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Separate bedrooms best for a good night's sleep, expert advises

42 Comments

"To boost the quality of sleep, it's important to get right into bed. The act of getting into one's futon (or bed, depending on your furnishings) is the first step to giving your all the next day."

So says physician Eishu Hai, a 44-year-old native of Nara Prefecture and author of the recently published "Ichiryu no Suimin" (First-class sleep, Diamond-sha, 192 pages, 1,512 yen).

Our busy, distraction-filled lives, it seems, have led to increasingly shorter sleeping hours. A survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare found that about 20% of the adult population are not sufficiently rested, with the ratio highest among people in their 40s. Less sleep time can be covered, to some extent, by good-quality sleep, but one likely factor preventing that may be the person with whom one shares the futon.

Once you walk in the door to your domicile, the first thing you want to do is banish all thoughts of work-related problems. Sleep beckons. But to snuggle up in the futon, only to have one's spouse dump on you with matters related to the household budget, or the kids schooling, is a surefire way of missing out on a good night's rest.

If you tell her, "I'm tired, can't we save it for tomorrow morning?" she'll fire back, saying, "You never want to hear about your own family." And after an exchange like that, do you really think you're in for a peaceful night's sleep?

"If you blame lack of sleep on your partner, it's a sure formula for a breakup of the marriage," says Dr Hai. "It's important to manage these matters properly."

The best way to ensure sweet dreams? It may not be easy in a small Japanese residence, but the doctor says partners should repose in separate bedrooms.

"If you tell your partner straight out, 'From tonight, we're going to sleep in separate rooms,' she might take it the wrong way and become angry,'" Dr Hai remarks. "So it's not an easy subject to broach. But in families where both partners are working, the wife is probably tired as well. Raising the subject by saying, 'I can tell you're tired too. What do you say we try sleeping in separate rooms and see if that doesn't help things?' Make it seem like you have her best interests in mind.

"Should separate rooms be impractical, try to find other ways to improve sleep quality, such as by establishing strict rules to be followed, like, 'Brush your teeth well before bedtime' or 'No using a smartphone once in bed' and then further down the list, 'No nagging.' Another rule should be 'Always greet your partner with 'ohayo' (good morning) when you awaken.

"If you learn to manage your home life, things will work better while on the job, too," Dr Hai concludes. "Assuring better quality sleep is a family project."

Even if you can't sleep longer hours, by following these six easy steps, you can improve the quality of your sleep and expect resulting benefits.

  1. Decide in advance on what time you'll arise from bed.
  2. Decide on the time you will sleep, and get in bed, even if you're not sleepy.
  3. If you don't fall asleep within the first 15 minutes, then get up and leave the bedroom.
  4. When you feel sleepy, get back in bed.
  5. When it's time to get up, don't lie in bed.
  6. Stick with the above steps and as your sleep becomes more consistent, work at extending sleeping time.
© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

42 Comments
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This book will be a best seller. 1.Japanese do not have sex anyway.

Their bosses tell them what time to get up.

Their bosses tell them what time they can sleep, if at all.

15 minutes is enough sleep and they can do this on the train (if a seat is available)

What is a lie in?

Just work.
13 ( +17 / -4 )

If you marry the right spouse it's not a problem. Snuggle time is good sleeping time!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Once you walk in the door to your domicile, the first thing you want to do is banish all thoughts of work-related problems. Sleep beckons. But to snuggle up in the futon, only to have one’s spouse dump on you with matters related to the household budget, or the kids schooling, is a surefire way of missing out on a good night’s rest.

...or instead of separate beds, how about a better work culture that means people can go home and have quality time with their families - time to discuss and deal with household matters; time to spend with the kids; time to relax before going to bed etc.

This solution of having separate beds to improve sleep, is similar to the story yesterday of the apartment committee banning people from greeting each other in order to improve safety for their children. It completely ignores the main underlying problem (overworking in this case, and people not communicating enough in the first place yesterday).

15 ( +16 / -1 )

This is stupid. For one, a person's work should not be their life. How about suggesting working on the relationship at home (both parties) - good communication, consideration for each other, respect, etc. Separate rooms for husbands and wives is just further creating a gap in the relationship.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

the first thing you want to do is banish all thoughts of work-related problems. Sleep beckons.

No, No, No.

You banish all thoughts of work-related problems the moment you step out of the workplace. The first thing you want to do when you get home is greet your family, ask about their day, listen to what they have to say, help solve any problems they might have (a problem shared is a problem halved) whether it's household-related, homework-related or whatever, and enjoy spending time with them. That includes quality time in the bedroom with the spouse. That's the path to a good night's sleep.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Another path to a good sleep is to get home at a reasonable time so you can do the things Cleo mentions. Communication, conversation, having dinner with the family (means kids have to be home, too, not at club or juku until late), playing (What? Play?) all take time.

