How to Manage Multiple Alarm Clocks: A Couple’s Guide

As a couple, you do your best to settle into bed at the same time. It might be one of the few moments of togetherness you get to experience during the day. The only problem is that you need to get up at 5am, while your partner needs to get up at 7am.

How do you make sure that you wake up to your alarm, but don’t disturb your partner – who undoubtedly wants that extra 2 hours of sleep? If your partner feels like they need to get up with you, then you’ve encountered an issue with dyadic sleep.

One way to manage your different sleeping habits is to use two different types of alarm clocks. When you regularly need to wake up before the sun rises, you can trigger a circadian rhythm response with a sunrise alarm. This, along with a radio or sound trigger, can get you out of bed without the blaring alarm of a standard clock.

Then your partner can wake up to an alarm of their own preference.

Here are some other tips for you to consider if your sleeping patterns diverge from that of your partner.

#1. Understand where your mid-sleep time happens to be.

If you get 7 hours of sleep every night, then your mid-sleep point is 3.5 hours from when you went to bed. For most people, that means it is somewhere between 3:30-5am every day. Women have an earlier mid-sleep point compared to men, sometimes up to 2 hours earlier, and this creates a sleep disconnect that can make it difficult to rise when the alarm clock goes off.

Match up your mid-sleep points and you’ll be sleeping better.

#2. Adjust your sleep time to be more in-line with nature.

If you are feeling groggy when you wake up and there isn’t a medical issue causing the problem, then you may be out-of-sync with nature. Take a weekend and go camping. That really is all it takes to restore your natural sleep rhythms. In severe cases of sleep disturbance, especially for those who work indoors on a computer full-time, it may take up to a week of camping or outdoor activities to restore the body’s nature rhythms.

#3. Consider sleeping apart.

Different sleep schedules can provide you and your partner with relationship benefits. If you have young children, this will allow each of you to receive sleep in consistent amounts. You may have time for social activities with friends, but still have time for each other. There will be fewer partner-related sleep disturbances as well.

Mismatched couples in terms of sleep patterns are often better at problem solving. It is important, however, to find time to connect with your partner every day in some way to maintain your relationship.

Sometimes the easiest way to manage multiple alarms is to upgrade your alarm clock. There are other steps you can take to improve your sleep and your partner’s sleep as well. This allows couples to become aware of their differences, which can help teach tolerance, and that action can sometimes be enough to preserve a relationship that is strained by sleep.

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