to think being a night owl is a choice rather than something you can't help?

(171 Posts)
lilypadpod Thu 25-Feb-16 07:23:23

Anyone else a night owl or live with one?

Frustrated with DH. He has always been a 'night owl'. In an ideal world he goes to bed around 5am gets up around 1pm. He still does this some weekends angry On work nights he goes to bed around 2am gets up 8-9am. He claims he can't help being like this, it's the way his brain is wired! He feels spaced out and grumpy in mornings even if he goes to bed early. By evening he's at his best.

I feel it's possible to train yourself to function well in mornings and get up early. I've always had to get up at 6am for work and feel a lie-in is a luxury! I'm fed up of living in different time zones and feel he should make more effort to get into a normal sleep schedule! I have to get up when baby is up (around 5:30am) and I go to bed at 9pm as he feeds 4x night. DH sometimes makes a big effort and gets up at 9am on a weekend but I still feel this is too late! More often it's 10-11am. And he's never energetic or enthusiastic in the mornings, he does everything in slow motion which puts a real dampener on the day. I suggested he get up at 7am sometimes so we can have a full day out as a family but he thinks this is very U! He faffs around for a couple of hours 'waking up' and having breakfast so if he gets up at 10 it's lunch-time by time he's ready... and I want him to take baby so I can get ready too!

AIBU to think he should/can adapt his sleep pattern to suit family life?

CooPie10 Thu 25-Feb-16 07:25:45

How was his sleeping pattern before you had the baby?

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Thu 25-Feb-16 07:26:02

My ex is like this. It's unbearable, and made me furious and contributed to us breaking up but I don't think he can help it. There is research around about this kind of disordered sleeping and it's not a choice.
There are things they can do to improve it but I don't think my ex could ever be a sleep at 11 up at 7 guy naturally. He can achieve it once every now and again but old patterns return quickly.
I feel your pain though.

echt Thu 25-Feb-16 07:26:41

Here you go:

www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/scientists-identify-genetic-difference-between-early-risers-and-late-sleepers

However, if he's not taking full part in family life, he has to sort it a bit.

NickiFury Thu 25-Feb-16 07:29:17

I agree with you actually.

I've just got back from a holiday in a place that is four hours ahead of us. Since we got back I have kept us on that time zone,which is why I am up and getting stuff done now instead of collapsed in bed pressing the snooze button till the last possible second and then hustling my stressed out child out the door to school. She's awake too - naturally, with 10 hours sleep behind her instead of being dragged out of bed in a stinking mood.

It only took a week away to do this but if you'd said it before I would have said the same as your DH - that I was a night owl and not a morning person etc.

gooseberryroolz Thu 25-Feb-16 07:29:28

I'm a bit like that, but I only indulge it (to an extent) now that 1) the DC are older and 2) I can fix my own work hours. When you have morning responsibilites, you just have to fight it.

FetchezLaVache Thu 25-Feb-16 07:29:36

I don't think it's a choice tbh. I have two brothers, both farmers, both in their 50s. One of them springs cheerily out of bed at 5:30am, the other has to drag himself out about an hour later. In his younger day, Lark Brother was frequently admonished for falling asleep in pubs at about 9pm!

scarednoob Thu 25-Feb-16 07:31:34

I am sure behaviour must help condition it - eg my grandma was always up by 5, sometimes as early as 4. She said it was due to a lifetime of getting up early to do the fires (made me v glad of our central heating, something I'd never even thought of before!).

NeedsAsockamnesty Thu 25-Feb-16 07:36:33

There is quite a lot of help and advice out there for people with disordered sleeping.

It's quite inconsiderate for him to not attempt to resolve it.

However if someone was wanting me to get up and rush at 7am for something like a day out I wouldn't be impressed.

I don't really function much very well in the mornings. But then again I don't let that impact on my ability to care for my children nor do I use it as an excuse to abdicate responsibility and it sounds like he does.

TheMaddHugger Thu 25-Feb-16 07:38:26

I am a Night Owl, No I cannot '*Help*' it. It is part of me.

TheOptimisticPessimist Thu 25-Feb-16 07:39:08

It isn't a choice, but it can be tempered and it isn't an excuse to avoid family life. YANBU to think he should be trying to adjust to a family
friendly schedule and getting up at a more reasonable time, partially to give you a break if needed and partially to make sure you all get a decent amount of time together during the day.

YABVU to complain that he isn't enthusiastic or energetic in the mornings though. He's tired. You can't click your fingers and suddenly be ready to go. If my DP complained that I wasn't bright eyed and bushy tailed first thing in the morning when he knew I was making the effort to get up earlier than normal, I wouldn't be impressed and would probably be thinking 'fuck the early morning then' and refusing the next timeangry
Thankfully I don't because I'm the earlier riser of the two of us.

<disclaimer - I'm a night owl but had to get up several hours earlier than normal to catch a train so I'm grumpy and it's a sore subject right now blush>

TheMaddHugger Thu 25-Feb-16 07:41:09

ok, now onto your actual question.
Yes a night owl CAN train themselves to function and get to work early morning. He is taking the piss.

former Grape picker here

KeyserSophie Thu 25-Feb-16 07:42:54

People definitely have leanings one way or the other (I'm a lark, DD is an owl), but its not an excuse to keep hours that give you maximum time to yourself due to your DC being in bed.

LionsLedge Thu 25-Feb-16 07:44:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LovelyFriend Thu 25-Feb-16 07:45:15

Like your DH I would call myself a night owl.

Have I made changes since I've had children- of course I have. Life would be impossible otherwise.

