Contemplating separate bedrooms-need suggestions

pensivernAugust 15, 2012

My husband and I are in our early 50's, semi empty nesters with a 3 bedroom house. We currently share a bed which although is king sized is still unfortunately not conducive to a good nights sleep, at least on my end. Between working different shifts, a restless dog (my husband invited one nite and she never left) and my very light sleeping patterns, he likes late nite TV, I like silence etc etc (Peri-menopause isn't helping); we're considering turning our den into a spare bedroom as a reprieve from those nights where insomnia (mine)is threatening (our) sanity. The issue is we're torn on what to buy for our current 'spare' bedroom-it's presently a den with an entertainment system and an old floral couch; the latter of which I'd be happy to sell:) I'd love to purchase a deep couch with maybe a chaise on one end but DH says it'll never be 'sleep worthy'; neither of us care for day beds and I've never sat on a futon on which I didn't feel like I was getting "lost" (in the fold).

Should I just accept that I can't have it both ways (of den by day-comfy sleep escape at nite) and go the twin bed route, perhaps pushed against the wall? Has anyone been in this dilemma before and how did you resolve it? When my college age son moves out, I suppose it'll no longer be an issue as we can have both spare BR and den.

Any suggestions? I love my husband.....but sleep is a very close second!!

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Fori is not pleased

Have you considered twin beds instead of the king? Fifties style! It still might not work since you're a light sleeper and the differing shifts, but if you could get husband to watch TV in the den only and the dog (naturally) shares husband's bed, it's something to think about.

College age kids may never move out, so you can't wait for that! :P

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:07PM
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I love mine, too, and we happily share a king-sized bed with two cats - except during his worst allergy nights, or my night owl ones, or when one of us is sick.
Then somebody just moves into the guest room for the night. Or the duration of the cold.
I don't think twin beds will solve it. It wouldn't for us.
Since you don't have a special room for guests, I think the comfortable couch is your best bet. We have one that has a single mattress-type cushion that's deep enough when the back cushions are removed, and long enough for my 6'3" spouse.
If one of us has to sleep on it (say if houseguests and allergies converge), we just make a sandwich out of a queen-sized down comforter with a sheet cover. That, plus a good pillow, and it's very sleep-worthy.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:08PM
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In a previous home, we had two queen size beds. They're large enough to share when desired and easily fit into the space we had. I slept so much better, so I sympathize with your plight.

What is it about daybeds that you don't like? Maybe someone can suggest a type that would work for you if you describe your specific objection(s).

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:36PM
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I have a sofabed in one guest room. The mattress is thin, like most sofabeds, so to compensate, I have a fiberbed topper. Fiberbed because some of my guests are allergic to down. It's extremely comfortable. I know this for a fact, because I've slept on it -- successfully.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:40PM
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What about a wall bed/murphy bed set-up? You could have your sofa and trade out the entertainment center for a wall unit. They make really simple ones, too. You could even get just a twin bed size if you never use the room for guests that might need a bigger or two beds.

One of my friends used this company and it is would never, ever know it contains a bed when closed. They have the one with the fold down table that they use for games, etc. It folds into the wall unit, they have a piece of art on the it kind of just looks like a bookcase with a picture on the center part.

Here are some others:

Here is a link that might be useful: Murphy beds for small spaces

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:47PM
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How about a Murphy bed in the den?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:48PM
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We have Murphy beds in both used-to-be-children's bedrooms; I'm a big fan. In your case, though, I think I'd go with a comfortable couch. The living room couch at my Mom's house has been a very comfortable place to sleep on many occasions with a folded in half sheet and a blanket or comforter. I know, it seems unlikely, but it's true. Even my tall brothers have spent the night on that couch and nobody has suggested they weren't quite comfortable. I think it's a question of shopping for a suitable couch by discretely stretching on on them right there at the store ;-)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:44PM
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I echo the Murphy bed suggestions. After DH had some very extensive surgery, his sleep patterns were quite erratic + we decided that the dogs should not be sleeping with him until he was completely healed. So, for 3+ months, the Beagles and I slept in our den. We had outfitted it with a queen-sized Murphy Bed a few years before. I was so glad it was not a smaller single bed.