You can't do all that when the working spouse gets home at 12:00+ and the kids are out "studying" or attending club activities until 10:00ish.

Which means sleeping in separate bedrooms (or houses) is the best solution for Japan's Work 'til you Drop society.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Another article getting things horribly WRONG!!

Many above have already NAILED what needs to happen, but it will fall mostly on deaf ears in Japan.

And already a great many sleep separately, another reason for Japan's population decline...........

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Plenty of gender stereotyping in this article but it doesn't help that marriage seems to be more about role-playing with any aims mainly determined by others outside rather than a partnership of conscious, communicative, adult human beings. The work schedules hardly help but the expectations of society in general don't help. I wonder if many are fulfilled in their marriages, or even contemplate what that might be.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What is a lie in?

Correct English.

"Lie and lay both have many definitions, but they’re most often confused where lie means to recline and lay means to put down. But the distinction is simple: Lay needs an object—something being laid—while lie cannot have an object. For example, you might lay a book on the table, lay a sweater on the bed, or lay a child in her crib. When you feel tired at the end of the day, you may lie down. But you can’t lie a book anywhere, and you can’t lay down (no object) at the end of the day."

http://grammarist.com/usage/lay-lie/

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Things to keep out of the bedroom to ensure good sleep: cell phones, TVs, computers, Salvador Dali prints, pets, arguments, and especially KIDS. Co-sleeping is the death of both good sleep and good sex. The bedroom should be a calm oasis, without direct lighting and harsh devices. A retreat from the world.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sleeping in separate rooms has never messed up our sex life at all. We both have different sleep times and wake up times, and it works great.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Cleo has it totally right. That's how my husband and I do things (though we do discuss work a bit, but we're in the same industry and support each other).

We do know some couples that sleep separately but it's not the standard people seem to think. I've always slept with my husband. My parents sleep together. So do my husband's.

My husband and I both work late. We enjoy our late evenings together, catching up on things and solving any problems so we can sleep comfortably. I feel empty and can't sleep well by myself, and he says he feels the same. So what works best clearly depends on the couple!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

But to snuggle up in the futon, only to have one’s spouse dump on you with matters related to the household budget, or the kids schooling, is a surefire way of missing out on a good night’s rest. If you tell her, “I’m tired, can’t we save it for tomorrow morning?” she’ll fire back, saying, “You never want to hear about your own family.” And after an exchange like that, do you really think you’re in for a peaceful night’s sleep?

Oh, you poor poor men, suffering with wives who want you to know how your kids are doing at school, and where money you earned is going. tsk. The cheek!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

How about same bedrooms to increase the birthrate? Oh, I forgot. It's Japan. Nevermind.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

what a sad depressing life indeed...no wonder such high suicide...and no wonder people don't bother to get married or get into a relationship at all...Why would either party want to put up with this attitude? It does sound like a good episode of I love Lucy though.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ha ha ha...separate rooms! What an unhappy life.....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why not seperate living and the family meet up on weekends and holidays. Because that is what is happening now. There is definite class divide in Japan. Not knowing that there is a large class of people in your society this is happing too, Is totally Ignorant. For why are they spending monies on already known condition that have come norms. This is a standard work condition of Japan. If one is not falling asleep standing up, one is not working hard enough.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I totally disagree! My ex-wife and I always slept on the same bed and the very first night I went to sleep in my own room because she was angry at me, she assaulted me after midnight in my room, broke the door and took a hammer against me! She could not stand the idea of me sleeping in my own room and not listening to her nagging. Be very careful about the advice you hear.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Pfff after 8 years, I can't wait to have my own bed again.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think it depends on the individuals involved, but my wife and I have separate bedrooms. We still love each other, but after nearly 40 years of marriage, find it easier to sleep in separate rooms.

I have also known people who slept in the same room, but with separate beds. Whatever works.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@nedinjapan

It doesn't sound like sleeping together or separately was the problem. More like your ex-wife had some serious mental issues!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yes, top quality sleep, alone in a cold room on a paper thin futon on a tatami floor. And of course, less chances of having 'morning sex'...

I don't believe a couple can be a real couple if they sleep on separate bedrooms/ beds, that's BS.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I don't believe a couple can be a real couple if they sleep on separate bedrooms/ beds, that's BS.

Please define 'real' couple.

My grandparents slept separately for years and years, yet they had the relationship I most want mine to be like. Extremely loving even in their old age, taking walks together, holding hands, doing cute little romantic things. I rarely see that these days, even with couples that do sleep together.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Everyone in the comments has this all wrong. The author is being typically polite. You don't know how to read the air.

