By Expert Contributor Katie Kovaleski
Co-sleeping has become more and more common in recent years and is becoming widely accepted throughout the parenting community. However, co-sleeping as a plan that is part of your parenting philosophy is much different than accidental co-sleeping which happens due to sheer exhaustion and a lack of other options.
If you find yourself frequently accidentally co-sleeping, you might want to consider other options. The quality of your sleep, your partner’s sleep and your child’s sleep will greatly improve when everyone is sleeping in their respective beds.
In addition to providing you with the most restorative sleep possible, keeping your bed kid-free can also do wonders for preserving marital intimacy.
Being chronically sleep deprived isn’t exactly an aphrodisiac and there isn’t a sure fire way to become accustomed to a cramped sleep space complete with frequent night wakings and kicks from your child. Once you get stuck in that continuous cycle, it becomes more difficult to break and can drive a wedge between couples.
I frequently hear from clients, about 90% of them, how being sleep deprived and/or having to bed share has created stress on their marriage. Not only are they no longer sleeping well, they are no longer intimate either. Many parents find themselves resigned to the guest room in order to get just a few hours of consolidated sleep.
Many couples continue this cycle for years at a time and some even perpetuate the cycle because they no longer feel connected to their partners. It gets easy to avoid making the changes necessary to break this cycle and for parents who work, that time at night in bed is the only alone time they will have, and in many cases, it’s now missing.
I urge parents who find themselves accidentally co-sleeping to take some time to make a plan and if needed, contact a sleep professional to help get your children sleeping in their own beds. It’s worth the few weeks of time and effort to achieve not only great sleep, but also a renewed connection with your partner.