Our Murphy Bed is just the standard version. But there now are so many more wonderful options, like these example from Resource Furniture, which are very similar to the ones that Olychick linked to above. I'd install one of these if we had it to do over again since they offer so much more flexibility for using the room.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:58PM
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A vote for a comfortable sectional sofa with chaise ... comfy with the additional of a good pillow and comforter .... and you can always watch TV too! :)

Another one here ... ! :)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:02PM
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With the late night TV vs quiet preference, 2 beds in the same room is obviously not the solution. I would definitely go for a deep comfy couch - something that you can just grab a blanket and pillow and sleep on when needed without making up an entire bed. When I wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep I get up and head to the living room, where our couch is very comfortable. I don't like the idea of "official" separate bedrooms, though I'm sure that works for many couples.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Our last couch was as comfy as a bed. It was about as deep as a twin mattress and only had two seat cushions. I slept on it alot as I'll go to the couch and turn on the tv when I can't fall asleep. When visiting, my mom would also choose to sleep there instead of the bed as it was so comfortable. I would suggest that if you go with another couch, make sure it's deep and long enough. Also, it helps when you can remove the pillows off the back to give some extra arm room.

A daybed could be a great option. You'll just have to look at several styles and see if you find one that suits. Good thing about a daybed is that you can get a good mattress and know you'll have a great nights sleep. Definitely a much better choice than an uncomfy sofa or a futon.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:52PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We had a similar issue many years ago and when I was working a 50 hour week and going to school evenings for a masters while DH was working 6 days a week and getting up at 4:30 am for his job. Enough was enough. The only way to survive such a schedule is on a good night's sleep and we went to 2 rooms. (mind you I'm in the FR on the other side of the house right now and still hearing him snore.)

I think that unless you can find a really wide and comfortable sofa with removable back cushions so you have some width to sleep comfortably, you should bite the bullet and go day bed with the wedge cushions to make it reasonably comfortable to sit on. Even that twin sized bed got tiresome and when we moved to the new house, we each got our own room and our own full sized mattresses. We are both much happier for it...ESP when one of us is ill.

Is there an alternative of adding the den functions back to the living room back and getting a bedroom for yourself? Even after children go off to college, they come home...often for a long time.....

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:43PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I have to rule out a Murphy bed although I always thought the concept was interesting. I purchased an entertainment system with 2 side bookcases for the wall opposite the seating area fairly recently and I like it too much to trade in for another unit so soon. I think what turns me off to daybeds is their 3 sided crib-like appearance, wood or iron. I'm not sure how comfy it would feel to have a hard surface stretching behind the length of the mattress. My sister had one and said it was a pain to keep it neat looking by arranging the pillows along the back during the day. I may as well just buy a twin bed and push it against the wall (?) My gut feeling says to hunt for a firm deep couch with removable back cushions and max of 2 seat cushions. And, still hoping my son will be gainfully employed and out of the house well before I retire:)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:56PM
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I had a sectional made to fit my house and it sleeps like a dream. Firm cushions. Wide seating. Removable back cushions. Long enough for an NBA player. Bigger and better than a twin bed any day. I'd look for something like that. (Daybeds do look sort of like adult cribs... gotta agree with that.)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:33PM
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If this is going to be your bed almost every night, then you owe it to yourself to get something with a decent mattress that provides good support. Crashing on the couch may have worked in our younger days; now, however ....?!

Since you don't want a Murphy Bed, what about this option from Axel Bloom? The company makes flexible bed frames (and sells mattresses for flexible beds). The firm also sells the bed frames + mattress as the chaise part of a sofa. They say that they will custom make whatever you need.

We have the Austroflex frames, but purchased mattresses more locally. The flexibility of the bed is truly wonderful!

(The Resource Furniture link didn't work in my previous post. This one should.)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:57PM
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I adore my DH and we've been married more than 30 years but have always had separate bedrooms (with visiting privileges!)

Why not just make the extra room into another bedroom? I think sleeping on a coach or making up a bed every night will get old fast.

One of the benefits of separate bedrooms is really having one's own space, not just camping out.

Move the TV to the living room and claim some sweet uninterrupted sleep in a bed made exactly the way you like it. It'll do wonders for your marriage and your outlook.

I couldn't have gotten though menopause without being able to have complete control over my sleeping environment so I could get as much rest as possible. I would have been a complete wreck otherwise.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 2:41AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I had a day bed that wasn't a crib thing....I got a twin platform bed...the kind with the drawers underneath. Then I got wedge cushions for the back and other pillows piled up on it and it worked for us.

I agree those iron things look most unwelcoming and uncomfortable.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 7:17AM
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I can relate. I'm a light sleeper, dh is a snorer. Just about every night I go to the sofa. But the sofa is on the long side and very roomy!

