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Sleep together or not? 2012/9/13 11:56
So here is an easy one might be more appropriate in the Cusroms section.

My wife is Japanese, she came to Canada a loong time ago so she is whitewashed as she says. We been together for over 10 yrs and every time we go to Japan it amazes me at the amount of couples that have separate beds/futtons. I kid you not. Her older sister married with 2kids yet husband and wife sleep separate. Same with her parents.

Many friends of theirs same situation. I am not a shy guy so I have asked that to many friends of ours in Japan and it seems to be the case with many couples in mid 30's and Up.

Is it me or it is weird? My folks would be divorced before not sleeping in same bed. Same with me and my wife.

I have asked my wife and she says many of her girlfriends from school are housewives and once the kids are raised in their teens. They are kind of stuck at home.....depression?
by Orleta (guest)  

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/13 16:21
Orleta,

I personally think it's funny that you find the concept of sleeping in separate beds/futons so alien.

I suspect Japanese couples are just more pragmatic about the situation rather than feeling duty-bound to stick with some quaint tradition while secretly longing to sleep in a separate bed.

This BBC article sums up what many people probably already know...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/5197440.stm
by Dave in Saitama (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/13 22:42
It's odd.
And it drives me crazy trying to book a place to stay - twin, twin, twin....
by agree (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/14 04:28
There is nothing odd about at all about sleeping in separate beds.

When I first moved to Germany I noticed that many beds for couples were made of 2 very slim box springs (made of several dozen thin wood slats, each with several rubber hinges that allowed the slats to rotate a bit along a horizontal axis to follow the curvature of a body) placed side by side in a single frame. Each person had his/her mattress and personal quilt.

Single mattresses allow each person to sleep soundly, even when the other person toss and turn.

Futons, incidentally, only come in single sizes as they are folded and stored away during the day. But they can be pushed together and couples can "cuddle" together for a while before falling asleep in their own space.

Hotels rooms in Japan, Europe etc. have twins beds because the rooms can be shared by 2 people that aren't romantically linked.
They can't have 2 Queen or King size beds because their buildings--in Europe especially--may have been built 100, 200 years ago or more and space in cities as always been at a premium.

I never understood why Americans couples slept in giant King size mattresses. These are so incredibly cumbersome to move around!
but then more and more Americans are King size too..
Just because the majority of the Americans sleep in the same bed doesn't mean that it is the "normal" way. It is for them, but it is not necessarily the norm around the world.

My dad was a horrible sleeper. Anyone that shared a hotel bed with him once (us kids, or buddies when they went hunting in another region) never wanted to do it again. Besides tossing and turning he would flail around in his sleep, hitting people in the legs or chest..
last time I had to share a hotel room with him--the hotel was full--I ended up sleeping in the bathtub! good things they had extra pillows and blankets!

At home he and mom slept in separate rooms...Obviously my parents did spent some time together...
Their homes had to have 2 bathrooms too, as he stayed at least 2 hrs in a bathroom each morning!!
Quite a few couples have separate bedrooms, if they have enough rooms in their house.
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/14 04:59
Redfrog

Very funny story about your parents.I laughed a lot reading your comment.My mother is same.She kicks and curse in her dreams.Once she threw my dad out of the bed with a kick.My father is famous for his snoring.Anybody next to his room cant sleep because of that torture.
by Mysticmonami rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/14 09:47
There are no king-size futon.
So we don't have the custom sleeping together, I think.
by moto86 rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/14 10:40
We have a double futon and judging by seeing some airing on balconies too and normally in the shops, they aren't that unusual, nor are double beds in furniture shops; but you only see queen, king, emperor size beds in specialist shops normally aimed at foreigners.
However, in the summer, we use separate towelkets and add an extra single futon to one side - it's just too hot to be close. Also separate futons/beds make it easier if couples keep different hours. Children also change things, two of my colleagues share a room/futon with a child, whilst their wife shares with another child (in one case in a separate room and the children are 7 and 9 - not sure how usual that is).

@Red frog: I have never stayed in a European hotel that didn't offer double/queen beds. Mostly there are some in Japanese hotels, but maybe only one or two rooms, most people seem to prefer twins here. I normally opt for Japanese style rooms as it give more flexibility with our young children. In the UK chain hotels, often the queen size is really 2 singles zipped together with queen bedding on, so they can alter the room type, not seen that in Japan though. Personally, I have never understood why Americans have such enormous hotel rooms with multiple queen-sizes in them - bigger than many Japanese appartments - what do they do in these rooms - it can't be just because they are so many people of size? Still, understanding American room size expectations means I can safely ignore hotel reviews from Americans that complain about small room sizes, they are usually perfectly fine for a normal person that wants a place to sleep.

