Sleep is a critical ally to most people, and can be experienced in countless ways. How we chose to sleep, and the quality we actually get, can say a lot about who we are in waking hours. It can also play a big role in the success of relationship, or its downfall. In Hollywood, sleep is a premium for the famous, who often go to extreme measures to saw some serious logs.
Last year on her reality show, Kourtney Kardashian revealed that she and boyfriend Scott Disick often sleep separately. He was quick to tweet that this is not due to friction, rather their newborn being frequently in the bed. “I’m not a good sleeper and with Mason in bed I can’t fall to sleep!” He’s not much of a wordsmith, but then that clan doesn’t ever seem to really have to be much of anything, so long as they’re being filmed while they’re not doing it. It’s worth noting that Kourtney and Scott were first linked in 2007, but it was 2011 before their sleep routine was disclosed. So maybe it slowly just became their routine. That would actually make them sound… dare I say it- normal.
Would you believe that polls tell us 20% of couples sleep separately – celebrity or not? This is not an issue of discord in most cases- but rather a choice made by partners who prefer their own bed. It does carry some pride issues, as many (like Scott) seem embarrassed by the prospect, often associated with an unhappy relationship. 30% of women in a 2004 Harris study admitted to getting less quality sleep due to their partner’s sleep routine. Only 17% of men said the same.
Snoring is the most famous culprit. In 2012 In Style Weekly reported that newly married Kevin Jonas and Danielle Deleasa quickly took to different bedrooms as he snored “like a freight train,” according to insiders. Before they announced their divorce, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were widely rumored to sleep separately, with reports that their L.A. mansion included a snoratorium attached to the master bedroom. Snoring and scientology – how could that ever get old?
These snoratoriums are soundproof chambers designed specifically for sleeping. Judge Judyhad one installed at her estate in Connecticut. “We have an extra room… it’s not necessarily for my husband. I have been told that I snore, although I cannot hear myself.” Already grating in daylight hours, one can only imagine what it’s like without language. Still many couples make that choice. As psychiatrist Scott Hatzman puts it, “We already live in a culture where we’re sleep deprived. Some people value sleep more than spooning.”
The British paper The Sun reports that when Eminem travels, he requests hotels to cover the windows in tin foil to entirely black out the sun. Experts say some people sleep like this when they are either hiding from outside intrusion, or feeling shame and guilt. Maybe he caught that Twilight bug. Just as his lyrics, speaking cadence and love life suggests – maybe he just prefers questionable unlit corners. Bill Maher recently revealed on his HBO show Real Time that he has his sleeping sanctuary “pimped out” so that no sunlight survives. Maher is one of Hollywood’s most infamous bachelors, and often praises the experience. Maher is also a night owl, and as a result tends to date girls who are up late – often out partying. He may be settling down a bit – he is approaching 57 after all. The last few years he had been mostly linked to scientist Cara Santa Maria (a fun name to yell out in anger), who blogs for The Huffington Post. The two split earlier this year – and he’s been right out on the field.
Hollywood is built on excess, but Mariah Carey could take that to an odd level. She claims to require 15 hours to sing well, according to a 2007 piece with Interview Magazine. “Literally, I’ll have 20 humidifiers around my bed,” she said. “Basically, it’s like sleeping in a steam room.” I never really realized you could be a diva while unconscious. Of course she could just be psychiatrically exhausted. This woman spent nearly a decade with uber-creepy record exec Tommy Mottola, five years with Eminem and had at least one date with Eddie Griffith. I can’t decide which of those would be harder to endure. Yet despite all the extra sleep, she’s suffered several bouts of extreme exhaustion, that led to hospitalization. One such was right before the release of Glitter where she was reportedly consumed with worry that it would fail. Hmm – that psychic has a great singing voice.
For some, it’s definitely a condition. Jimmy Kimmel wasn’t diagnosed as having narcolepsy until adulthood, and would frequently drift back to sleep throughout the working day. “I would doze off in meetings, watching TV, even driving. You know how when you’re regular tired, your whole body is tired? With narcolepsy, just the inside of your head is tired. It’s like somebody’s gently sitting on your brain.” Maybe his late diagnosis came after his time with fellow comic Sarah Silverman, before he could properly treat the problem. Nothing effects a personality worse then sleep deprivation – so maybe she always saw the worst of him. The tired and frustrated Jimmy he couldn’t show everyone else. Hopefully he’ll be wide awake for his coming wedding to writer Molly McNearney.
Just like his comedy,Jon Stewart’s sleep process is restless. Even when sleeping he’s always on the move, suffering from ‘the Jimmy Legs’ as he calls them. “Whoever’s in the bed with me, wife , dog – they get bruised.” He may just have been setting up a bit for restless leg medications. You be the judge…
Leading up to the 2011 Grammy Awards Lady Gaga claims to have spent 72 hours in her vessel (a custom-made hard plastic egg) before being reborn live on stage. She has frequently been quite open about sleeping in this lunacy. After the performance, she retrofitted her NY loft to accommodate said egg. I think a clear line can be drawn between that and her apparent open nature to date whomever arrives. Her type seems to swing widely in terms of age, features, gender. What they do seem to share is the same flare for non convention that often might land someone in an egg. She’s another musician who became involved with the man who essentially made her a star before becoming unbearable. Another reason to hide under the cover. Or shell.
Sleep takes up roughly one third of our lives, and does weigh heavily on our conscious life. Some view it as merely a needed fuel, while others consider it a much-loved sanctuary. Whether sleeping with a partner, or choosing to go the solo route, or hanging from the rafters in sensory deprivation gear – it can tell you a lot about how people operate in terms of business, family and sheer sanity.
Will King is a television and media critic who splits his time as a stand up comic. He collects conspiracy theories and claims to have invented Teflon. In his spare time he follows presidential politics and all traffic signs. He lives in Charlotte, NC.
Selma: Hmm… all this celebrity sleeping talk has me thinking. Are there maybe some sleep enhancing you-know-whats involved here??? This is a problem. Sleeping pills are NOT okay. And YES, it is an addiction. I recommend this DiscoveryGame to help discover what you and your partner feel about sleeping pills.
Giulia: Couples make their own rules in so many aspects of relationships these days that I say ignore the old school relative of yours who’s telling you your twosome is doomed if you don’t get your sleep in a conventional way. After all, sneaking into your partner’s bed in the middle of the night can make you feel like teenagers again. I recommend this Tokii Read to help you and your partner make your own sleeping rules!