DH’s sleeping habits(23 Posts)
Not sure if I am being unreasonable but looking for any suggestions/ideas...
My DH has always been an early riser but the last year or so, he gets up at 4-4.30am. He doesn’t start work till 9.30am and has a max 30 minute commute. I’m a light sleeper and he does tend to wake me (not on purpose) but I try to go back to sleep.
To be fair to him, in that morning time he does lots of house jobs - walks the dog, does the washing/ironing, empties the dishwasher, makes breakfasts etc.
My issue is more of the evening. Because of the early get ups, he is asleep by 7.30-8pm on the sofa then to bed for the night. It leaves me for hours alone and bored each evening. Sometimes it’s nice and I can have a long bath, read a book or watch TV but mostly I find it frustrating.
I’m 31, I don’t want to spend my evenings alone and turning down invites, never going to the cinema etc or going for early bird dinners like an OAP. If we do go anywhere I can guarantee I’ll be home by 9.30pm, including weekends.
We’ve spoken about it obviously but he just says that’s his time for waking up and when he gets the most stuff done. I’ve tried to change my sleeping schedule to match his but I just can’t go to bed so early.
What can I do? I miss conversation/watching more than 10 mins of film with someone/going out. It’s really making me sad.
Is there no way you could both compromise? Maybe on his days off you both spend quality time together in the evenings? Or switch things up 2-3 times a week? X
I’d hate that. I’m naturally a night owl and 4am when you don’t start work till half 9 is like the middle of the night! But I’m lucky DH and are the same and would both choose to stay up late. Not sure what you can do if that’s his natural sleeping pattern. Do you go out and see friends without him? If you have people over does he stay up later? Don’t miss out on opportunities you'll enjoy because he likes to go to sleep so early. But I can see how you feel you’re missing out on a full rich life with him because he doesn’t do evenings. No advice at all but I sympathise as it wouldn’t work for me.
That's not 'his time for waking up'. People love to label themselves as night owls or marks when it's really about when you go to bed. I think he should slowly try to shift his sleep patterns to fall in line with yours.
It's not always just about when you go to bed, what utter shit. Some people just have different circadian rythms.
Thanks, I’m going to try again with the compromising and maybe shifting both our sleep patterns a little if possible. It’s not like mine are unreasonable- 10.30-5.45 during the week but he seems to think I’m up all night! The other night I popped to the shop for something at 8.15 and he couldn’t believe that anyone would go out “at that hour”.
You’re right though PP, I feel like I’m missing out.
That's not 'his time for waking up'. People love to label themselves as night owls or marks when it's really about when you go to bed.
Lots of people can't force themselves to go to sleep early, just like others just can't sleep in past 7am no matter what time they went to bed.
OP, can you not just go out without him? See friends or go to the cinema or out to do a hobby? I wouldn't be sitting on the sofa alone every night just because my partner was in bed!
My DH likes to go to bed much later than me at 12.30am I prefer 10.30pm. He needs much less sleep than me. At weekends I stay up later with him, during the week there's no way I can or want to stay awake that Late!
Your DH's hours are very unusual, is he not willing to compromise a little?
Depression and anxiety can both lead to early morning waking, and it can become a habit.
That may or may not apply in your DPs case.
It is quite a selfish attitude for him to take because after work your time together is so short with him going to bed so early. The bulk of his weekday downtime is spent on his own and not with you. He should meet you halfway. Maybe you can also get up a little earlier to have more time together in the morning.
Mind you I wish my DH was a natural early riser because then he could have looked after our early bird children, particularly our autistic ds who gets up at the crack of dawn
I feel for you April its hardly what most people expect unless shift work is involved. I'd feel lonely too.
Would he compromise and make more effort to stay up until at least 9pm and wake an hour later in the morning? That is a more typical time at least and it would give you proper time together in the evening.
Sorry I’m unsure how to do the specific named replies to people!
I do go out with friends or to the gym sometimes, just they obviously have their own lives etc plus I would like to spend time with my DH!
He has asked if I’d consider getting up earlier so I can definitely ask if he’ll stay up later- he doesn’t mean to be asleep, we can be having a conversation and few mins later he’s snoring away on the sofa!
@123bananas I bet- can you try taking it in turns to get up with them so you both get a rest?
That’s really interesting about the depression; he had a bad bout years ago which is where the habit may have started.
I can see what him having such early night would be annoying(they are very early, we've only just eaten by then) but my god what id give for my dh to get up early and do all that stuff! Not sure if swap it for a an hour or two more in the evening 😂
Circadian rhythms can be reset. I've had phases of being both a night owl and a lark in my life.
If depression is a factor he may struggle with sleep and cling somewhat to things/ routines he finds helpful, and be afraid to change habits in case it triggers something. It doesn't mean he shouldn't try to compromise maybe, but it may explain any reluctance.
Perhaps he wakes up worrying and finds that getting up and about stops that. Does he talk about his depression or feelings about it now?
On the plus side, if you find yourself having children at any point in the future, he will be quite handy for the inevitable 5am wakeups! (Sorry to make light OP but I'm actually quite jealous of early birds!)
Lulu - haha yes! But he'll probably suddenly change his sleep patterns then
That's pretty much my DH's hours, at first due to his work hours (6am start) and commute time. We still had time together as I got up not long after him for my work and as he went to bed a little later on his days off. He'd also stay up 'late' for nights out and special occasions. Plus once the kids came along, sleeping routine got tossed out the window for a good many years!
We've been retired for a few years and he still keeps those hours. TBH, I'm good with it. I sleep in and he gets his 'me time' in the morning, he goes to bed with the chickens and I get my 'me time' in the evening.
He may have an issue with his circadian rhythm. It may be worth looking at it.
No matter when I sleep I'm awake around 6am at the latest. Often surface around 5 and then just lay in bed for a while.
It's natural and it's frustrating. At weekends or hungover I'll push on until 8 or 9am without actually getting any extra sleep (just lying and changing positions every 20 mins or so)
My suggestion would be a compromise that he stays up late say 10:30-11 a couple nights a week. He can have some caffeine to help.
If he's anything like me though he'll still be up at 4 the next day regardless.
4am seems unreasonable if it isn't required for work - apart from anything else, you must both wake each other right in the middle of your respective sleeping periods, which can't be good long term. I think he should try to shift an hour later - 5am is still way before the alarm for most people!
No circadian rhythms cannot be reset. You are either born a lark or an owl or an inbetweener. This is why owls forced to work to lark rhythms have a much greater risk if illness such as cardiovascular disease and tend to die younger. Have a read of "Why we sleep". Written by a neuroscientist specialising in sleep.
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