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Do married couples sleep in separate beds in Japan?


Marriage is an institution that has existed for centuries, and it is a common practice in most countries around the world. However, different cultures have different beliefs and practices when it comes to marriage. In Japan, one question that often comes up is whether married couples sleep in separate beds. This article will delve into this topic and provide a comprehensive answer.

The History of Sleeping Arrangements in Japan

In Japan, sleeping arrangements have changed over the years. Traditionally, people slept on futons on the floor, which they would roll up and put away during the day. As homes became more westernized, beds became more common. However, even with the introduction of beds, many Japanese people still prefer to sleep on futons. As for married couples, sleeping arrangements have also evolved over time.

Japanese Snack Box

The Traditional Practice of Separate Beds

Historically, it was common for married couples in Japan to sleep in separate rooms or even separate houses. This was because of the belief that it was easier to maintain purity by avoiding physical contact during sleep. Over time, this practice has become less common, but some older couples still prefer to sleep separately.

The Influence of Western Culture

As Japan became more westernized after World War II, the practice of sleeping together became more common. Western-style beds became popular, and many young couples started sleeping together in the same bed. However, this trend did not completely eliminate the practice of sleeping separately.

The Modern Trend of Sleeping Together

In recent years, there has been a shift towards couples sleeping together in Japan. According to a survey conducted by the Japanese Association for Sex Education, 70% of married couples reported sleeping together in the same bed. This trend is also evident in popular culture, as many TV dramas and movies portray couples sharing a bed.

The Benefits of Sleeping Together

There are several benefits to sleeping together as a couple. One of the most obvious is the emotional intimacy that comes from sharing a bed. It also promotes physical closeness and can help improve communication between partners. Additionally, sleeping together has been shown to reduce stress and promote better sleep quality.

The Benefits of Sleeping Separately

While sleeping together has its benefits, there are also some advantages to sleeping separately. For example, if one partner snores or has different sleep habits, separate beds can lead to better sleep quality for both individuals. It can also help maintain a sense of independence within the relationship.

Reasons for Sleeping Separately

There are several reasons why some couples in Japan choose to sleep separately. One common reason is snoring, which can disrupt sleep for both partners. Another reason is different sleep schedules or habits, such as one partner being a night owl and the other an early bird. Cultural traditions or personal preferences may also play a role.

The Stigma Surrounding Separate Beds

Despite the growing trend of sleeping together, there is still some stigma surrounding the practice of sleeping separately in Japan. Some people view it as a sign of marital problems or lack of intimacy. However, it is important to remember that every couple is different and what works for one may not work for another.

Changing Attitudes Towards Separate Beds

As more couples in Japan choose to sleep separately, attitudes towards the practice are starting to change. Some experts argue that separate beds can actually be beneficial for a relationship by allowing each partner to get better sleep and maintain their own space. It is important for couples to communicate openly about their sleeping arrangements and find a solution that works for both partners.


In conclusion, the practice of sleeping arrangements in Japan has evolved over time. While separate beds were once the norm, more couples are now choosing to sleep together in the same bed. However, there are still some who prefer separate beds for various reasons. Ultimately, what works best for a couple depends on their individual needs and preferences.

Do married couples in Japan sleep in the same bed?

It is common for married couples in Japan, regardless of their living space or personal habits, to opt for separate beds or even separate rooms for sleeping.

Is it common for married couples to sleep in separate beds?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, a recent survey found that one in ten adults in the United States rarely or never have a restful night’s sleep. Additionally, approximately 25% of American couples choose to sleep in separate beds from their significant other.

Do Japanese families sleep in the same room?

In Japan, it is common for families to sleep together on large futons in a room with tatami flooring, with parents sharing the space with babies and young children. Additionally, napping is also commonly practiced, but not necessarily in traditional beds.

Is cosleeping normal in Japan?

Co-sleeping between infants and mothers has been a common practice in Japan since ancient times, with most mothers and infants sleeping face-to-face. According to research from 2008-2009, at least 70% of infants in Japan co-sleep with their parents. (Shimizu et al. 2014).

Does Japan encourage cosleeping?

It is common in Japan for families to share sleeping arrangements, with parents and babies co-sleeping until the next child is born. Even after that, the oldest child often continues to co-sleep with another family member until they are around ten years old.

Why do Japanese couples sleep separately?

To some people, sleeping separately is a way to maintain a sense of peace. They prioritize getting a good night’s rest and prefer not to be disturbed by snoring, restless sleep, kicking, or other disruptions.

It is worth noting that sleeping arrangements are not the only factor that determines the strength of a marriage. Other factors such as communication, mutual respect, and trust are also crucial. Therefore, whether or not a couple sleeps in separate beds should not be seen as an indication of the quality of their relationship.

It is also important to consider the cultural context when examining sleeping arrangements in Japan. Japan has a unique culture with its own set of values and traditions. Therefore, it is not surprising that some couples still prefer to follow traditional practices, while others embrace more modern trends.

Overall, the question of whether married couples in Japan sleep in separate beds is not a straightforward one. The practice has evolved over time, and there are now many factors that influence a couple’s decision on whether or not to sleep together. Ultimately, what matters most is that both partners feel comfortable and satisfied with their sleeping arrangement and that it does not negatively impact their relationship.

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