Sleep after marriage: isn’t always a dream come true

One thing I thought would be beyond easy after marriage was sleep.

Here is why: I have always slept better with someone else in the house or room with me; their presence is soothing and safe. Also, because Luke and I were super busy while dating I would often cuddle up to him on the couch to watch a movie or on his living room floor while he took a nap before working a night shift and quickly fall asleep.

What I am learning now is that nap time is not the same as sleeping through the night and sharing a bed.

So here’s another myth busted: Sleep after marriage: is not always a dream come true!

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Our bed: before I’m asked the the duvet cover is mine I bought it from World Market a few years ago

 Instead sleep patterns/habits much like personalities are unique to each person.

I grew up in a little twin bed. Usually I am a side sleeper and my feet and hands are always cold; if I am cold I can’t sleep.  I am a light sleeper too–any unusual sound, change in temperature, or odd dream can wake me up. To complicated this, it takes me a long time to fall asleep and sleeping soundly through the night is often a luxury. Because of this I need more hours of sleep; at least 8 if not 9.  When and if I fall asleep soundly I do not move all night.

Luke has at times chosen to sleep on hard floors over his own bed and has slept in beds of different sizes mostly double/queens all to himself (even at age 3!). He is usually a stomach or back sleeper. Luke alway runs warm so he often gets hot in the middle of the night and tries to take off the covers. He is also a very deep-sleeper, and falls asleep very quickly, usually only needing 6-7 hours. To add to this, Luke will move around in his sleep without realizing it.

Now you can imagine what we’ve been working through sleeping in the same queen size bed.

We finally came to realize we both have to adjust our sleeping habits and accept the other person’s habits if we want to share a bed or we will be constantly frustrated, grumpy, and sleep deprived.

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My mom made this red brass pinned retro-looking headboard for me during her upholstery class awhile back

It has taken us until 5 months into marriage talk about our sleep habits and decide what helps or hinders good sleep.  Even after talking it through there are still rough nights-this will take time.

A canvas print landscape picture from our wedding day hangs over the bed

A canvas print landscape picture from our wedding day hangs over the bed

If you are getting married soon and have never slept in the same room, same bed, or taken a nap together (or even if you have as I learned) I would suggest talking about your sleeping habits because you may not know what a “normal night” looks like.

Asking questions like: How did you sleep as a child? Do you like a lot of space/little space? Do you move around/stay in one place when your asleep? Do you like a lot of blankets/sleep with none? Do you love your PJs or prefer your birthday suit? might be helpful.

This could provide you with a head-start on developing a healthy sleeping relationships (and may help you determine what size bed you want).

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Our Queen size bed

Any married couples have advice to share? Have you had to make  similar adjustments?

4 thoughts on “Sleep after marriage: isn’t always a dream come true

  1. Aunt Mel says:

    Ok so no offense – first of all. But since you asked….I think you may be over thinking this a tad. You are totally correct that different people have much different sleeping habits and so you need to learn to adjust, Rick and I have the same issue – I am a heavy sleeper, he is a light sleeper. I throw covers off he can’t get warm. The process, however, is learning over time what works for both of you. Rick wears earplugs 🙂 for a long time, he had an extra blanket on his side of the bed. Unless you plan to sleep in twin beds like Lucy and Desi, think about finding simple solutions to the things that may be causing you not to get a good night’s sleep and fix those. Don’t try to re-create your spouses’ sleeping habits from youth. It will only drive you crazy. There is always the king bed solution 🙂 I’ve always wanted one but never had quite enough room. 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing about how you found simple solutions for sleeping -I agree it is about the simple things and we are working on those-I know I didn’t share about what we are doing just that we realized it was good to talk it through. Knowing sleeping habits from youth was helpful at least for me to understand each other’s sleeping habits now-not that I expect drastic change or expect those reading to try to change each other so thank you for helping me clarify.

      I guess when I meant by both of us having to change was that we need to talk about it and like you said find the simple solutions to fit both of our needs. I thought it might be helpful to those a step or two behind us to talk/think about it ahead of time.

  2. Aunt Mel says:

    And remember, snuggling up on a Sunday morning, half asleep but just enough to rest and relax — in your case before kids — in my case after, is so cozy, warm and inviting….it makes up for the other things that you can easily fix with a trip to the drug store or the bedding shop. 🙂

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