Mara and Christopher Doemland were constantly “at each other’s throats” until they quit sleeping together.
Mara, 30, a stay-at-home-mom of five with tots ranging in age from 2 months to 10, was perpetually cranky due to a lack of sleep — mostly thanks to Christopher’s buzz saw-like snoring.
And Christopher, 37, a work-from-home crypto day trader, was tired of getting elbowed in the back all night for causing a loud, albeit unintentional, ruckus.
So, the soured sweethearts, who’ve been together for 11 years, decided to split up — but only at bedtime.
“Sleeping separately has totally improved our relationship,” Doemland, from Corpus Christi, Texas, told The Post. “We’re both so much happier.
“Now, there’s more physical touch and closeness between us during the day because we’re not grumpy from trying to sleep together at night.”
Mara and Christopher — who’s been catching z’s on either the couch, their bedroom floor or snuggled up in a bed with one of the kids for the past seven years — are among the growing number of married couples who are opting for what’s become known as a “sleep divorce.”
Turns out the couple was way ahead of the game when it comes to this surprisingly hot relationship trend: A new survey conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that one in three wedded pairs in the US have chosen to sleep separately from their spouses in effort to improve their marriages.
The report also found that millennial and Gen Z couples — husbands and wives between the ages of 18 to 42 — were the most willing to hit the hay apart, while Gen Xers, baby boomers and beyond were much more reluctant to hop on the seemingly bizarre boudoir bandwagon.
A sleep divorce is an unconventional nighttime arrangement that sees partners catching winks in their own beds or bedrooms for a better night’s rest and an enriched relationship.
And well-rested lovebirds on TikTok, where the buzzing hashtag SleepDivorce has raked in more than 394,000 views, can’t stop singing the martial trend’s praises — pointing to how refreshed and at peace they each feel when knocking out alone.
However, Manhattan sex and marriage therapist Megan Fleming tells The Post that a sleep divorce can benefit any twosome, regardless of age.
“Getting a good night’s sleep is so important for both partners in a marriage,” she said, noting the positive impact restorative rest has on each person’s energy, mood and overall health.
“If someone’s snoring, has a noisy CPAP machine (a device that keeps breathing airways open during sleep) or keeps an odd sleeping schedule,” Fleming continued, “it can cause resentment between the two people.”
Fleming also said getting some solo shut-eye not only helps otherwise happy couples avoid bedtime tension, but it can also assist in steaming things up when the honeys do decide to hit the sheets together.
“Couples who have a sleep divorce can see it as an opportunity to create some playfulness around intimacy,” she said.
“They can flirt more during the day, take turns visiting each other’s room [for sex] and really become intentional about making that physical connection a priority.”
Stay-at-home mom-of-four Alexis Welker, 26, from Rexburg, Idaho, says sleeping separately added an extra layer of spice to her and husband Adam’s sex life.
“Sex isn’t just in this one shared bedroom anymore,” said Welker, who’s pregnant with their fifth child. “It’s can be in his room, my room or wherever we want it to be.”
She and Adam, 30, an online baseball card purveyor, established their sleep divorce in November 2020 due to his “night owl” sleeping schedule and penchant for scrolling on a brightly lit phone while his wife of seven years tries to doze off. Their opposing slumber habits were beginning to cause animosity between the darlings, until Welker suggested Adam move into their spare bedroom.
Now, the lovers enjoy hosting special “sleepovers” in each other’s quarters as a saucy form of foreplay.
“It’s been great,” she said. “We’re not waking up annoyed at each other. We have our own space, I have my own bedroom closet and we miss each other at night.
“We wake up and the first thing we want to do is go to his room and see him,” Welker gushed.
“It’s like we’re in the honeymoon phase again.”