I have taken to adding on to whatever wish I inscribe on my gifts when I go to weddings, the phrase, ‘and wishing you sleep patterns that actually align!’
But by the time people unwrap those gifts and receive my well-intentioned but rather useless wish, it is usually too late. What do you do if you are Ms Night Owl and you have just married Mr Morning Lark, or the other way round?
Well, I guess you could try adjusting to the other’s routine and become Mr Morning and Ms Night Owl or Mr Morning and Ms Night Lark.
The only trouble with this approach is that the owl is naturally predisposed to be nocturnal and isn’t half as much fun and twice as blind in the morning. The reverse probably goes for the lark.
It is usually better to leave creatures as nature intended them to be. Not to mention those sharp claws when you mess with them.
What, then, can you do?
How to cope with sleep differences
Well, here are a few tips for starters:
1. Invest in a pair of rubber-soled slippers and turn the flashlight on your phone way down. Learn the fine art of creeping around and doing everything quietly and ninja-style and in the dark.
2. Use this as a fabulous excuse to invest in cool technology, clip-on reading lights, Bluetooth earpieces, and other stuff guilt-free. Even feel a little saintly, because you’re doing it for such a good cause.
3. Invest in eye masks and ear muffs anyway, because who are we kidding, neither Night Owls nor Morning Larks, for all their many redeeming qualities, are known for their slickness and stealth.
Related reading: How our differences make our marriage a success
4. Try to catch some late-evening or early-morning cuddle time, whichever reduces the risk of sundry eyes being clawed out.
5. Don’t just adjust, but enjoy those hours that you get to spend by yourself, while your other half is snoring. I promise you, those hours will fast diminish before you know it.
6. If you absolutely have the need to chatter? Well, so what if the people in the rest of your house are asleep, there are billions of other people in the world who aren’t – after all, what are time zones for anyway!
Related reading: 7 reasons to have your own friend circle distinct from your spouse
7. Keep your perspective and focus on everything else you have in common. After all, though you’re Night Owl and Morning Lark, at the end of the day (or at the crack of dawn if you are so inclined), you’re both still birds and birds that love each other. And that should count for something!