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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

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Sleep Differentials Between Spouses

Uploaded: Jan 20, 2016
A recent New York Times article: The Lark-Owl Scale: When Couples’ Sleep Patterns Diverge, talks about each person’s innate sleep pattern, called a “sleep chronotype, an internal timing profile” and that trying to alter it to spend more time with your partner may cause difficulties in daily living. The article goes on to say that differing sleep patterns may be helpful to couples in that they may have time to go out with girlfriends or get alone time to exercise, or do other favored activities.

If you’ve been reading Couple’s Net, you know I advocate going to bed together at least three nights a week in order to have couple time for intimacy, talking, cuddling, and/or sex. Whether you stay in bed after your partner goes to sleep is a different issue.

The reports I have gotten back from those who are going to bed together more often are two-fold: they feel closer to their spouse, and they are getting more sleep, which is reducing stress, and they feel better overall.

Many people are on devices in the evening, which is akin to telling our brains that is daylight and time to be awake. A couple of suggestions are:

- Turn off devices by 8PM

- While more research needs to be done, there are indicators that wearing orange-tinted glasses (cutting out the blue spectrum of light which leads to decreased melatonin), will help one get sleepy, even if on devices.

- F.lux, Twilight, Bluelight or other apps can be used on your device rather than wearing orange glasses.

As I generally recommend, experiment and see what works for you and your beloved.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Bob Wenzlau, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 25, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Bob Wenzlau is a registered user.

Rather than abandon these devices at night, I like to consider approaches that can manage the luminosity. Here is a discussion about a change to the IOS for iPhones/iPads that will make them more responsive to light conditions. I have not tried it, but looks promising. See iMore and look for the article "Here's why Apple hopes Night Shift in iOS 9.3 will help us sleep better!"


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