Strangely, I know a couple that insist on sharing a single bed/futon in preference to a double - apparently they feel lost in one, all very sweet, but I find that a little odd. The British Queen also only ever sleeps in a single bed and Prince Philip is in a separate connecting room. So different people certainly have different preferences. Not sure any of this helps answer the question, but separate sleeping is certainly more common here in Japan.
by Lady Kodaira rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/14 11:39
Futons, incidentally, only come in single sizes as they are folded and stored away during the day.

Except for all the semi-double and double sized futon on sale a little further down the shelf. Or perhaps you're thinking of the futon offered at ryokan? Those generally are only offered in single size (probably as a matter of standardization for the ryokan).

I never understood why Americans couples slept in giant King size mattresses. These are so incredibly cumbersome to move around!
but then more and more Americans are King size too..


How often are you moving your bed around?!? I bet most people only move theirs twice. When they move it in, and again when they move it out :)

Fyi, I'm a rather small American, but I prefer a larger bed even when I sleep alone.

And it drives me crazy trying to book a place to stay - twin, twin, twin....

Have you tried searching for double rooms ;)
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/14 12:34
I agree with Red Frog - I find the German mattresses (two single mattresses) very comfortable to sleep in. Now at home we place two single futons side by side, so that we can hold hands as we turn in and before we fall asleep, but after that my hubby can turn and toss all he wants, without shaking me around :)

When we stay in hotels in Japan, I find the distance between the two beds in a "twin" room a bit disappointing, so at times (if there is a choice) I select a double, but then I almost always experience the "two people getting drawn to the center and sinking together" on soft mattresses, so my choice recently has been more toward twins. Nothing beats comfort :)

By the way, when we travel to continental Europe and book a hotel, we simply book a room for "double," and the beds have almost always been two single beds.

This is coming from a Japanese woman happily married for close to 20 years by now :)
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/14 23:31
Oh wow, I thought Saitama Dave said it all and now everyone's joining in, so here I come!

King size mattresses are a problem here, because you can't get them through the doors. My parents had to give it up.

Twin rooms, I used to book hotels all over the world as a profession, and ALL rooms we booked were twins with little exceptions. Surely, almost every hotel, including the ones in Japan have doubles, though. When I was in my twenties, they often arranged me a double here in Japan when I just said "room for two please" until I revealed it was for 2 women.

The only reason I sleep in the same bed with another guy at home is because he snores so hard that if we sleep separately, I would need to wake up, stand up and walk over to his bed to make him stop snoring, while when in the same bed I can simply kick his butt without even opening my eyes. Thank goodness he doesn't come home often any more.

But I notice that if the snoring is not as hard, all you have to do is to sleep in separate beds.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/15 00:09
This BBC article sums up what many people probably already know (titled: Bed sharing 'drains men's brains')

I concur. Nobody will be draining my brains out while I am asleep!

I would need to wake up, stand up and walk over to his bed to make him stop snoring, while when in the same bed I can simply kick his butt without even opening my eyes. Thank goodness he doesn't come home often any more.

Ever more enchanting :-)
by SEA monster (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/15 00:14
"..often the queen size is really 2 singles zipped together with queen bedding on, so they can alter the room type, not seen that in Japan though..

It's actually reasonably common at Japanese hotels and is known as a 'Hollywood Twin'

by Saru Bob (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/15 04:24
Ok let me RePhrase my First Post:

Why do a lot of Japanese Couples sleep in Separate Beds?

- bcz of bed size? I don't buy that
- cultural thing? Maybe
- bcz one might snore? Huh


Basically I see a "higher" proportion of Japanese couples sleeping in separate beds than say(examples given based of where I used to live)

Canada
Poland
Austria
Spain
Italy

by Orletafc rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/15 07:02
I don't know if this holds for Japan but in England there was a study that thought this was due to conservative attitudes towards showing ( or even implying ) sex in TV shows.
Because thoughts on sex used to be very conservative, TV shows would always show married couples sleeping in separate beds, so as to not offend anyone. As a result young people growing up with these shows thought that this was the way things were done and so they used seperate beds when they got married. This might partially explain why us British have such a good reputation as love-makers ;-)

I don't know if the same thing would apply to Japan but we do share a certain conservatism towards showing anything sexual in public...
by GMatt rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/15 10:44
I don't know if the same thing would apply to Japan but we do share a certain conservatism towards showing anything sexual in public...


