Day Person or Night Person?

BedroomOne of the challenges of living in such a small space with someone else is finding a sleep routine that best suits you both.

My husband is a night person, he can stay up most of the night be it working or watching television.

When we lived in the city, he was a night supervisor and loved every minute of it. He usually got home around 4 a.m. and would come home and watch television until he fell asleep, which didn’t bother me as the family room was downstairs.

I usually even got up and read my paper when he got home.

During our marriage, my routine has been a mixture. When I was in the corporate world, I always worked days, but when I worked on staff at the newspaper, I covered cops and courts and since many of the bad crimes happened at night, I was more of a night person.

However, since we’ve moved to The Little House, my routine has been on the same schedule as Dale’s, which, when he is not laid off, has been very early. I’ve also suffered from insomnia, which is something that actually started before our move, when my mother was sick. I understand insomnia can become a habit and it has for me.

I think part of my problem is that I haven’t found my own natural rhythm. I’ve had schedules that have dictated to me that I be a morning person for so long, I’m not sure if it is right for me.

Now that Dale is looking for work again, he’s fallen back into the natural rhythm that suits him, which is staying up all night watching television, and that’s not helping my insomnia.

While we were smart enough to design The Little House so it has a separate bedroom, we didn’t take into account that we would be heating with the wood stove during the winter, which is located in the living area. No closing the bedroom door unless I want to freeze at night.

Right now, I’m just trying to figure out if I’m naturally a day person or if I’ve been a day person just because I’ve been forced on a day routine for so long.

One of the benefits of being a freelancer is that I’m supposed to have the luxury of allowing my body to work when it wants to and sleep when it needs to, not necessarily because a clock is telling it to.

It sure would be helpful if Dale and I could get – and stay – on the same routine.

And if this post isn’t making any sense at all, give me a break. I’m sleep deprived.

Have you had issues figuring out if you’re best suited to days or nights? How do you learn if you’re a natural day person or night person?

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26 Responses

  1. Sandra says:

    My husband always had insomina before bypass. He would wake everyone up early early on weekends and always telling us we slept to much. Now I get up early and try and be quiet so he can sleep in. LOL! I guess he can actually function after having 4 bypasses! He says he actually enjoys sleeping in now.

  2. Kim says:

    I’m a morning person who also loves the stillness and productivity of late nights. So I sabotage myself regularly. Mostly, I think I’m an introvert who will take her bit of solitude whenever she can get it- late night or early morning.

    Seriously, my sleep habits are all over the place ever since we had kids… some nights I fall asleep cuddling one of them in their bed at 8:30 pm; other nights I’m up until 3 a.m. twiddling my fingers and wishing I felt tired. I have no idea how to fix this.

  3. S.A.B.L.E. says:

    As for me, my sleep pattern is catch it when I can. For the most of 15 years, I worked 3p-11p. It was a great shift for me. I missed the usual rush hour traffic, I was able to get up with the sun and had daylight to tend to the farm critters. Three years ago, my world was turned upside down. I now work a 12 hour shift that flip-flops each week from nights to days. When in work mode, I’m lucky to get 5-6 hours of sleep, so when I’m off, I catch it when I can, sometimes sleeping 10 hours. It took me a full year to really adjust to the schedule. I often take sleeping pills, aka antihistimes, to aid in getting the most for the bang on work days/nights.

    Hope you fine something that works for you.

  4. I’m sorry you’re so sleep deprived. ): I’m normally a morning person, but I’ve had a hard time adjusting to the new apartment. Plus Logan is back in California finishing up his dissertation. So it’s weird sleeping by myself.

    And the kittens have been crying at night, which means I end up going to bed super late and I’m up really early.

    I’ve found that yoga has helped me settled down at night. From the comments you’ve left on RowdyKittens, it sounds like you do yoga regularly? I’ve found that if I make time for practice in the morning and evening, I sleep much better. Maybe that would help?

    I’m sending hugs and well wishes your way…

    • Thanks, Tammy. I don’t practice near as often as I should and that is probably a good suggestion. I’m actually feeling really good this week. I’m going to bed when I’m tired and getting up when I’m actually done with sleep – normally between 7-7:30. I was more productive yesterday than I had been in years!
      I hope Logan returns soon. As you know, I stayed here a full 3 months before Dale could join me. Not fun. 🙁

  5. Susan says:

    For the most part we are both day people, but I am the earlier riser..even up at 5 AM when he doesn’t have to go to work. But I usually do go to bed earlier than he does. Although some nights I am up and down all night long. He will stay up watching TV till about 10 or so. We use a fan in our bedroom to block out TV noise and the street noises even in the winter. You might want to try a fan in your room when Dale is watching TV. Ceiling fans are to quiet though. Now snoring and taking more than his half of the bed is another matter.

