so am I, but now its gotten to the point where we aren’t speaking much to each-other. I know. Sounds immature, and it is. But my real question is in sleeping in another bed, can that leave long term harm on the relationship?

  4. Eve
    4th January 2018 / 3:02 am

    Nice of you to take the settee I’m 6 months pregnant and I have to sleep on the settee while he gets some sleep even though I’m up at 6am for work , he yells when I snore which leaves me crying for hours and feeling like an absolute beast about it , I’ve resigned myself to the fact I’ll be doing the night feeds and sleeping downstairs just to save the arguing

      4th January 2018 / 9:54 am

      Oh gosh Eve – you poor thing. Not a fair situation for you. I really hope he changes his ways very soon and realises his responsibilities as a father and partner to you. X

    • victoria England
      25th April 2021 / 1:20 am

      Hi eve im am in the same way as you so your not alone been on the sofa for ages now cos of my snoring and he will be working when the baby’s here so he doesn’t want to be woken up cos I will still be on the sofa after that for ages I guess I just feel by then I wouldn’t be able to get back in to a bed cos of being on the sofa for so long?

  5. 19th April 2016 / 1:30 pm

    Aw man that is a tough one! If she is planning on breastfeeding, the baby may (just possibly) end up in the bed half way through the night and thus, leaving you no space on your half of the bed for fear of rolling over the baby. This is my current situation. I’m going to be honest, it definitely has affected our sex life and in general the intimacy between us because bed time was our time to snuggle and be together. But we are finding new ways and have tried to do a date night at least once a month with just us. I don’t want to be one of those parents giving advice because every relationship and baby is different but if it is possible try and spend as much time together as you can, it will drastically diminish after the baby (based on experience)!

    • youthedaddy
      19th April 2016 / 1:32 pm

      Great advice! Thanks so much…definitely agree with you how important it is to maintain your relationship when the new baby arrives. I’ll definitely be instigating a monthly date night or two when our little one arrives! Thanks again for sharing

  6. 9th March 2016 / 10:25 am

    I am currently reading this while on our couch while the SO is in bed snoring away.
    It has been like this almost every night for a month now. Like you, it is not because of fighting or anything of the sort, but sometimes the couch just feels much better on my back. Also, it seems like since I am extremely exhausted and I am taking naps numerous times during the day (almost 7-8 hour “naps” at times!) I have just reversed my sleep schedule. I sleep during the day and I’m awake for hours at night. I don’t want to keep him awake by watching shows or movies etc since he has to be up at 4AM every day for work so staying in the living room is a good option.. for now. I am sure this will change once the second trimester hits in a few weeks, but for now, I feel bad that it is like this. Oh well!

    Keep up the great site and I apologize if I am commenting too often- your posts are just really relate-able right now 🙂

    All the best to you and the Mommy to be!

    • 9th March 2016 / 11:03 am

      Thanks so much for commenting Joanna and please don’t apologise – your comments always brighten my day! Good to hear you’ve got into some sort of rhythm and get the chance to nap during the day. Also, very considerate of you to take the couch…not sure my wife would be too happy if she was the one leaving our bedroom! Hope you manage to get some sleep soon x