Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lucy, I'm Home

I remember thinking how strange it was that Lucy and Ricky slept in separate beds as a kid. It seems like a lot of old sitcoms had married couples sleeping in the same room but in different beds. This seemed completely insane to me....until I met my husband.

My husband occasionally has to work an early/late shift. Sometimes he has to be at work by 4 am. Other days he might not leave for work until 5 pm and will return in the wee hours of the morning. My husband is a very heavy sleeper and a big snorer. He could fall asleep during an earthquake. Noise, light, television, etc. Nothing bothers him.

I am a very light sleeper. I set my own work schedule but I try to get up at the same time every day so that the pets and I are on a routine. I have been an insomniac for as long as I can remember. While some white noise seems to help me sleep, too much keeps me awake. The dogs and cat and my husband frequently wake me up during the night with very insignificant noises and movements that most people can sleep through. I have tried sleeping pills, teas, warm milk, etc and nothing has worked for me.

Initially, my husband and I only slept apart when he had to work an odd schedule. Then when our old shepherd starting having mobility problems and couldn't walk upstairs I started sleeping downstairs with him regularly. Sometimes when I was sleeping with my husband I would have problems falling asleep that were remedied by me moving into the guest room. Over the past few months, this sleeping arrangement has become our permanent routine.

At first I was embarrassed that we didn't sleep together and then I found out that a lot of people our age were doing the same thing. We never go to bed or wake up at the same time so it's not like we miss anything from not being in the same bed other than lying next to each other. When we do sleep together my husband is completely unaware of when I get in/out of bed because he sleeps through the whole thing. We do have plenty of cuddle time where we talk, relax, etc. but this time has never been part of our bedtime routine.

We have friends that have completely separate bedrooms in their house. They have been together for several years but never even entertained the thought of sharing space. They have a child and seem to be pretty happy together despite, or maybe because of, the sleeping situation. I even heard on Oprah the other day that home builders are putting two master bedrooms in new houses because so many couples are sleeping separately. I don't think I would ever go this far because I enjoy sharing space when my husband when I'm awake but if it works for other people, good for them.

We are currently saving up to buy a king-sized sleep number bed so that we can see if that will allow us to sleep together without disturbing each other. I am also going to go to a sleep center to try to work on my insomnia. But if it doesn't work out I'm pretty comfortable with the arrangement that we have now because our sleeping arrangement is not due to friction in our marriage. And really, we seem to enjoy our awake time a lot more when we've both had a good night of sleep.

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