Except for the page 3 girls I suppose...
by girltokyo (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/15 12:58
I'd say separate sleeping is purely practical & for sensible reasons- many Japanese aren't prudish when it comes to the issue of sex - this is the land of the phallic festival afterall! I've always found people in Japan old, middle aged & young refreshingly quite open & accepting of sexual issues.

Prudishness towards sex & sexual repression arises more so in Judeo-Christian traditions & was always about the church/authorities trying to control people's lives. You see societies in conflict with seemingly double standards - producing porn & pop stars as sexual subjects living alongside those who cling to the "sex is evil" line of thought - look at the power of the fundamental 'family values' stuff you see in US politics. Controlling people in the bedroom is a way of controlling their lives.

Anyway back to the point: Don't misunderstand people's actions: Sleeping in separate beds for most people is not about prudishness & fear of sex - it's about getting a good nights sleep! (My guess is that OP is still quite a young person who has not been married very long!)

by Lyn (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/15 14:53
Lady Kodaira..I don't dispute your own experience with European hotels but it obviously depends on the type of hotels and also the town.

Typically 2 star hotels located in older buildings in Paris, London, etc. have smaller beds...What they call Queen is barely bigger than a double...

there IS unfortunately a variation in actual bed sizes, just as in clothes..(I wear medium TS but some size Small are way to big for me!

One has to remember that, until recently, many Europeans, like Japanese, were on the small size themselves...so a double bed was wide enough for 2..

I have also seen old hotels in small towns in Southwestern France with rooms big enough for 2 double beds plus a round breakfast table with 4 chairs..plus an armchair or 2 by a fireplace..and they were cheaper than a single room in a 1 star hotel in Paris.

At least the Toyoko Inn twin beds are 120 cm wide, while in many places in Europe they are only 90cm.
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/16 00:41
had to leave my water bed at home when i moved to Japan ... god i miss it, even though it would be insanely hot right now. I can understand why people like to sleep in different beds. I find it a bit weird to sleep in seperate rooms. I know sometimes it can be necessary (example terrible snores), but from my experience it does not help a relationship. of course for some people it might be no problem at all.
by Rintaru83 rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/16 18:56
The idea of sharing a bed together as a couple is incredibly romantic, in my opinion. So if sharing a bed together works for your relationship, that's great.

I can also understand how other couples can view sharing a bed as inconvenient, and burdensome. Sleeping in separate beds, or in different rooms, seems more logical than dealing with snoring, and having a tug-o-war with the covers, etc. These things can compromise a good night's sleep.

I've shared a bed in the past, I don't mind the little quirks that comes with sharing. In fact, when I have a significant other to lay next to, and I'm sleeping alone, I'll get separation anxiety.
by CaitlynRose29 rate this post as useful

Re: Sleep together or not? 2012/9/18 00:38
Orletafc,

Reading your second post doesn't make my mind or answer change at all, but I wonder if this answers your question.

I think it's simply because more people think it's okay. If you're in an environment where more people encourage you to sleep together, you do so, and vise versa.

In Japan as well, a lot of young or childless people are surprized (or at least they pretend to be) when a married person says, "We're not sleeping in the same room."

But once you start a life and you realize that sleeping together is not practical for your particular household, you look around. You look around and you notice that there are quite a few people who think the same way as you do. And then you are encouraged to do whatever you always thought was right, which is to sleep separately.

Another thing is that in countries like the U.S. and UK (and probably more), parents are educated to make the baby sleep in a different room. This is supposed to encourage the baby's independence and assure the couple's bond.

Meanwhile, in Japan (and perhaps in some other Asian countries as well), parents are educated to sleep with the baby. Particularly in Japan, you are educated to sleep in "kawa no ji (in the form of the letter )" where the baby lies in the parents. This is supposed to ensure the bond of parents and child.

Off topic, as for the independence part, in Western countries, traditionally, parent and child hug and kiss forever while living apart, while in Japan, traditionally, you don't hug grown kids but support each other by living together.

So in Japan, it's more important for the baby to sleep with a parent even if it means you have to risk the physical bond of the mother and father, while in, say, the U.S. and UK it's more important for the couple to keep the bond even if it has to risk the bond between your child.

Of course, again, all this is just fantasy as we all know that both types of families can divorce in one way or another.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

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