Everybody needs a good night’s sleep. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures. But if you’re married to somebody who snores or scrolls on their phone all night, quality shuteye might be hard to come by. Katie Holmes reportedly sent Tom Cruise to the “snoratorium” — a soundproof room — in their house when he slept. According to a 2010 report in The New York Times, “nearly one in four” married couples in America sleep apart. In fact, it’s so common, there’s even a name for it: “sleep divorce.”
“If you’re not taking care of your sleep, you are hurting your marriage,” Dr. Oz explained to Today. “The biggest challenge is people have to plan ahead.” How could it hurt your relationship? Well, the obvious answer. “Let’s face it — lack of energy is a far greater threat to an active sex life than lack of opportunity. And we are better rested,” Daryl Austin wrote in Los Angeles Times op-ed in 2018.
There is a multitude of other reasons, of course (hello, restless leg syndrome), and while sleeping separately might not work for everyone, some celebrities swear by the practice. Here are a few who, while they don’t lead separate lives, sleep in different rooms — with varying reasons for doing so. Some are funny, some are not so funny. Either way, their preferred sleep number is set to one.
For Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, sleeping apart is tradition
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were married in 1947, so when you’ve been married for almost three-quarters of a century, sleeping in separate rooms probably sounds like a great idea. Who are we kidding? It’s probably why you’ve stayed together for so long.
However, according to Lady Pamela (Prince Philip’s first cousin), the royal couple sleeps separately because it is a rich people tradition in England. Who knew? “In England, the upper class always have had separate bedrooms. You don’t want to be bothered with snoring or someone flinging a leg around,” she told American writer Sally Bedell Smith in 2011 (via the Daily Mail). “Then when you are feeling cozy you share your room sometimes. It is lovely to be able to choose.”
The Daily Beast reported in 2017 that Prince Philip took this whole sleeping separately thing to the next level by actually moving out due to his “dislike for Buckingham Palace.” Respect.
Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton shared a duplex
Actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton didn’t just sleep in separate beds — they slept in different houses, a report in the Daily Mail revealed in 2010. Their Hampstead abode was split into a duplex when they bought it, and the creative couple refused to change the layout. Hers? The “girly, vintage and chintzy” side. His? The “gothic melange of ‘skeletons and weird things’ and floor lights in neon shades.” How very on-brand.
Their reasoning was simple. Burton is “an insomniac who likes to pace and watch TV” (and snores), and Carter “talks too much” for Burton’s tastes. “He always visits, which is really touching. He’s always coming over,” the Fight Club actress said. “It really is a great idea. You never have to compromise emotionally or feel invaded.”
The couple divorced in 2014 after 13 years of marriage, so maybe sleeping a part had something to do with that. Or maybe it didn’t. They never elaborated on it.
Kevin Jonas and his wife barely made it five months
Kevin Jonas and former hairdresser Danielle Deleasa married in a “fairytale setting'” in late 2009, according to People, but soon after, the fairytale was over. Deleasa learned her new prince snored. In Touch reported that five months after they exchanged vows, the couple was “already sleeping in separate beds” (via HuffPost).
Due to their religious beliefs, Jonas and his new bride had never “spent a night together until their wedding night,” and when they finally did, Deleasa was in for a rude awakening. “She had no clue that he snores so loudly,” a friend of the couple said. “She loves her husband, but now she sleeps in a guest room when he gets too noisy.”
The friend goes on to say that “they are still crazy about each other,” but the musician snores so badly it has become a joke to their friends. Folks, you hate to see it. And hear it, obviously.
David Beckham and Victoria Beckham enjoy their 'separate lives'
Soccer icon David Beckham and Posh Spice a.k.a. Victoria Beckham have been an “it” couple for over two decades now, and it appears their secret for lasting that long is due to the pair “leading very different lives” on different continents, a source tells US Weekly. While David “does his own thing” in Los Angeles, Victoria is content with living the “easy life” in Oxfordshire, England.
And when David returns to their mansion in the English countryside? The pair retreat to “his and her” wings when they need space from each other. “I think they quite like having somewhat separate lives,” the source said. Except, of course, when it comes to their children. “The kids are the common bond that will keep them united,” the source added.
“They are like every married couple I know — some days lovey-dovey, other days cold,” says another source. “It comes with being together so long.” So the secret to a great marriage is finally here: a mansion with your own wing. Let us know what you find on Zillow.
Melania Trump needs her space from Donald Trump
Much has been written about the sometimes-cringey relationship between President Donald Trump and Melania Trump, but a 2018 article in The New York Times shed light on what life is like between the famous couple when the cameras aren’t around. A former White House official told the publication that the former model “maintains a separate bedroom” from her husband and the couple “stay in separate hotel suites” when they travel.