My xp used to try to do what your p does and I feel your rage and disappointed. It is opting out of family life. It is leaving you to take on many more responsibilities so he can indulge himself.

You aren't asking him to go to bed at 9. Sleeping from 12-7 would make a massive difference to all your lives and is absolutely manageable for him.

What is he doing into the night? My guess is gaming or Netflix both of which require a modicum of self discipline to turn off.

LovelyFriend Thu 25-Feb-16 07:47:45

Would you like a lie in occasionally op?

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 07:50:39

Yabu it's not a choice.

I go to bed early (10pm) and up at 6am.

Dh can not sleep at 10pm. Sometimes he comes up but is awake until about 1am.

However he still gets up when and participated in family life. I still get a sleep in at weekends.

I couldn't stay up till 1am every night. Even if it fitted in with family life. But I would still be doing what I need to be doing as part of my family

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 07:52:12

Dh always used to do his fair share of night feeds an would be knackered. Still couldn't get to sleep until 1am.

So I don't think it's possible to completely train it out of some people

Piemernator Thu 25-Feb-16 07:54:13

I'm like this but it tends to come in waves and vary a bit. I sleep in another room if up very late so I don't disturb DH when I do want to sleep. Also need a lot of time by myself as being around people even ones I love is tiring.

I'm more of a bed at 1am wake up at 8am though I would prefer to shift it later. That, genetic link is interesting as DC are late risers and no one speaks unless they absolutely have to in this house in the morning. They were even like that as toddlers, thank God.

BaskingTrout Thu 25-Feb-16 07:56:22

My brother is a night owl and always has been, even when we were young children. His chosen sleeping pattern would be something 3am to 1pm. But he also has quite a useful knack of being able to tell himself when to go to sleep and when to wake up. He now works on a changing shift pattern, so for a couple of weeks, he will be up at 5am and then he'll be on a night shift for the next couple. He copes fine whereas I would struggle. He can also pretty much do his jet lag before he goes on holiday, ie he will put himself on a different time zone before he goes away, so he doesn't waste any holiday.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Thu 25-Feb-16 07:58:21

Stupid phone deleted a lengthy post.
Short version.
I was a copper for 9 years. Managed to get up before 5 for earlies but only went to bed after midnight. Hated earlies. Always tired. Still couldn't sleep til after 12!
Now I have a baby and get up around 7 then try to sleep before 11 but often my brain is wide awake and I can't just switch it off.
Basically he can't help it, but should make an effort to participate in his family life.
I think making him get up at 7 is harsh, and similar to him asking you to stay up til 3am just for some quality time.
10 and a quick brekkie should be plenty of time to do something nice.
Sorry for disjointed sentences. Wanky phone

U2HasTheEdge Thu 25-Feb-16 08:00:42

I can't sleep early, if I need to go to bed early I have to take a sleeping tablet, my mind and body just doesn't want to sleep before midnight at the earliest.

I am much more productive in the evenings.

Can I train myself out of it? Well I try, but it isn't working very well. And NWIH would I be getting up at 7.00 am to go out for the day if I'm not working and don't actually need to be anywhere at a specific time. Maybe on the very odd special occasion but that would be a nightmare, I hate having to get up for work early. I have to be up early tomorrow morning so I need to try to go to bed earlier and I bloody hate it.

CremeEggThief Thu 25-Feb-16 08:04:17

I think you are both being unreasonable. There's room to compromise on both sides. There's no need to be getting up at 7 am for family days out when your dc is only a baby.

tiggytape Thu 25-Feb-16 08:05:35

YABU - it is definitely not a choice.
I am a night owl forced to live a lark lifestyle by week and it is still uncomfortable after decades of doing it. You cannot totally train yourself into new ways because your body still fights it even after years of being forced to get up early.

I am up before 7am on weekdays because I have to be. The earliest I can get to sleep is midnight but I'm not naturally tired at that time.
I am like a zombie in the mornings and very, very grumpy (I avoid talking to anyone at that time and lay out everything I need the night before in the order I'll need it).

On Friday evening I have a little celebration as I turn off the alarm for the weekend. Now my children are older I will easily sleep until 10 or 11am on a Saturday and Sunday. It's what keeps me going all week.
If someone wanted me up at 7am on a weekend I would not be happy at all - it would be like your DH waking you up at 2am for an impromptu trip out and expecting you to be enthusiastic and chipper about it.

With younger children as you have, you'll have to compromise but don't expect him to become someone who wants to get up early. It will probably always be a struggle and means you need to compromise too (and not expect too much cheeriness about it).

MLGs Thu 25-Feb-16 08:05:52

I am by nature a night owl. Given the choice I would do what your h does. For me it's partly just my body wants to stay awake when it's awake and asleep when it's asleep. It doesn't like changing states at the times most people consider normal. Also linked to being an introvert I think and liking to be up when others aren't.

However like your h I have young. This means I don't get to indulge it at all. Have to get up early evey single day for work or at weekends for children. Find it horrible and exhausting, both physically and mentally, but I have to do it. No option whatsoever. And sometimes in the morning it is almost a physical pain that I feel and nearly always nauseous with the tiredness of it. Even if I go to bed earlish.

Your post makes me really angry on your behalf. He should be getting up and adjusting himself to the hours of family life. It's hard but it's what parents who are night owls have to do. What would he do if you weren't there? Or if you were a night owl too? He would have to do it, wouldn't he? It's selfish, self indulgent behaviour and he is being very u.

He might not be able to manage jolly in the mornings - sometimes I can barely speak - but he should be there. Taking at least a turn on the 5/30s, never mind 9am.

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