I have known since the time I moved in with my husband that we have very different sleep styles and schedules.
- I like absolute silence. That way if there is a strange noise, I will wake up and check it out. He has to sleep with white noise running. It can be an air filter or humidifier, but there must be some consistent noise all night long. Otherwise, every little noise will wake him up. White noise is very effective for me–it blocks everything out and I can’t relax. I hear it all day at work too.
- I also like absolute dark (and I may invest in a sleep mask). The tiniest bit of light can keep me up all night. I even cover the display on my clock radio. He can’t sleep with the door closed (effectively blocking out all the light from various windows) because the room gets too stuffy.
- I am a night owl. It is very hard for me to get to bed/asleep before 10 pm. He’s ready to go to bed at 8:30. This shouldn’t be a problem right? Except that he really doesn’t sleep until I’m in bed and in order to fall asleep, I need to do some light reading. We’ve tried a reading light, which was successful for a while, but now bothers him. So every night he stays up late and I head up early.
- He’s a morning person. Before we started dating, he would get up between 3:30 and 4 in the morning so that he could be on his way to work by 5 am. That way, he had his afternoons free. We get up at 5 to leave by 6 (but I spend a lot of time sleeping in the car). I actually become physically ill if I get up much earlier than 5:00.
So the other night, he wasn’t feeling well and said that he wanted to go to bed early. Fine by me. I need him to be healthy and he should take care of himself. Unfortunately, he decided to stay up until 9:30, making himself more tired because there were things he had to get done. He also mentions that he’s thinking about switching the bedroom furniture around because he thinks he’ll sleep better the way it was set up before. I brought my book downstairs and read much longer than usual to completely exhaust myself. Normally if I read downstairs, I am pretty much wide awake and active by the time I climb back upstairs and into bed. Kind of pointless really. So, I head upstairs half asleep and start to climb into bed. He complains about me shaking the bed when I remove my pillow sham. He yells at me when I try to find the edge of the covers to get into bed. He says he’s got a killer headache but won’t take anything for it. At this point I realize that he’s going to be on my case all night because I do toss and turn a bit as part of being pregnant and trying to find a semi-comfortable position. So I do the sensible thing–I go back downstairs and try to make do with the futon–which I cannot fold out by myself. It was cold and it was bright but I think I may have fallen asleep a couple of times during the night.
He gets up at 5 am and has the nerve to ask me why I’m sleeping on the couch! On the way out the door for work, he tells me that he’s going to have his brother come over and help move some of the furniture in the bedroom.
I got home last night and the bedroom furniture has been completely rearranged. I now have to get dressed using two different rooms plus the bathroom. However, there is less clutter and more openness to the bedroom (which is a good thing because the furniture really didn’t fit in that room). I had no say in where anything went or whatnot. So we had a little chat about that last night. Basically, I told him that when it comes to common areas, I want to have some input. I know this is one of those things that happen when someone lived in the house for several years before the other person, so I’m trying not to go off on him. I also realized that this was his way of making up for making me “sleep” on the couch. He worked really hard on this and completely wore himself out.
His defense to my statement that I wanted to have some input was that he “told me about it last night”. Which if you have been reading my journal long enough may cause a laugh. Who would believe that the guy who has taken 8 years to redo a bathroom, 1 1/2 years to set up my office, and has several other projects on the waiting list would actually complete a project one day after mentioning it to me!
And to be fair, I slept better last night than I have in awhile–and I told him that this morning.