The silent partner is speaking up.
Men and women whose bedmates snore like a foghorn may not be able to quiet the cacophony, but they're determined to get a good night's sleep.
A trend in homebuilding, according to Chicago real-estate author and broker Mark Nash, is the "snoring room." It's normally a part of the master bedroom suite - an adjoining bedroom or sleeping area - that lets everyone soak in some REMs without being banished to the couch. And the second bed is usually at least full size to keep the conjugal visits, and the relationship, humming.
"It's an emerging trend," Nash said. "I think it will definitely go mainstream in the next three years."
Among "active adults," the demographic term for people 55 and older, it already has.
The double master suite "is one of our most popular options," said Dave Smith, vice president of marketing and product development for Cambridge Homes/D.R. Horton, who dislikes the "snoring room" term. "Some people say, 'I love them to death, but I can't sleep with them anymore. They keep me up all night.'"
In other cases, Smith added, it may be a lifestyle issue. One partner may be an early bird, but the other is a night owl. "In a long-term relationship, there's a lot to love. Sleeping may not be a part of that," said Smith, whose firm has a model available with a double master suite.
Shauna and her husband of 25 years built a house in Hinckley, Ill., three years ago and went the snoring room one better. They had two master bedrooms built so she could stop being groggy all day as the couple ran their heating and air-conditioning company.
Sleeping with her husband, she said, "is like an interactive sport sometimes," between his moving around, snoring and talking in his sleep. Nonetheless, when they made the decision, "We started out being very apologetic to each other: 'Are you sure you're not mad?'"
Their physical relationship hasn't suffered in the least, she says. "It just means we're very happy sleeping apart - sleeping being the operative word."
Although she made the change for her own health, her husband warmed to the idea after a month. "It's just so nice," he told her. "I know I can stretch out anywhere."
Nash said the snoring-room trend began in upscale homes but is spreading. Some master suites have sitting areas that are being converted into snoring rooms. Hallways and closets are being shaved in renovations to make an extra space as well.
For many years, Nash said, the snoring room was simply the family-room couch. "Today, for the sake of relationships, it's now part of a master suite."
Technically, Shauna admitted, she's not sleeping alone; three cats sleep at the end of her bed.
"But they don't snore," she said.