Sleeping problems

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2010
Sleeping problems
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 9:15am

I am struggling with some major sleep issues with my boyfriend. He has to wake up early, and I have to wake up later... but, his waking up early causes me not to get back to sleep!  Any advice on conflicting sleep schedules? I feel like a zombie. 

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 11:56am

I have used white noise for years to help me sleep better. I am a light sleeper and the background noise helps me fall asleep and stay asleep. Otherwise my mind seems like it is trying to think about other things and this way it can concentrate on the noise of the fan. It also masks other noises in the house that happen at night and can help to mask when your partner makes noises, gets out of bed, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Sat, 12-01-2012 - 7:32pm

When you don't get enough sleep, it affects your whole life.  Is it NOISE keeping you awake once his movements wake you up?  Or light?  A white noise machine can work wonders, and so can a sleep mask and ear plugs.  If the room is bright, get some room darkening curtains, much better than any shades.  As romantic as we like to be, if it's just a matter of him NOT giving you a goodbye kiss in the morning while you're still asleep, you have to ask yourself what's more important:  the kiss or you getting enough sleep.  Easy choice in my mind, you need sleep.  You'll still see him later, right?  I'm sure I'm a lot older than you, been there, done that with all you mentioned.  Lots of couples have this kind of trouble, it's a matter of compromising.  But he is right - it IS medically related - you won't have enough energy without enough solid sleep - neither would HE, most of us do need that full 8 hours or more.  You HAVE to get more sleep, both of you just have to do what it takes for you to get it.  Otherwise you'll end up cranky, feeling lousy, and being resentful.  I let myself fall asleep down the hall from my DH, it's just what I have to do nowdays, no choice - he tosses like a walrus on speed. 


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 9:47am

I think you both need to sit down and come up with a complimentary schedule for the entire day, not just when you get together to do things in the evenings.

IE.  Maybe he can start preparing a meal for you both, since he is home before you.  Then you don't have to rush to eat to keep up with him.

And perhaps you can look at adjusting your schedule to compliment his.  Since he wakes up so early, why not get up with him, do your work out and use the time in the morning to do other things you might  not get a chance to later in the day.

My DH and I have battled out similar problems, especially early in our marriage when he had to leave for work at 430 and I was home with the kids.  I am also naturally a night owl, and before getting married always worked at night.  So, there was some serious adjustment on my part and patience on his.

Currently, he get ups a 530 to leave by 6 and I then wake the kids up at 630 to get them to school, so our morning schedule is more on track.  Now our biggest struggle is evening routine, as his schedule is usually about an hour later than the kids.  And I am very big on our little ones being in bed no later than 8pm (so they can have enough sleep).  He has had to resort to eating his meal after he gets home, while I get the kids settled.  Unfortunately that wont change anytime soon, as a big reason his schedule is as it is has to do with his 90 minute commute for work every evening.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 9:52pm

I can sympthize--my exH used to get up at 5:30 am to go to work at 6:30.  At that time, my son didn't have to be in school until 9:15 so I really wouldn't have to get up until 8:00.  We had a dual alarm clock--of course I woke up when he did--he wore a uniform to work so he laid out his clothes the night before and left quietly but I still woke up.  Then I usually did manage to fall back to sleep.  But then of course he wanted to go to bed at 10:00 pm when I wanted to stay up til 11:00--so if I went to bed later, then he'd complain that it woke him up after he had fallen asleep even if I didn't turn the light on & tried to be quiet.  Plus it's a strain on the sex life because I'd have to go to bed earlier than I wanted to on a weeknight--luckily on weekends he didn't get up that early.

I would suggest that you might try going to bed earlier.  I don't know what time you go to bed now but try going to bed an hour or so earlier and it might adjust your sleep schedule enough that even if he wakes you up, you could fall back asleep.  I don't think it's that realistic to expect you to get up at 4:00 am and start your day.  If there is another place you could sleep, maybe you could sleep separately sometimes.

I think another issue here is that you somehow feel compelled (or does he ask) that you should totally accomodate his schedule & not vice versa.  If you don't get home until later, you should also be able to eat what you would like and not always have to rush through dinner just because he gets out of work earlier.  I think it's important to relax after dinner.  Maybe you could compromise by you working out before work, but then he can wait to eat with you.  I can't imagine that after you were married, you'd be eating at different times.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 11:39am
Gal_Solo, my exW and I had the same problem and she finally joined my sleep schedule. Did her workout, chores, housebound stuff, etc. after she got up and before work. Then I did mine before she got home from work so we could spend quality together in the eveing before 'our' early bedtime.
Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 10:58am

gal_solo12 wrote:
<p> </p><p>I am struggling with some major sleep issues with my boyfriend.<span>  </span>He has to wake up very early for work (4am) and it wakes me up every single night during the week, and also on Saturday.<span>  </span>I feel like it is taking its toll and I don’t quite know how to deal with it.<span>  </span>It is interrupting me during my deepest sleep, and then I cannot fall back to sleep.<span>  </span>I have to be up by 6:30.<span>  </span>I have brought this up to him several times, and the only solution we can come up with is for him to shut the bedroom door as he gets ready, not tell me goodbye when he leaves, and be ultra quiet.<span>  </span>But, I still wake up.<span>  </span>I am getting miserable with this, and last night I was so dead tired that I couldn’t go to one of his friend’s birthday parties with him, and I feel like it put a damper on things for us.<span>  </span>I know he was disappointed.<span>  </span>I have had to cancel out on other things, too, due to my fatigue.  My tiredness is starting to interfere with everything in my life lately.<span>  </span>I feel like our schedules overall just don’t work, and lately I feel like it’s so one-sided.<span>  </span>I suffer, while he goes on and lives his life and has energy.<span>  </span>He gets off work early, so he can catch dinner, workout, and do things.<span>  </span>I don’t get home til 5:30, so I’m always rushing to go out with him after work, and have to grab something quick from my fridge (he is a health nut, and doesn’t like to eat late or eat food at restaurants much), and I don’t have the energy or time to workout after work, which is something I always cherished.<span>  </span>All in all, I’m getting frustrated.<span>  </span>I bring this up to him, and he feels my lack of energy is something medically related and he keeps pushing me to go to a doctor (which I did, and I am fine).<span>  </span>I just don’t know how to handle this.<span>  </span>I love him so much, but this aspect of our relationship is killing me.<span>  </span>Any advice on dealing with sleep and schedule problems?<span>  </span>He really is an amazing guy, and we have talked about marriage – but I need to get this figured out for the long haul.<span>  </span></p>

either separate bedrooms or separate houses... that's about it.

but you are discussing two separate issues: your boyfriend waking you up and your job not having the hours your boyfriend does so you can do things after work like he does.

If your schedules aren't working out, then you need to be about looking for a job that gives you the kind of work schedule he's got.  I don't think the answer is expecting him to quit his job and find another one that may not compensate him, financially as well. 

Your answer lies in separate sleeping accomodations or training your body to just get up when he gets up and do you workout then, then go to work.