A bed of my own..

Virginia Woolf wrote an essay about how women needed a room of one's own...I would also add a bed!

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I'd love my own bed.

We’re sleeping in separate beds at the moment.

We haven’t fallen out, we aren’t splitting up, no one has had an affair, we are just sleeping in separate beds at the moment.

He’s had a cold so has been sniffling and coughing so has been bravely suffering in the spare bed.

I wrote about how I think I’m in the menopause and all the symptoms I was having.  I say ‘was having’ because most of my symptoms have gone thanks HRT. 

However, I have noticed that for the 2 weeks prior to my period, I sleep much more lightly.  I also feel like my need for personal space increases.  Normally my personal space bubble is quite small, definitely less that a stretched out arm’s bubble all around me.  But leading up to my period my personal space bubble increases to the size of a room, sometimes several rooms, sometimes a house, depending on how much contact I have had with people.

As a teacher I come into contact with many people each day and I love the people I teach, work with and live with so it’s not the people that is the issue, it’s just that more and more I seem to need to balance the people with solitude.  There are some days when the only time I have to myself is now, at 0530 when I get up to write.  From 0700 my day can be full of people until bed time so that the last thing I feel like doing is sharing a bed with another person, I just want to be alone.

This could be a personality trait, an introvert thing as even when I was very young my mum used to call me Greta Garbo because I wanted to be alone.  However I went out with a friend the other night and she assured me it isn’t just me, that lots of her other female friends and clients need that space away from people and that I’m not the only woman who wishes they had their own bed and their own room where they could curl up and read or meditate or just cuddle their pillow and spread out across a whole delicious bed without touching, hearing, seeing or smelling anyone else.

First Love and I house shared with his brother for a while and we each had out own bedroom.  Sometimes First Love and I slept together in his bed, sometimes we slept together in my bed. Sometimes we slept alone.  If I ever told my friends about this arrangement at the time, when we were in our early twenties, I got so much stick that it became clear that sleeping alone when you are in a couple was seen as Not Good and a Very Bad Sign.  When that relationship ended it was because of his death, not our sleeping arrangements.

My children still share a room, but they have their own beds.  As kids, my sister and I always had our own rooms.  And yet, having my own room as an adult is seen as somehow deviant; I feel such residual shame from my 20s  for admitting I would like a bedroom of my own again.  In our society, sleeping alone whilst in a relationship still seems to be a taboo.

I’ve been asking people about their sleeping arrangements and it turns out that some people do sleep apart (with his snoring being cited as the main reason) but they tell me this as if they are confessing to an affair.

Other people can not countenance sleeping apart as they see it as a loss of intimacy, the break of a bond and a sign that things are not good in their relationships.  They would rather be sleep deprived (and some of them are) than sleep alone.

I need my sleep.  I love sleep.  I have amazing dreams and lots of my best ideas come while I’m asleep.  I love my life so I want to start each day full of energy, not grumpy and tired. 

Let's start talking about how well we sleep, really, honestly and openly and take the stigma out of (never/ sometimes/ always) wanting a bed of our own.

  • How well do you sleep?
  • Are you getting the amount of sleep you need?
  • What would help you sleep better?

You can read more about the effect of sleep (or lack of it) here.


Julie Leoni

Writer, Listener, Teacher, Dr

I am a stress and well-being coach who supports women to ask for what they want and look after their own needs so that they can hear their heart's call and live a more empowered and meaningful life. I draw on experience and training in bereavement, domestic abuse, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, Transactional Analysis and other therapeutic approaches to get you loving you. I have 2 sons who I love loads (and who sometimes drive me crazy). I'm a Barefoot Trained coach and I got a distinction for my post-grad cert in 2011. I have a PhD which led me to look at Emotional Intelligence in schools and I have a number of academic and professional qualifications in various types of therapy. I have practiced meditation since I went to India over 25 years ago and I'm currently training to be a yoga teacher. I have written a couple of books, I teach psychology and work with a large variety of coaching clients.