If you're not going to turn the den into a bedroom, I would get a good sofa, and "good" doesn't have to be expensive, either.

Sleeper sofas are a pain to deal with every day so I don't know if I'd go that route.

If company never goes into that room, you might as well put a twin bed in there. There are some really cute ones out there!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:01AM
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I'm a lurker but I'm with liriodendron. I read this thread with interest.

We have 3 bedrooms on the main level. After my mother fell last summer and had to come recuperate at my house (I am a nurse), we moved my twins together and gave her one of their rooms for 8 weeks.

My boys liked it so much that we kept them together. So, after my mom went home we had a main level guest room.

My dh snores miserably. Probably has a little sleep apnea. And I nudge him all night to turn over. He started slipping into the guest room. We both realized that we slept better in separate beds in separate rooms. My sister and her snoring hubby do the same thing. She's a teacher and has to have her sleep. She has a daybed with a really comfortable mattress in a room with the crib for visiting grandchildren.

Yes, of course we have visiting rights, ;-)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:12AM
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I can't imagine going from a king bed to a twin - even if you are on your own. I'd just miss the roominess.

If it were me - I'd talk to my husband about the tv thing and see if you might persuade him to go to another room to do his tv watching. The thought of separate rooms might make him more willing to do so. As for the dog, have you tried to get him to sleep in a bed of his own in the room, or used a crate? I'd try first to make some changes regarding these issues before I'd consider going to separate rooms. Again, that's just my own opinion - I know separate rooms work for many.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:21AM
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There are day beds out there that don't look like cribs. I'd guess having that solid back would be similar to sleeping in a twin bed that's pushed against a wall.

I'm posting a link to an article that shows some different types of sleeper sofas and day beds. There are many sofas out there that turn into bed by lowering the arms or backs--much easier to do than a traditional sleeper.

As for your husband not thinking a couch would be "sleep worthy"--I'd say the person getting pushed out of the bedroom into the den gets 80% of the vote on that one. The person who remains in the comfy bed with the dog shedding all over it and the TV blaring gets 20% input.

Here is a link that might be useful: sleepers

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 3:15PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Any chance you could put DS on that couch and you take the bedroom? Seems more fair to me! :)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 6:58PM
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My vote is to set the den up with a queen size mattress.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:53PM
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Cyn, yes, DH would be the one moving out of the bedroom-sorry if I gave the impression that I was looking for an option for myself-that's why there's been debate over couch vs bed; I was leaning toward couch but since he's the one who'll be giving up the king, he really should have the major say what he winds up sleeping on most of the time. We went bed/couch browsing today and decided a full sized bed would work best for the room and his comfort.....he'll have his TV with which to snooze and they're be plenty of room for our impossibly spoiled Maltese. So, while I'm a little ambivalent about the 'separate bedroom' idea, I have to agree with Liriodentron and Red Lover that in our particular instance this will be a positive thing for our marriage-I'm picturing snuggling on his full sized bed watching movies and escaping to my peaceful space for slumber when I'm ready:)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:59PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Phew! I was about to get quite indignant on your behalf! Your plan sounds perfect-and full disclosure here, as a teacher with a snoring husband, I love having my own room! :)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:11PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

DH is of the age that he gets up a lot at night and he falls back to sleep readily, so he gets the cat. But when I wake up, I'm up for a couple of hours before sleep comes again. (throw a couple of hot flashes in between!). Once I left my door open and at 2 am the cat came in and jumped on the was like someone tossing a 20 lb weight on the bed! Not a pleasant surprise and disturbed my sleep for hours.

What really cracks me up is the cat snores, sometimes loud enough to wake DH! What comes around.....

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:16PM
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Take this with a grain of salt, but I saw on one of network news not long ago that almost half of married couples (those of us who are getting a bit older) have his and her bedrooms, and not only does it make the marriage stronger, it's healthier too because both parties are getting the much needed sleep they need.

When I was in my 20's, my dad remarried. I went to their house for the first time and I was shocked to see they had separate bedrooms! It was because my dad snored. lol.

His room was like a library, books on beautiful shelves, all manly stuff. Very nice room.

Her room was extremely feminine and just as beautiful. I remember telling my dh that I think we need to do that!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:50AM
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We sleep separately and very soundly, and I would never go back to sharing a room.

