Once upon a time, young Baby Boomers ridiculed television programs that showed married couples in separate beds. They used terms like 'prudish' and 'Victorian' and 'repressed.'

Actually, those shows were representative of culture for most of human history. Humans have rarely shared a bed with a spouse or relative if they had a choice. Only in the 1950s did sharing a bed in larger rooms in larger houses become common. By the 1980s, California took the concept of a King-Sized bed (invented in 1890 to sleep 15) and marketed it for wealthy elites on the coasts; a California King, 7 feet long.

Prior to that, whenever possible people had their own bed, even if they were married. And maybe they slept better. Will that help people sleep now? Much like studies on meat, dairy, and PFAS chemicals, you will find conflicting claims(1) but one group which argues for one bed has the most to lose - the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which counts a whole lot of people in the mattress industry among their ranks. Mattress people would love to sell twice as many mattresses so if they think one bed is better than two, that means they must think the evidence is weighted heavily.

Let's take a look. Obviously sleep is important. We all have to do it and since that can be monetized there is a giant industry built up around telling rich people they don't sleep well enough, and to buy some new widget, app, or mindfulness class and it may get fixed. Money-driven types ignore that, like all population data, the average may not be relevant to you, any more than salt or saturated fats recommended levels are worth anything clinically.

It is also obvious that two people who sleep very different are worse off together, the same way as if they don't sleep at all. Yet if both enjoy it, that is a win. Then there is the economic issue. Not everyone can afford a separate bed, much less a separate bedroom. That will compound the stress, and therefore the sleep quality.

Whereas Boomers poked fun at the old days, younger generations ignore them entirely. They will have no problem at all simply ignoring convention common in the late 1800s, or undoing the 1950s mentality of sleeping together. They simply don't seem to care what anyone else thinks of their habits.

Are there any easy solutions? Not at all, just don't waste your money on wellness apps. A tablet didn't cause your sleep issues, but it sure won't help.


(1) Usually science saying something is not harmful unless you are a rat forced to overdose on it with epidemiologists saying it might be, knowing journalists will use their statistical correlation to shout that our water is killing us.