Before the industrial revolution there were no peasants

BBC NEWS | Health | Bed sharing ‘bad for your health’

One study found that, on average, couples suffered 50% more sleep disturbances if they shared a bed.

Dr Stanley, who sleeps separately from his wife, points out that historically we were never meant to share our beds.

He said the modern tradition of the marital bed only began with the industrial revolution, when people moving to overcrowded towns and cities found themselves short of living space.

Before the Victorian era it was not uncommon for married couples to sleep apart. In ancient Rome, the marital bed was a place for sexual congress but not for sleeping.

And primitive people certainly never slept huddled together in family groups to conserve warmth, or with kids piled into the same space as adults.

It may well be that such things do in fact disturb our sleep, but painting modern living as a a space-constrained historical anomaly is really, hard to do with a straight face.

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