Wifey Wednesday: Adults Need Bedtimes, Too!

Christian Marriage Advice

It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I write a marriage post, and then you all can link up your own below!

I have talked to thousands of couples over the last few years at marriage conferences and at events, and I keep hearing stories about how “we never talk”, or “we never do anything together”, or even, “our sex life is almost non-existent.” And when I start probing and asking questions, I often find a very similar story:

We don’t go to bed at the same time.

I would venture to say that in most homes today, after dinner is over various family members separate to their own screens–either the computer, or the TV, or the video game system.  She may be on her iPad, and he’s playing video games. And eventually somebody gets tired and heads to bed, but the other person doesn’t join them for several hours.

And we wonder why we feel disconnected.

I remember reading the Little House on the Prairie series of books with my kids, and one thing that always struck me was how early everyone got up. Pa was up before the sun to get the farm ready for the day. But the reason he was able to get up that early without an alarm was that he went to bed with the sun, too. Anthropologists estimate that most people, 150 years ago, got about 9 1/2 hours of sleep a night. Turning in at 8:30 or 9 was quite normal.

With the advent of electricity we started staying up later, because we could still be productive even after the sun went down. But I remember as a child that most people still went to bed at 11. When I was in high school most of my friends certainly did, and the reason was simple: all the good TV shows ended at 11. We only had a few channels, after all, and news started to come on at 10. By 11 it was all news, or else boring old movies. So there was nothing really to keep you awake.

But just as electricity pushed bedtimes back, now computers have virtually eliminated them altogether.

Because of the internet and video games you can do the exact same thing at 1:30 in the morning as you can do at 8 in the evening. And it sucks us in.

And people, it has to stop.

Adults Need Bedtimes, Too!

How are you going to keep a marriage alive if you scatter at night? How can you nurture your marriage if you never have down time just to talk? Keith and I spend a lot of time just chatting at night in bed–or even getting ready for bed. It’s an important ritual, to spend the last few moments of the day holding each other. And I’m not just talking about sex, either. Sure, it’s going to be harder to connect sexually if you’re not in bed at the same time. But it’s harder to connect AT ALL, too.

I get told by many women, “I go to bed at 11, and he follows around 1 or 2. And then he wakes me up because he wants sex.” That’s really difficult.

It used to be that EVERYONE had a bedtime–children did, but their parents did, too. If you needed 8 1/2 hours of sleep, and you had to get up at 6:30, then you went to bed at 10. It was quite simple, and quite civilized.

Let’s get back to that!

I know it’s not possible for everyone when shift work is involved, and I’m not talking about you here. I know that’s a difficult lifestyle, and my husband and I have lived it our whole married life, too.

Or perhaps your problem is snoring–your husband snores, so you have to get to sleep first. Or maybe you sleep in different rooms because of it. If so, I’ve heard that these mouth guards really can help reduce the problem (because those strips they sell at the drug store don’t work)–and as a wife of someone who snores at times, I know how important that is! So do try it, because you don’t want to be separated at night.

But many people ARE home together at night and snoring isn’t involved and they STILL don’t go to bed together.

And let me tell you–people do not sleep well when they turn in right after being on the computer.

When parents are having a hard time getting children to go to sleep at night, what do experts suggest? Setting up a routine so that the child knows what’s coming and has that transition time between daytime and nighttime, so they are able to wind down. Maybe the routine looks like this:

  • Snack
  • Bath
  • Story
  • Song
  • Prayers
  • Kiss good night

On this blog we talk a ton about ways to improve marriage, from finding his love language to spicing up your sex life to learning to accept him. But I think probably one of the most fundamental things that we could do is just to go back to basics and to establish a bedtime routine for you and your husband!


Always Kiss Me Goodnight Wall Decal

Maybe it looks like this:

  • Snack (or cup of tea together)
  • Bath or shower together
  • Read a chapter of a book or an article together out loud, or a Psalm
  • Snuggle
  • Pray
  • Sleep

Different things lead up to sleep. That’s what makes it a routine–one thing follows another which follows another, which makes you ready for bed.

