Upside of Breaking Up: You’ll Sleep Better Alone

By
Photo: Daly and Newton/OJO Images RF/Getty Images

One of the hardest things to get used to about life after a breakup is the suddenly empty side of the bed where your ex-partner once slept. It may not feel like it at first, but there is research to suggest that your quality of sleep will vastly improve now that you’ve got the bed all to yourself. In one study done back in the 1960s, researchers observed couples as they slept in a laboratory for three consecutive nights; on some nights they shared a bed, and on others they slept separately. On the nights they slept alone, they spent more time in stage 4 sleep, meaning they slept more deeply. Plus, on the nights the individuals slept alone, middle-of-the-night awakenings were reduced by 60 percent compared to the nights they slept beside their partner. 

And there’s some evidence that women may especially benefit from getting the bed all to themselves. More recent research showed that while men slept better next to their significant other, women slept worse. For women, then, this is a real silver lining to a breakup: Once the heartbreak has healed, sleep — real, restorative sleep, the kind you maybe could never quite manage with your partner — may be ahead. And when you do share your bed with someone new, here's a pro tip from sleep experts: separate blankets.