I try to be very honest about sleeping separately from my husband. I don't go out of my way to advertise it, but also don't pretend that it isn't a reality in my life. While there are many people who do agree that sleeping apart from their partner is a great idea, there are many who look at me with sad eyes, and just a tinge of pity. More about those looks in another post.
So when I hear of another person championing the cause of sleeping apart, I must admit that I do feel supported and buoyed. Such were my feelings at reading this article by Bob Ellis. Bob Ellis is an Australian writer, journalist, film-maker and political commentator, labor party stallwart and generally grumpy looking man. He has always struck me as a gruff old dude - the type who would give a person three minutes to justify why he should speak to them, and be harsh in his judgement of worthiness. This picture from one of his book covers justifies my judgements - at least to me it does.
Well, it turns out that Bob is a separate sleeper too! He recently wrote a great article published on the ABC's The Drum, Opinion.Titled To sleep, perchance to dream, the article talks about Ellis and his wife's decision to sleep apart.
The focus of his article is about the affects a lack of sleep can have on people. The premise of the article resonated with me as I too am particulary bad at decision making without sleep. Turns out, I am in good company (politically, anyway) when it comes to questionable judgement when sleep deprived.
The other aspect that made me feel good about reading the article was that it was a male championing the cause. Most writing on the topic is done by females, often blaming their lack of sleep on a snoring husband. Bob's article dealt with the fundamental issue being faced by people who cannot share a bed - the genuine health issues that can be caused by broken and minimal sleep.
Sue and I have done some research into the health affects of lack of sleep and there is much written about a myriad of issues caused by too little sleep. The weekend paper again referred to the link of childhood obesity to lack of sleep, and the list of other effects is substantial.
So here's to you Bob Ellis - thank you for your honesty and your voice.