Are you married to an early nighter who gets up before the crack of dawn (much to your annoyance) while you’re a night owl who treasures those moments of sleeping in? Believe it or not, this difference can negatively affect the quality of your relationship. Here’s a little excerpt from the Wall Street Journal:
“Researchers found spouses who go to bed at different times report significantly less relationship satisfaction than those on the same schedule. They have more conflict, spend less time in shared activities and serious conversation”
Studies have shown that the happiest couples go to bed at the same time every night! Wonder why? Let’s break this down, if one person goes to bed early and wakes up early and one person goes to bed late and wakes up late then that does affect the time you would spend together especially if you both work outside the home. Winding down together is a great opportunity to spend a little quality time and catch up on each other’s day. (I recommend showering together sometimes too as you wind down!) Getting into bed together puts you both in a more relaxed mood so you can have better communication and you should actually sleep better and should ultimately experience less stress and arguments.
The article also sighted more sexual intimacy in these marriages with similar sleeping schedules and that just being physically close to each other stimulates the hormone oxytocin which reduces stress and promotes bonding. Who doesn’t want that? I think we’d all agree that keeping each other sexually satisfied is key for a happy marriage and getting into bed at the same time means greater opportunities for more sexual intimacy in the relationship. I’m sure there are quite a few early nighters who would rather not be rolled over for sex after they’ve entered deep sleep.
But what about those couples who can’t seem to get their sleeping pattern in sync? Get together and talk about it so you can agree to compromises. If what you’re currently doing works for you…don’t fix it. But if you do see where this suggestion could help your marriage, look into how you could bring your sleep patterns in sync. My husband and I have different sleep patterns and we’ve come to a compromise on sleep and wake times. I’m the early riser but he has also found that he’s more productive if he gets to bed earlier and rises earlier. You can reset your biological clock if you want to. Sometimes he gets up before me now!
If you can’t come up with a compromise such as this, there are other options, for example, going to bed together and spending some time and then the one who goes to bed late can get up, do their thing and go back to bed later (and if your spouse is a light sleeper, do be considerate when going back to bed; use a different covering if you need to). Ultimately the rewards of being more in sync as a couple in habits of sleeping can ultimately bring you closer together.
What do you think? Does it matter when you go to bed? Share in the comments below!