why do old married couples sleep in separate beds
Yes, this is basically it. The wealthy (mostly nobility, but occasionally also particularly wealthy merchants) in the old days often married for business or political purposes. Marriage was more or less a business transaction, and while an heir was needed, it was very common for emotional and sexual needs to be met from outside the marriage. So separate chambers were often the norm. (You occasionally see references to a husband saying that he will come to his wife s chambers tonight, indicating that an attempt at making an heir would happen that night. )
Middle class individuals would have been a toss up. The middle class has historically been a very small portion of the population and the level of wealth and the lifestyle that afforded them could vary drastically within that population.
Some middle class individuals would have married to cement business relationships (or to break into the nobility) and some would have married for love, or at least had an arranged marriage where both parties were happy with the paring. Having separate bedrooms would have been the exception rather than the rule for a middle class marriage. Poor individuals would have only had a single room home. No living room or kitchen, just one room with a loft in their THATCHED ROOF COTTAGES! (Sorry for the Trogdor reference. I had to do it once I knew which direction I was going with that sentence. ) The animals would in some cases stay in the cottage as well in the winter. There were no doors to hide mum and dad doin the nasty.
On the coldest days the entire family would probably have been cuddled together in a single straw bed near the fire, on less cold days the kids would sleep in the hay up in the loft and the parents in the straw bed near the fire. Now, interestingly separate beds made a comeback without arranged marriages, at least in popular media in the middle of the last century. On TV (think The Brady Bunch or The Flintstones) when the bedroom of a married couple was shown they each slept in a separate twin bed. This was done as a sort of censorship to keep the concept of sex as far from TV as possible. Fighting with your spouse can cause you both to lose sleep, but losing sleep can also cause you to fight with your spouse. This chicken-egg conundrum has serious health implications for couples, especially if sleepless nights are more than a rare occurrence.
In a new at The Ohio State University Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, researchers acquired blood samples from 43 couples, both before, and after, they had a fight, on two separate occasions. The couples supplied information about topics known to generate spats in their household, as well as their recent sleep history. Researchers instructed each couple to discuss the contentious topic, and to then supply a blood sample. Findings indicated that couples who fought after not getting enough sleep had measurably higher levels of stress-related inflammation. б (. )б This type of physiological response puts both partners at a heightened risk for many diseases, and it's a, which includes diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, and arthritis.
While losing one night's sleep is no big deal, senior author and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, emphasizes that sleep loss becomes dangerous over extended periods of time. "If couples don't find ways to effectively address their differences, having continuously elevated levels of inflammation could put them at higher risk for health problems," she says. While the study didn't address the value of sleeping apart, it could allow couples to simmer down,. This will allow cooler heads to prevail come morning, they say. That's especially true if you happen to be fighting about how the other person is keeping your from sleeping soundly.
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