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Did Married Couples Sleep In Separate Beds Back In The Day?


Did Married Couples Sleep In Separate Beds Back In The Day?

source: Click Americana

My grandparents slept in separate twin beds for as long as I can remember. I never gave it much thought until I moved in with my now husband, and wondered why they chose not to share a bed for all of those years. As it turns out, married couples sleeping in separate beds was the norm throughout many decades. Let’s take a further look into why that was.

source: Click Americana

If you think back to television shows, movies, magazines, and advertisements from the 1940s to the 1970s, you would almost always see married couples portrayed as sleeping in separate beds. This was because media rules of the time largely prohibited displaying couples in the same bed as a way to promote conservative values.

source: The New York Times/Everett Collection

Another interesting influence which dates all the way back to the 1700s and 1800s was the concept that only wealthy families had members sleep in separate beds. They were the ones who could afford more bedroom sets and had large homes to accommodate more bedrooms. Having more than one person share a bed signified a low socioeconomic standing, poor hygiene, and low class.

source: History/Raphael Gaillarde/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

In the 1950s, when consumerism really started to explode, some critics believe the portrayal of couples sleeping in separate beds was simply a way for furniture companies to sell more beds and for department stores to sell more bedding. I must admit, this theory makes a lot of sense to me!

source: Click Americana

Beginning in the 1970s, the notion emerged that couples who slept in separate beds would have a strained relationship lacking romance and intimacy. This is around the time when we saw couples sleeping in the same bed being portrayed in the media. Although I really don’t mind sleeping in the same bed as my husband, I’m sure I would have much more peaceful sleeps if I had the bed to myself. I really think that the decision to sleep in the same bed as your partner or not is completely dependent on the couple – people need to do what’s right for them!



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