Spouse-dependent sleep


Is it normal for spouse #1 to expect spouse #2 to be in bed while/until #1 goes to sleep? Is this a common or normal thing?



184 Posts

It is not in our household. There are nights that my husband is in bed by 10pm, and I am up studying until 1-2am. There are also nights that I am in bed by 10pm, and he stays up until who-knows-what-time to play video games. We always wind up in the same bed, but definitely don't go in at the same time on 99% of our nights.

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative. 6,923 Posts

Nope. That would drive me nuts and plus it's unreasonable.


4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

Is it normal for spouse #1 to expect spouse #2 to be in bed while/until #1 goes to sleep? Is this a common or normal thing?

No. Get Spouse #1 a teddy bear and a nightlight. Then close the door on your way out.

Red Kryptonite

Red Kryptonite

Specializes in hospice. Has 3 years experience. 2,212 Posts

My husband and I really actually enjoy sleeping together and always have. We usually fall asleep curled up together in some fashion. He has told me he sleeps better when I am with him than when I'm not. For my own part, I sleep just as well alone as with him.

Now that I work night shift, he has had no choice but to get used to sleeping without me around half the time. He doesn't like when I'm not there but he certainly doesn't whine about it.

I think the problem most people are having is with the term "expect." It's fine to ask, or to express a preference, and it's also fine for the less cuddly spouse to find ways to compromise and meet the desires of the more cuddly spouse, and vice versa. But expecting something, regardless of circumstances, feelings, preferences or needs.....that's not okay.


Mami.RN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac PCU/Med-Telemetry. Has 5 years experience. 463 Posts

Most of the time, we go to bed at the same time. However there are times he wants to watch a sports game and stays up late. I just go to bed. The same goes for when I'm studying late, he just goes to bed. No one should complain because it is not fair and they should be understanding. I dont want to stay up late watching a game I dont want to watch and I am tired and want to sleep. So why suffer through it or make the person not watch their game or not study so you can sleep. Its all about understanding.


krrbrr, ADN

Specializes in ICU, Pre-Op, OR, PACU. Has 5 years experience. 104 Posts

You are all going to think my situation is very odd.... but it works wonderful for us!

DH and I don't sleep together,(in the same bedroom!) so different bedtimes have never bothered us.

I know we're not the first couple to come up with this idea as many older couples do the same. We however are in our 30s and have done this since being married. DH and I are both very sensitive to sounds when we sleep and I happen to snore. The last thing either of us wants is a grouchy spouse, because the other couldn't sleep, so we chose early on to sleep in separate rooms. It's not as if we don't like cuddling! In fact many nights we will start out in one room or the other and cuddle, then as soon as one of us falls asleep the other will quietly leave.

My point in sharing this is.... every couple is different and whatever works for you two is best. Communicate and find out the others needs and you might be surprised at what you hear.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience. 67 Articles; 14,008 Posts

Is it normal for spouse #1 to expect spouse #2 to be in bed while/until #1 goes to sleep? Is this a common or normal thing?

Why do you ask? You're going to have to work these issues out for yourself with your spouse. But when one spouse is a nurse and the other is not, it's going to happen sometimes.


NurseKatie08, MSN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Transplant, Education. Has 14 years experience. 754 Posts

It's really between you and your spouse. With me working nights 3 times per week and my fiancé working 7-3 Monday through Friday, it follows that most nights we don't sleep together (or at least don't go to bed at the same time). I have been off since last Friday so I have been up mostly days, but now as I get closer to going back to work this Thursday I am shifting myself back to nights. He is in bed now, I will probably turn in somewhere between 2 and 4...whenever I get tired. It's certainly normal to miss your partner when you can't be with them, but figuring out what works best for you guys can only be done by you. Best of luck!