Tonight is the night we have to set our clocks forward to begin Daylight Savings Time here in the Pacific Northwest. This got me thinking about our own internal clocks and how difficult it can be to change them.
I have always been more of a night person than a morning person. Well, that isn't exactly true. Once I am up and have had my daily dose of caffeine I enjoy mornings and have a lot of energy.
In the past I have always stayed up until 10 or 11pm on weeknights and preferred to roll out of bed around 6:30am. On weekends, I would stay up late and often sleep in and enjoy the extra time to relax. That may not sound like a night person to you, but compared to my husband, it qualifies! He prefers to be up before the crack of dawn, go to work early, come home early, and be in bed by 9pm every night.
This is a huge improvement over when we first met. Until I met him, I had never been in a relationship where we were what I would like to call "Time Challenged."
What is a time challenged relationship? For me it was one where I was finding it hard to end up in bed with my husband when we were both awake. This made it hard for us to find time for sex, and even just to cuddle in bed. When we first got married, I wasn't sure this was going to work for us. He would go to bed before I did, and get up before I did. My staying up later would bother him and, his getting up earlier would bother me!
Something had to change if we wanted to get enough sleep. My husband took a while to understand how important it was to work this out so we could both be happy. When it got to the point where I suggested separate bedrooms, he saw how serious I was. What we have done over time is move closer to each other in our schedules. He now goes to bed an hour later than he used to, and I go to bed an hour earlier, and we both end up in bed about the same time.
I have talked with other couples about what they do when they are Time Challenged. For those who can't find a way to get their schedules the same, because of different shifts, the challenges of children, and other unfortunate circumstances, the idea of having a room of their own can be a good idea. Sometimes this can even add some excitement to a relationship because they look forward to when they can get together.
Whatever your time challenges are, my suggestion is to be honest with each other and find creative ways to find intimacy and get the rest you need. What works for you? I would love to hear comments from anyone who has some experience with time issues.