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Susan. Dale turns the television way down. It is mostly the light from the TV that bothers me. I need total darkness when I’m sleeping.
      Snoring and taking up more than 1/2 the bed…that had me LOL! 🙂

      • Susan says:

        Total darkness is not easy to come by in the city. I know I sleep better in a dark room as well. We have neighbors that have security lights that almost make the area look like day. Really sad. I know the full moon will keep me awake as well.

        • I know the full moon is sometimes as bright as a big street lamp. The best you can do for that is to get room darkening shades – or heavy curtains as my mother had to keep the light out during her migraines.

  6. I read a study recently that says most people are day people, with the rarer exceptions being night owls and morning larks. Perhaps you are a day person (hummingbird)?

    Personally, I am a total night owl and always have been. However, with four kids to take care of and get on the bus early every morning, that doesn’t really work.

    I just got a light therapy box that is supposed to help turn a person’s circadian rhythm around when used on a certain schedule. Only time will tell if it works, but for now, I’m hoping it will. Once my kids are all out of the house, I’ll probably go back to my natural sleep patterns, which are from about 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. That schedule just doesn’t work very well in my life right now though.

    • You sound like my mother, Sarah. She was a night owl as well. I was the only one left at home for most of my childhood, so my dad would get me up and fed and my mom would get up later to make sure I was dressed and my hair was done. When I got out of the elementary school phase, I usually didn’t see her until I got home from school. She could and would stay up half the night sewing or reading.
      I think you might be on to something. I’ve stopped setting the alarm clock for 5 and I’m automatically getting up by 7-7:30 and at work by 8-8:30 and I feel really good this week.

  7. olivia says:

    I am totally a day person while DH is totally a night person. Ships passing in the night. Now that he is retired, he sleeps even later. There are advantages: my arthritic bones appreciate having the bed to myself for a longer time (I can stretch out) but also disadvantages (by the time he is ready to actually go somewhere I am starting to wind down).

    Doubt that things will ever change. His Mum has day and night reversed and I think he is heading in that direction.

    • Olivia,
      I think it’s great though that you both can adhere to your natural rhythms. I think so many people are tied to an opposite schedule due to work and other commitments that it really messes with them physically and mentally.

  8. Patience says:

    For me I think I am neither day or night. My sleep patterns revolve around my interest. When I have a creative spert I usually do better working the wee hours of the morning. When I am into reading I usually sleep early and spend the day(s) in the book. If I want to try out some new recipes I tend to sleep in and start cooking (experimenting) around lunch time until dinner time. So I don’t have a set time, but I do notice when something external dictates my bed time I seem to lose sleep as well.

    • kerri says:

      Ah, like the people who can write with both hands! 🙂 It could be that I’m both as well. Maybe it is the number of hours of sleep I need. Time will only tell with my experiment.

  9. Frugal Kiwi says:

    I’ve got strong sharecropper sleep patterns. When it is light outside, my body wants to be awake and when it is dark, asleep. Fine in summer, harder when it gets dark early in winter. It gets so ridiculous, I’ve had courses of Vitamin D in winter for the last 5 years.

    My darling man on the other hand is most definitely a night person. Since we both work from home, it is convenient to have offset productivity time. He’s asleep for hours after I get up and start working and I’m out like a light hours earlier than he comes to bed.

    • kerri says:

      I just began a Vitamin D course last month. I was hoping it would help me, but it hasn’t helped much.

  10. Alexandra says:

    My husband is more of a night person. I fall asleep early. Long ago we decided to sleep in different rooms, with regret. Now he is making an effort not to miss the morning, which is such a special time of day. What he has not been able to change are his eating habits. He will consume so much breakfast that lunch is not appetizing at noon, when I’m hungry. He has a snack at 3, then we eat dinner together at 6. My husband has a snack again before bed. I guess everyone really does have different body rhythms! The trick is finding a way to combine them so neither partner is inconvenienced. Hope you and Dale can resolve this sleeping issue soon as insomnia is no fun.

    • kerri says:

      This is the trick, especially when living in a small space. I could come over to the studio and sleep, but there’s a whole different set of issues with doing that.
      Thanks for the encouragement, I’m sure if we work on it more, the right combination will happen.

  11. kerri says:

    Thanks, Cindy. I’m trying that this week to see if I feel better and more rested.

    • Cindyt says:

      I just remembered to tell you. When you banish the clock…it does take a bit to get used to…especially if you are an insomniac clock watcher like I was…you know waking up in the middle of the night it is 3 it is 3:03, 3:04, 3:06 ya get the picture! Now when I wake up..I just roll over and go back to sleep..that never happened before. I think the old clock helped to perpetuate the insomnia by documenting it. ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  12. Cindyt says:

    When I started working from home I unplugged the alarm clock…and banished a clock from the bedroom! I get up when I wake up and sleep when I am ready…or favorite show is over on TV. I feel less fatigued getting up and going whenever my sleep pattern dictates. I love this. Once the sleep patterns finally settled in doing it this way. I noted I generally awoke and felt rested right about 7am every morning! It just feels natural. I get more done in the morning…and note I slow down in the afternoon and evening!