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Morning people vs night owls


klmama
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If you and your spouse go to bed at different times, how do you avoid waking each other, either at night or in the morning?  If you or your spouse successfully changed your sleep schedule from staying up late to getting up early, how did you do it and what helped you maintain it long-term?

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DH falls asleep on the couch around 9 while I read til about 10:30. Then I wake him up to go to bed ? He wakes up around 4 or 5 and gives me a quick kiss and quietly shuts the door to our room so I can go back to sleep while he gets ready for work. 

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Dh usually goes to bed earlier than me.  It’s very rare that I wake him when I go to bed.  Generally speaking, the man could sleep through a tornado.  

In the mornings, he used to get up before me.  And ALWAYS wakes me up.  Always.  He spends his whole morning snorting and clearing his throat and coughing and banging around, I have no idea how the kids sleep through it.  It’s as if he thinks he is the only one in the house and irritates me.   And it’s why I now get up before he does...all that banging and snorting has set a habit that has me naturally waking up earlier, kinda like people who wake up a couple of minutes before their alarm goes off each morning.  I am not a morning person, and I still am not even though I am getting up at 6:20 each day.  

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I'm a morning person. I'm often asleep by 9:00. DH usually comes to bed at 11:00 or later. It doesn't bother me a bit. I rarely hear him, and if I do I go right back to sleep because that's my body's prime sleeping time. If I do hear him it's usually because I'm not sleeping well for some other reason. I generally get up around 5:00, and left to his own devices he'll sleep until at least 8:00. He says he rarely hears me get up, or if he does he goes right back to sleep. Because that's his body's prime sleeping time. (I know that's really no help to you.)

I think it's probably very difficult for many people to change their body clocks. I know that no matter how hard I try it seems impossible to get myself to the point that I can function well at all in the evening.

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I go to bed before 10pm, and DH stays up later. He is quiet when he comes to bed, doesn't switch the light on, changes in the bathroom. I usually don't notice at all. Occasionally I wake briefly and go back to sleep.

The person who gets up first does so quietly. The other only wakes if it's close to our usual waking time. The awake person avoids noisy tasks (clanging dishes etc).

It has never been a problem. 

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As for changing rhythm: my DS has become more of a morning person because he is motivated by the things it allows him to do. The past semester,  he has been going to judo practice that starts at 7am. It's what he loves most, and being able to train before classes gave him a powerful incentive to get up early and with joy.

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We changed our mattress.  That was seriously the one biggest factor in the sleep we got.  DH goes to bed at midnight or after (long work days), I'm in bed by 10 most nights.  After years of feeling like I woke up on a boat in the middle of the night we switched to a memory foam style one and now don't even feel when the other person goes to bed/wakes.  Everything else were little changes: putting out clothes the night before, having toiletries in a different bathroom, grinding the coffee at night before anyone goes to bed..but the mattress...that was a HUGE improvement!

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6 minutes ago, regentrude said:

As for changing rhythm: my DS has become more of a morning person because he is motivated by the things it allows him to do. The past semester,  he has been going to judo practice that starts at 7am. It's what he loves most, and being able to train before classes gave him a powerful incentive to get up early and with joy.

At 40 yrs old, I don’t know that I have EVER gotten up “with joy.”  Lol.  Doesn’t matter what time or how good I slept, waking up is my least favorite part of the day ?

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4 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

We changed our mattress.  That was seriously the one biggest factor in the sleep we got.  DH goes to bed at midnight or after (long work days), I'm in bed by 10 most nights.  After years of feeling like I woke up on a boat in the middle of the night we switched to a memory foam style one and now don't even feel when the other person goes to bed/wakes.  Everything else were little changes: putting out clothes the night before, having toiletries in a different bathroom, grinding the coffee at night before anyone goes to bed..but the mattress...that was a HUGE improvement!

Interesting!  We do all of the little stuff, but the mattress/boat comparison definitely fits and seems a big part of the problem.  Memory foam mattress... do you mean a completely foam mattress, or one with memory foam attached on top?  Does it get hotter than a typical mattress? 

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2 minutes ago, klmama said:

Interesting!  We do all of the little stuff, but the mattress/boat comparison definitely fits and seems a big part of the problem.  Memory foam mattress... do you mean a completely foam mattress, or one with memory foam attached on top?  Does it get hotter than a typical mattress? 

We got a Nectar. It doesn't get too hot (the cooling gel helps), but dh and I experimented with a gel/foam topper from Ikea first before going fully in.  Honestly our thought was that it couldn't be worse than what we had, you know?  Their customer service can use a little work (we waited longer than it said for it to be shipped), but we really love the change.  It's so much better on our joints and doesn't move like our old one.

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Dh goes to bed around 9:30, but I stay up until at least midnight most nights.  I am careful and do the following things to avoid waking him up:

I wash my face earlier in the evening, before he goes to bed.  I wait to brush my teeth, but I do so in another bathroom.  I don't turn on any lights in our room or the bathroom, but I do turn on the flashlight on my phone while I'm in the bathroom.  If I need to make noise, I shut the door between the bedroom and bath.  I slide into bed and try not to tug on the covers or make any noise.  We have a Select Comfort (Sleep Number) Bed, with separate air chambers, so the mattress doesn't jostle at all when we move around.  That probably helps a lot.

