Recently, Eric ordered me the most amazing memory foam body pillow with a coupon from Groupon! The good news is it is so comfortable that I look forward to sleeping (not that I ever really dreaded sleeping ~smile~)! The bad news is that it draws me into the bedroom and attempts to lure me into random, midday siestas… and generally, I succumb.
Perhaps my body pillow would not so easily seduce me if I were on a more steady sleep cycle. Working from home is a blessing, and I do not regret this decision; however, the knowledge that I don’t have to get up at a certain time can be too much for this night owl! Give me a beautiful, full moon over an inspiring sunrise any day (or, I suppose, night)!
Considering all the significant issues couples face together, sleep deprivation may seem minor. However, sleep can make the difference between a day of grumbling and a day of kindness. We have to choose to be kind when we are not feeling so sweet, but sleep recharges our minds, calms us, and affords us clarity in those rocky moments.
As you think about combining your lives, getting married, and moving into your first home, don’t neglect the topic of sleep! Talk about it!
Talk to Each Other about Your Current Sleep Habits
How much sleep do you need? How much sleep would you get in an ideal world? How little sleep can you get by with and still function well? ~smile~
When Eric and I were dating, he stayed up late almost every night. Naively I said, “You know you are not going to be able to do that after we get married, right?” Oh, silly me. I guess I thought his sleep habits were going to magically change after we said “I do.” I learned differently. And now, I’m just as bad as he is! We both need a sleep schedule overhaul!
Notice How You Treat Each Other When You are Well Rested Versus When You are Exhausted
Eric and I can tell a distinct difference in our communication and moods when we’ve both slept sufficiently. Friday nights can be dangerous around here! They are not as bad now that I’m working from home, but when we both worked an 8-5 job, we were ready to tear into each other by the end of a stressful week – especially when we were in graduate school!
One night, Eric started arguing with me over something ridiculous. He mumbled some incoherent thoughts and looked like a large toddler on the verge of a temper tantrum (which is completely unlike him). It was so comical I had to laugh – and then I suggested he go to bed. Realizing he was not making any sense, and that he was completely sleep deprived, he agreed. The next day was much better. Good sleep changes many perspectives! Sometimes, you may feel like you hate your loved one after a stressful day, but get a good night’s sleep and you will probably love him or her again!
If at all Possible, Try to Get on the Same Sleep Schedule before Getting Married
This one is tricky and I know is not always possible. In fact, it is not always possible once you are married and living in the same room! When feasible, going to bed at the same time is a blessing to couples. It gives married folks a chance to cuddle, talk, and do whatever else they’d like to do before bed. ~smile~ Plus, they are more likely to get up at the same time and live on a similar schedule.
When one spouse goes to bed at 10pm, and the other comes in at 2am, the night owl is likely to disturb the early bird. Too many nights of disrupted sleep is not good for anyone! Just ask new moms! Not only that, but when couples live their lives too separately, it takes a toll on their communication. If you go to bed at two and sleep until ten, but your spouse is asleep at ten and up by six, you are going to miss out on some prime opportunities to talk, laugh, and share your lives together. It won’t always be feasible (school, jobs, and babies), but when you can live by one alarm, do it. ~smile~
As much as we love spending time with our significant others, sometimes sleep is simply more important. If you have had a rough day, you may want to skip the late night together and catch up on some sleep. The short-term sacrifice is worth it – nice sweeties the next day are better than grumpy ones!
Spend some time thinking about sleep, talking about sleep, and getting some sleep. See how much better you feel after getting onto a steady sleep schedule! Then, ask your sweetie if he or she likes the new you!
Have sleep issues affected your relationship thus far?