Obviously, the best way to get a lot of sleep to put in the proper required 14 hour daily workday is to get two separate houses, where the family lives in a rural town and the husband lives as close to the office as possible, or simply sleeps in the toilet while pretending to work should god forbid he goes home before his boss.

Having two homes is good for the economy and good for the family. That way when you get home from work there isn't anyone there, and all arguments can be avoided. The man can then go home and be a family man on weekends, except Saturdays, which are best spent sucking up to your boss on the golf course for a future promotion.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

While I tend to be away from my wife most of the year due to the orders of my boss for business assignments, when I am back at home my wife and I sleep in separate futons so we do not have a problem. Before we go to sleep we embrace each other and enjoy our physical connection and intimacy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My ex-wife and I always slept on the same bed and the very first night I went to sleep in my own room because she was angry at me, she assaulted me after midnight in my room, broke the door and took a hammer against me!

Did you say ex-wife? Gee, what went wrong? You know the love is really over when they stop trying to kill you.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I bet if they locked their doors too, they'd feel even safer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If I were married to physician Eishu Hai, I'd probably want to sleep in a separate room too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is chauvinist drivel and would be a best seller in 1950s America. This writer assumes a "nagging" wife causing distress for the "poor" husband - so he escapes to a separate bedroom, so he doesn't have to listen to her anymore. As this is now the 21st Century, I'm amazed that this writing is being taken seriously. I understand there are couples who do sleep separately in Japan. Coming from North America, this does seem something quite old-fashioned - what one set of my grandparents did. But, whatever a couple decides is fine, but I don't like the reasons this article gives for sleeping separately. This writer recommends foregoing greater communication with a spouse (wife - as the article appears to be directed at men) to have a more meaningful relationship. Instead it continues the old trend of always putting work first before family - no matter what - so what the marriage really is is just a serious of dutiful obligations without the feeling of joy, building a common dream, or deep love that makes a relationship meaningful.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm in the same boat as MsDelicious. We have separate beds and semi-separated rooms (connected by a set of sliding doors). We have different sleep schedules, and apparently I also twitch/move a lot in my sleep, so sleeping separately results in much better sleep for both of us. Has no affect at all on our sex-life or our relationship.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

BertieWooster: If I were married to physician Eishu Hai, I'd probably want to sleep in a separate room too.

Don't be too quick to turn him down. He's hotter than most TV stars:

http://rinsho-plus-alpha.jp/people/eishu-hai-2

Maybe he can go global and be the next Dr. Oz!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Agreed striker. We have a great relationship, and we both get wonderful sleep.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If anything, both of us getting better quality sleep and not being annoyed by our partner's snoring/moving/kicking/etc. only helps the relationship be even better!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As long as we still getting it on,the missus can sleep on the roof if she wants!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My ex-wife and I always slept on the same bed and the very first night I went to sleep in my own room because she was angry at me, she assaulted me after midnight in my room, broke the door and took a hammer against me!

Now that's the kind of "getting hammered" nobody wants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@commanteer literally lol!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe an extra bedroom is no problem if you have a doctor's income, but how will most families pay for another room? Send the wife out to work if she is not already working.

The best way to have a good night's sleep is for a couple to have a good **** and then cuddle up together and fall asleep. It's the natural way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My wife and I are happily married and have slept in separate rooms since we moved to the US and bought a four bedroom house that was big enough for everyone to have a room. She goes to sleep before me and prefers it much warmer, so retires upstairs and leaves me to sleep with the ceiling fan on.

We slept together for about a year and this change has resulted in an improved relationship as we are both more rested, though still maintain and active sex life. It might not be necessary for everyone, but don't knock until you've tried it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Eh my wife and I have been sleeping in the same room and bed since we got married the only thing we separate rooms for is for the children when they get older, I cant imagine sleeping in another room than my wife they only time I would do that is when I get back from overseas to sleep off jet lag.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Call me old fashioned but if you really love someone then that moment of sleeping together every night is the best moment and the most amazing experience! Going back home and cuddling the betterhalf and falling asleep naturally is simply mesmerizing! Separate bed and separate rooms just cause people to drift apart naturally. It's no use being in a relationship like that! @turbotsat ... if that's your definition of a hot guy then I'll advice you to get your eyes checked! Just judging by the photo he is just an ok looking guy... maybe add he's personality and other factors might make him a bit hotter but that's pure speculation because someone recommending different beds or rooms for couple surely doesn't have a mind blowing personality

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh the "Experts" again..!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

awesome idea to keep warm yourself

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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