Monday, January 23, 2012

Sleep: A New Beginning

Perhaps one of the most notable changes when you get married is that you no longer sleep in a bed alone.

I know. Shocking, right?

What is difficult to adjust to is starting to share a bed with someone else. We all have different sleeping habits before marriage, and whatever your typical arrangements are, it is unlikely that they resemble that of your spouse in any way.

For example. Growing up, I slept in a bunk bed, the kind that has a twin bed for each level. I grew up using only a certain amount of space. And even then, Blackout (that dear old cat that I had from age four to twenty-three) would commonly take up more than the necessary amount of space at the end of my bed. I was used to a fan running all night because I struggled to sleep without background noise.

Now. Courtney grew up having a queen bed all to herself (which, I have noticed, is much more common among girls than boys according to my knowledge). This results in some difficult moments when it comes to figuring out how to have space--especially since we now share a queen bed.

Oh, and the final point before we put all this together: most doctors agree that seven and a half hours of sleep is the minimum--that's right, the minimum--amount you should be getting at any age.

Two people sharing a bed can be difficult. There is a lot more tossing and turning and a lot more snoring that goes on. As someone who has struggled with getting to sleep in the past (I have spent far too many nights unable to get to sleep despite being exhausted), I know that it can be extremely exasperating to not get a sound night sleep.

How does a couple get used to it?

Patience is the biggest part. For us, being married means that we sleep in the same bed. It is just part of the deal. So, it is a lot of adjusting--a lot of creating and modifying and changing boundaries and expectations. Is it okay to to tell the other person to sleep on his or her side if that dreading snoring begins too early on? When is it time to stop talking after the lights go out? How do you address different sleeping schedules if they don't match?

However, it is also important to remember that every once in a while, it is okay to utilize the couch. There are some nights when one person just can't sleep. If a move to the couch helps both people get a better sleep, it can be the wise choice.

But, as usual, communication is the key issue. Talk about it. I know that sleeping arrangements can seem trivial, but it is easy for emotions and feelings to build up and take any of us by surprise. Talking over these things and establishing boundaries is important. It helps both of you get a better night's sleep and enjoy each other's company a little bit more.


(Court's blog post on this is here)

1 comment:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Thought you should know.