Reporter Mary Jordan of The Washington Post revealed that Melania wasn’t in a huge rush to move into The White House after the inauguration and delayed her arrival to “renegotiating her prenuptial agreement” after hearing the infamous Access Hollywood tape and learning about his extramarital affair with Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal. Not an ideal situation if you’re trying to sleep in the same bed with your wife.
And when Melania is at The White House, she doesn’t really want to stay there long. According to W, Melania “returns home to New York — at least once per month, two people close to her say — for meetings and to visit a small circle of associates, including her sister and her hairstylist.”
Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk stayed apart for the kids
After relationships with Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow seemingly found her soulmate when she married Brad Falchuk (the producer of American Horror Story) in 2018. However, due to their blended family (they have four kids between them), the couple decided to live separately. “I’ve never been a stepmother before. I don’t know how to do it,” Paltrow told WSJ Magazine. “We are still doing it in our own way. With teenage kids, you’ve got to tread lightly,” she explained. “It’s pretty intense, the teenage thing.”
Living apart out of respect for their kids is a sacrifice most couples aren’t willing (or can afford) to make, but it appears to be working. “The kids all really are liking each other,” a source told Us Weekly. After a year of marriage, the couple finally moved in together, and Paltrow joked that she regretted the decision. “So our sex life is over,” Paltrow told Harper’s Bazaar in 2020. “I thought it was really interesting how resonant that was for people.”
“One of my best friends was like, ‘That is my dream. Don’t ever move in,'” Paltrow continued. “I think it certainly helps with preserving mystery and also preserving the idea that this person has their own life. So this is something I’m trying to remain aware of now as we merge together.”
Ryan O'Neal regretted 'every one of those nights' he and Farrah Fawcett slept in separate beds
In an excerpt from his 2012 memoir, Both Of Us: My Life With Farrah, Oscar-nominated actor Ryan O’Neal revealed that he and Charlie’s Angels star Farrah Fawcett slept separately. At some point in their relationship, O’Neal writes that their “love was put on mute,” and they stopped speaking, and with the two of them “retiring to separate bedrooms, where one will escape into sleep, and the other will write in his journal all the things he should be telling her but doesn’t.”
O’Neal reveals that he and Fawcett started sleeping in separate beds because their son, Redmond, would “come into our bedroom at night” and force O’Neal on the floor due to his rough sleeping. However, their son got older, they continued sleeping apart out of habit. “Farrah and I had grown used to our privacy and it stuck, and even when we traveled after that, we’d often get adjoining rooms. I always thought of our arrangement as terribly mature of us,” he wrote. “Now I wish I could have back every one of those nights we slept in separate beds.”
O’Neal and Fawcett enjoyed an 18-year relationship that ended in 1997, but reunited in 2001 and remained together until the blonde beauty’s death in 2009.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are next door neighbors
Radar Online revealed that Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick bought two adjacent townhomes in 2016. A bit strange, right? A source told the publication that the couple who were married in 1997 embrace a “bohemian approach” to marriage. “They’ve had some ups and downs and they decided that separate living areas were crucial to keep them together,” the source explained. “They’ll be tearing down a wall between the town houses to make a mega mansion, but it’s definitely one side for her and the other for him, with the kids having access to both.”
While it’s unclear if the wall has been torn down since then, but sleeping separately worked for them. “They still have dinner together and if the mood’s right they’ll have a ‘sleepover,’ so it’s not really that they’re living separate lives, more that they’re treating an almost-20-year marriage with the care and respect it deserves,” the source added.
During a 2018 appearance on Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso (via Us Weekly), Parker explained their time apart strengthens their marriage. “I know this sounds nuts, but we have lives that allow us to be away and come back together,” she said. “His work life takes him here, and mine takes me there. In some ways, I think that that’s been enormously beneficial because we have so much to share in a way.”
Kaley Cuoco and Karl Cook waited a year to move into together after they got married
Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco married the son of a billionaire, Karl Cook, in 2018, but the year the couple after they walked down the aisle, she revealed that they still haven’t moved in together. “We have a very unconventional marriage, you know, we have different locations that we’re at a lot,” she told E! (via Today) in 2019.
“You know, we’re not together every single day and I think, personally, it’s important, it works well for us. If we want to Instagram shame each other, Instagram shame each other. It just makes life really fun.” However, she explained their living situation wasn’t going to last long. “We’re building our dream house. We’re eventually going to be under the same roof forever,” Cuoco said.
In 2020, The Sun reported that Cuoco and Cook purchased a $12 million mansion in Los Angeles. We’re sure they have plenty of space to avoid each other if the need arises.
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