In the morning, he gets up before me.  I rarely hear him, but if I do, and I don't need to get up, I have no trouble going back to sleep.  After 27 years of marriage, I know his routine so well, his sounds are predictable and comforting.  He quietly shuts the bedroom door when he leaves the room so that his kitchen noises and walking don't bother me.

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Dh goes to bed later than me. I can fall asleep with the light on and him reading. He’s fairly quiet about getting ready for bed and I wear earplugs anyway because of snoring. I sometimes wake up earlier than him. I get my stuff ready the night before and have it in the bathroom. I try to make minimal noise. He usually wakes up a little but goes back to sleep. 

I am a natural night owl but have become an early riser. It was dictated by my work schedule.  I am very consistent about going to bed by 10 pm. Recently I’ve been getting up some days at 4 am so I go to bed at 9 pm on those night.  If I stay up later I start to feel really awake and then I stay up too late (for getting up early). I try to not sleep in or stay up on the weekends. It might vary by an hour (11pm-6 or 7 am) but not more than that. I think now it’s become such a habit that my body is also becoming more of an early riser. I find that I wake naturally by 6 am even if I don’t set an alarm. That would not have happened 10-15 years ago. But mostly it just took a lot of years of being really consistent. 

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Fortunately for me, dh normally sleeps like a log and he tells me he would rather I turn on lights when I get up or come to bed rather than break my neck in the dark.  I generally just try to use phone or tablet for light but if I forget to have one near me, I do turn on the light near my bed.  Depending on weather and how much activity I have done I am a night owl and morning person at the same time or like now, neither a night owl or a morning person.  Dh does wake me up if I went to bed before him to take my bedtime medicine because I normally forget that since if I go to bed early, it is because I am exhausted and my thinking doesn't work well when I am exhausted.  We have twin King bed and that has made everything a lot better.  Now I don't tend to wake him up when I get up after trying to sleep for about 20 minutes. Also, although he has sleep apnea, he uses a mouthpiece instead of a CPAP machine-   if he had a CPAP machine, I couldn't sleep in the same room.  I can't sleep normally without nearly complete darkness and need either silence or white noise like the fan being on in our bathroom.  

I just did a research questionnaire on 23 and me and it brought home my fear of how will I sleep on my upcoming vacation.  I have had issues on the trips I have had this year where I didn't choose the hotel very carefully.  New Years was fine and I had chosen, New Orleans was almost no sleep, Memphis and Nashville were fine since I choose hotels, Gatlinsburg Tn was bad lack of sleep.  Now I will have 12 days of unknown sleep quality starting next Tuesday and while I am very excited about the trip, I am very nervous about the sleep issues.  But I have enough pain pills, lidocaine lotion, sleep medicine and will be bringing earplugs and eyeshade so hopefully, I will be able to sleep.

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10 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

We've slept in separate bedrooms for 20 years now. No, it doesn't decrease intimacy or frequency.  Sometimes we go back to his place and sometimes we go back to mine.

That's incredible.  And hilarious!  

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For years I've wanted to change from being a night owl to a morning person.  I don't think I'll ever truly be a morning person.  I've gone through little stretches of time where I'll wake up early for a certain activity or form of exercise that I really like, but it never sticks.  It's been really cool during those times to see the sunrise or feel like I crammed a lot into the day.  It's just SO hard to change my body clock.  Maybe another factor is being introverted: after a full, busy day with people, I really need some time to shut down mentally before bed, so I stay up to decompress alone.  Going to bed early and skipping this process = bad insomnia, which is worse than staying up late.  I'm very disciplined in various areas of my life, but this is one "bear" of an issue that I just don't seem to be able to change.  Frustrating!  Still listening, though, and holding out hope that I might be able to change at some point...

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I get up what I consider fairly early (6), but I don't do it happily.  Every.single.day, I have to talk myself out of the bed and make deals with myself.  "If its horrible, you can always go back to bed."  " I will get up after I count to 100."  Silly stuff.  My husband jumps out of bed completely awake.  

 

At night, he falls asleep on the couch around 9.  Around 9:45, we both get up and go to bed.  He could not stay up late for anything.  I force myself to bed, but I often wish I could stay up until midnight.  

 

I am not sure that you can ever truly change 

Edited by Zinnias
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1 hour ago, myblessings4 said:

 

Which topper did you buy from Ikea, to try it out?

 

Friends of ours recently bought one from a company like Nectar, Tuft and Needle, and say it has been life changing!  The husband said it's the first time in decades he hasn't had back pain!  We want one, but can't right now.


I want to say it was Knapstad, but I could swear it looks like the Tananger.  I think it might have been the tananger, actually, because dh was super convinced that memory foam was hot and uncomfortable and this definitely wasn't.

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