Like others in this discussion, my husband and I have very different sleep schedules. I cannot get to sleep unless it is perfectly quiet. He falls asleep easily but noises-like kids and spouses living life after the sun goes down-wake him up very easily. I like to read for a couple of hours in bed to put myself to sleep, he wants lights out at 9 pm. He likes the room warm, I like it cool. And so on.

In our house, I've got the master bedroom and he sleeps in our florida room, on a daybed. I do agree that if someone is going to be sleeping in it regularly, get a daybed or even a real bed. I wouldn't want to make my partner sleep on the couch, no matter how comfortable it is.

For us it's been a blessing. My husband can go to bed early and he is in the back of the house where he doesn't get disturbed by people watching tv, wandering in and out of their rooms, taking showers etc. I can read myself to sleep without bothering anyone. Both of us sleep so much better. For a long time it embarrassed me that we didn't like sleeping together, but my systems analyst spouse has always insisted that if most people (especially long marrieds) were honest they would admit having your own bedroom is great!


    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 2:33PM
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Running, I am glad it has worked for you and your husband. You should not be embarrassed that you don't like sleeping together - different strokes for different folks! Honestly if it works for a couple, then more power to them. I guess my husband and I are lucky that we are very compatible with our sleep habits. Sometimes I will go to bed before him, but it rarely even wakes me when he comes to bed. So far (knock on wood!) we have no problems sleeping together and I hope that continues. Nor do I think it would be healthier for us because we have no need to NOT sleep together.

Reminds me of my sweet grandparents, married 60+ years. My grandfather has passed on and my grandmother is now in assisted living. In their later years, for some reason or other, (I can't remember what) they were having trouble sharing a bed. They solved the problem by getting one of those king size split beds (like two twins, but connected). They loved it and slept together till the day he entered the hospital.

I LIKE sleeping with someone and have no desire to have my own room, so in our case, it would not make our marriage stronger. Ask me again in 20 years! LOL

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 4:11PM
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Thanks for the validation Running. I wish I could get going on this 'project' but I still have to sell my couch which is currently occupying the room; not a single bite yet from CL and it wouldn't even qualitfy for the "CL ugly couch thread" on this forum!! lol

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

My dh and I have separate bedrooms and we both love it.
Pretty much what running said. Dh goes to bed around 9, I go around 12. We both have back issues, are light sleepers, he snores, I wake him up by tossing and turning and moving, I get up to let the dogs out (they're old), if my leg brushes him it wakes him up, .... it just goes on and on.
I might get up and have a snack at 3, !....

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 4:48PM
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I've got two situations and I like both of them. In our lake house, my husband has his own room at the back of the house as he can't stand noise and I took the middle room which is near the living quarters as I'm a night owl. At home we always had a king sized bed but I'm the one who snores and he has prostate problems so no one was getting enough sleep. We got rid of the king and got two doubles and we LOVE the arrangement. I stay up till three and he's already asleep, I don't disturb him as I'm in my own bed, yipppeeeee he can't pull the blanket. Then in the morning he sneaks out early and I get to sleep longer. Oh and the super duper ear plugs are what made it work. LOL

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 5:00PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Yaya, ah yes...the blanket pull. I swear DH would somehow levitate, grab the blankets, flip in mid air taking all the blankets with him and then land...I'd be left uncovered. I often thought that I needed a giant cylindrical blanket that encircled the mattress, so as he kept pulling them his way, more would rise from under the bed on my side to keep me covered.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 6:31PM
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I love reading about all the options. We still sleep together (although not sure how long we would have until buying a king Tempurpedic a couple of years ago ... that has helped), but we do have separate rooms for bathing and dressing. He is an earrrrrly riser, and our closet wasn't big enough for both of us, so pretty soon I kicked him and his clothing and his 4:30 alarm clock and 5 am shower to the downstairs guest room. A few years after that, he moved his office into the home, so we switched guest rooms, and put his desk into what was formerly the guest room and is now his office/dressing room/bathroom. A sort of man cave. It's awesome.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 7:38PM
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My parents have had separate bedrooms for decades. They are both furnished with bookcases, reading chair/table, writing desk, and a queen and double bed, respectively.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 8:05AM
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Yaya, I tried those ear plugs and they drove me nuts! lol. It's interesting to see how many here have separate bedrooms, looks like the news story was spot on!

I bet there are a lot of people we know IRL who do the same, but if they said anything people would take it the wrong their marriage was bad. We both wakeup refreshed and smiling...well, after I have my coffee. :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 8:35AM
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