What to Do if You and Your Partner are on Different Sleep Schedules

Maybe you and your partner are in the tough position of having different sleep cycles? Perhaps one of you is a morning person and the other a night owl? Although on paper this may not seem like a big deal, differences in sleep schedules can cause significant relationship problems, and couples dealing with this problem tend to report to have less intimacy and higher rates of conflict compared to couples who sleep and rise at the same time. If you and your partner need to tackle this problem, below are some tips to help you get started!
  • You may try to compromise? If you guys are only sleeping an hour or so apart, you might be able to meet in the middle and get rid of the problem entirely.
  • If the time difference is more significant, another option for the night owl in the partnership to try to change their schedule (if they’re open to it). Sleeping earlier and rising earlier are proven to help our health in many ways and promote better sleep hygiene, so it might be a positive change to make! Try to start with a dawn simulator to help you rise at the same time as your partner. You can attempt to train your body to get on a healthier schedule. 
If you’re both comfortable with going to bed and rising at different times, there are still some tips to help you make sleeping on different schedules work for you!
  • Make sure you respect the other person’s schedule. If your partner sleeps later and you get up early for work, consider laying out your clothes the evening before? Or go ahead and prepare your breakfast if the bedroom is close by. Basically, try to keep the noise down whenever your partner is sleeping.
  • On the other hand, if you’re the one trying to sleep when your partner has to be up and about, consider a sleep mask or earplugs to make sure your sleep doesn’t get disrupted!
  • You can get into bed at the same time, even if you don’t fall asleep together. Since couples on different sleep schedules tend to lack intimacy and time for cuddling, getting to spend this time pre-bed might be a replacement for traditional nighttime cuddling!
  • Lastly, you may want to consider sleeping separately? Some couples swear by this tactic! You can always sleep separately or alternate sleeping together and apart. Just make sure to carve out time to spend together undistracted each day to make sure you’re still as connected as ever!

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