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The pros and cons of a 'sleep divorce'

Couples are going to great lengths to get a good night's rest by not sleeping together at all.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — We all know how important a good night of sleep is and if we aren't getting enough of those coveted zzz's... we are not our best self.

"It started for the past few years," said Ashley Oliverius. "He had terrible snoring to the point where I didn't sleep and I would wait for him to snore... so nobody slept."

Ashley and her husband Patrick Demeules know that a lack of sleep can lead to misplaced anger toward the people we love.

"She would accuse me of snoring and I am like 'No I'm not, I'm sleeping,'" Patrick said.

After 13 years of marriage, the two decided to get a sleep divorce where couples go to great lengths to get a good night's rest... by not sleeping together at all. 

Although these two aren't splitting up their assets, just their bedrooms.

"As long as I got a good night sleep we didn't argue about it," Ashley said. "There was no elbowing."

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Evolve Therapy, Renee Segal, says a sleep divorce only works when couples are secure in their relationship.

"It can be a positive or it can be a negative," said Segal. "But, if you can, I think sleeping together in a general way is better because there is more bonding and connection time."

Segal says when couples are fighting and sleeping in separate rooms that could make matters worse.

"That's the worst marriage advice ever… 'don't go to bed angry'," said Segal. "Take a break if you can and come back and try to talk about it… and if you can try to talk about it from what's going on with you instead of blaming."

For Ashley and Patrick, after nine months of sleeping apart and a visit to a sleep clinic, Patrick was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, a condition where you stop breathing on and off while you sleep. 

Today, Patrick has been newly fitted with a CPAP machine and he and his wife are happy to be reunited. 

"The snoring is gone and she sleeps great now… that was the thing," said Patrick.

"We're not meant to be alone," said Segal. "We are bonding people and we need to have our people close to us."

For couples who are fighting, Renee says once they start therapy and they start communicating and talking about deeper emotions, they can hopefully find a way back into the same bed.

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