How to sleep well when your partner comes to bed after you

In this week’s sleep diaries, a The 40-year-old marketing manager wonders how to stop her husband from waking her up in the middle of the night.

A bit about me:

Age: 40

Job: Marketing Manager

Number of hours of sleep you get each night: 6 hours

Number of hours of sleep you want each night: 8 hours

How much water do you drink on average per week: 1 liter per day

How much sport do you do on average per week: lots of walks

day 1

My alarm goes off at 7 a.m. and I hit the snooze button twice before showering, grabbing a granola bar, and going to work. Lunch is a noon sandwich and fruit that I eat after walking around the local park, but I have a few cookies with my tea later.

I come home at 7 p.m., watch a lot of Netflix and eat leftover pizza. I also talk to a buddy on the phone.

I go to bed at 10:30 p.m. but it takes me forever to fall asleep. I lie there, looking at the ceiling, trying to slow my breathing, but when I look at the clock it’s 11:45 pm and I’m still not sleeping.

Finally I fall asleep. No dreams tonight

A pizza
“I come home at 7 p.m., watch a lot of Netflix and eat leftover pizza.”

day 2

I try to get up quickly today when my alarm goes off at 7 a.m. I shower, listen to Radio 4 while eating toast, and then go to work.

There’s a lot going on here too, but I definitely do a power walk at lunchtime (while drinking a smoothie and eating a KitKat) and I also do a walk and talk meeting with a colleague.

When I get home at 7 p.m. I have some cheese on toast, a yogurt and lots of grapes. My husband is at home so we watch a little TV together and then I go upstairs to zoom in with my mom. She has a lot to tell me, so it goes on for a while.

I go to bed at 11 p.m. and again it takes forever to fall asleep. My husband is still up downstairs which doesn’t help as I keep thinking that if he ever gets to bed he’ll wake me up.

I fall asleep well after midnight. And yes, he wakes me up when he goes to bed at 2 a.m.

Day 3

I hit the snooze function at least five times at 7 a.m. and then rush out the door without showering or really having breakfast. However, I’ll get a Starbucks coffee and a pastry before going to the office.

It’s a long day, probably because I’m tired, and I end up eating a large bowl of pasta salad for lunch. I also take part in a few other hiking meetings.

I come home at 7pm, make dinner for myself and my husband (fish pie) and we eat it in front of the TV. Again he stays awake when I go to bed.

It takes a long time to go back to sleep. I wish there was a trick. He wakes me up again around 2 a.m. Pooh.

An alarm
“I hit the snooze function at least five times at 7 a.m. and then rush out the door without taking a shower or really having breakfast.”

Day 4

I slumber my alarm clock for too long and have to skip my shower (don’t tell anyone). I make another Starbucks breakfast on the way to work.

It’s busy at work, but I make sure to go for a walk at lunchtime and have a salad. And many hiking meetings.

I go out for dinner with a friend after work (we go Italian and wine) and come home late. My husband is out and about so I have the house to myself and have a nice hot bath before bed.

It takes me forever to get back to sleep. Fortunately, however, he crashes at a friend’s house, and when I nod off, he doesn’t rush in and wake me up again.

Day 5

I wake up at 7am and wake up with my alarm clock. I have a leisurely breakfast (peanut butter and porridge), go to work and start a little earlier than normal.

One of my team is leaving so we have a big lunch and cake to show them we’re going to miss them. And since it’s Friday, we all go to the pub for a drink.

I get home around 10 p.m., go to bed at 10:30 p.m. and lie awake for a really long time. My husband collapses at 1am, but luckily I’m still awake so he doesn’t bother me.

So what does it all mean? A sleep expert offers her thoughts

Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan, sleep expert and professional physiologist, says: “You seem like a sensitive sleeper, so you really need my 5 non-negotiable things to optimize your sleep. Your morning and breakfast routines aren’t great – ideally, wake up earlier to take time for a good high-protein breakfast that will get you fit for the day and then a good night’s sleep.

“Sensitive sleepers tend to wake up to the slightest noise, so it really isn’t good for you to have your partner wake you up when they walk in. You go to bed with a certain fear when you are woken up. Can you negotiate it lovingly with him and explain to him that it really doesn’t work for you? I recommend the brilliant book by Gary Chapman The five languages to see if you can negotiate with him to get to bed earlier. “

Sleep expert from Dr.  Nerina Ramlakhan stylist
Sleep expert Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan

Dr. Nerina continues, “A practical strategy could also be to have a fan or some form of white noise in the room so its coming doesn’t wake you up so much and you really have to stop checking the time when it closes to yourself because this will only bring you fully awake. I also recommend that you have the largest bed you can fit in your bedroom, along with a single spring mattress so that his movements when he goes to bed don’t disturb you.

“Sharing your cave with another human can be difficult and it can take loving communication and diplomacy – I wish you all the best!”

If you want to join stylist‘s Sleep Diaries, please email us at [email protected] with the subject’ SLEEP DIARIES ‘. We are happy to hear from them.

Mission statement design: Ami O’Callaghan

Pictures: Getty

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