Right now the only thing bringing some people to bed is that they fall asleep on the couch, and eventually wake up and move.

Not good.

Yesterday I wrote to women whose husbands played video games all night about how to build more relationship time. But one thing I said was that it’s very hard to just tell him, “I want you to stop playing by a certain time”, because that doesn’t seem reasonable when he’s having fun. If, instead, you said something like this: “how much sleep do you think we should get a night?”, and then say, “what’s a reasonable bedtime?” Then work backwards from there. Say, “I’d love to share a cup of herbal tea with you before we turn in every night,” or “I’d love to have a bath to unwind with you every night.” Then you’re giving him something you’d like to DO. And it’s far healthier to establish good sleeping habits when there’s a routine.

31DaysCoverIn fact, if you really want to pique his attention, try suggesting doing the 31 Days to Great Sex with him! Most men would love to have a more active sex life, and if you could commit to spending that time before bed every night for 31 days doing the reading and the exercise, you may find that you can start a new routine of climbing into bed together that will last far beyond the 31 days.

So talk to your husband about this! And if you’re on Facebook right now when you’re reading this and it’s after midnight, stop it. Get off. Get to bed. You need your sleep. He needs his sleep. You need your together time. Get a bedtime routine. Our ancestors did it, and they were far more productive and well rested and well rounded than we are!

Now, what advice do you have for us today? Link up a marriage post in the Linky below! And be sure to share the Wifey Wednesday link on your blog, too, so that others can come here to find great marriage posts.




Comments

  1. My husband and I used to head to bed at different times. For many years, I went first while he “finished a level” of a video game. After we had children, I headed to bed last, doing a little more of whatever I felt needed doing at the end of the day. It tore us apart in many ways, really.

    For the past 18 months, we have gone to bed at the same time (unless he has business travel, as he does this week) and have newfound joy in bedtime. We snuggle and talk and often this leads to that, but mostly, it connects us in a way the rest of our interaction during the day does not. We usually hit the sack by 10 p.m., but sometimes it’s 8:30, just because we feel like it.

    Our bedtime routine works so wonderfully that my husband has a hard time getting to sleep when he travels. While I want him to get a good night’s sleep, I do smile at the thought that he wants that comfort and level of security … the ritual of going to sleep together.

    Everyone should have that as often as possible. It connects, it builds trust and intimacy and memories. It also gives a cover of darkness to talk about hurtful or troubling subjects in the safety of each other’s arms.
    Amy recently posted…Say "No" to Your ChildrenMy Profile

  2. Sheila, a year ago, my husband was working evening shifts – since I work from home, I’d wait up for him (up to 12 am or 3am, in the night), sit with him as he eats and then go to bed together. It was a stretch sometimes but the effort was worth it.

    He’s in a different job today but still comes home at 10pm on most days. We’ve learned the beauty and connection of going to bed together. There’s just a connection, an intimacy in winding down together this way. And sometimes we don’t even talk or anything, just collapse in bed after a long day! but we do it together..and that makes a huge difference.
    Thanks for sharing this!
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…To Thrive or To Wither? It’s Your ChoiceMy Profile

  3. ButterflyWings says:

    This is one I find very frustrating. I’m a shift worker, often finishing around 11pm and by the time I drive home, shower and do absolute necessities it can be 1am. That’s not the problem though. I only work part time yet on the nights I work, hubby heads to bed early. Which I can understand except…

    On the nights I don’t work, he usually stays up to the early hours of the morning (3am, 4am or 5am even) – his work is flexible hours but still has to work an 8 hour day. I am not well and it’s a struggle for me to stay up more than a few nights a week, and even then, I simply cannot keep up with that night after night. And what it means when he has done that, he comes home from work quite late and grabs a bite to eat and heads straight to bed at 6 or 7pm.

    And as much as I’d like to go to bed that early, I am unable to after more than a decade of shift work, and even our daughter doesn’t go to bed that early (and being autistic, there is no changing her routing bedtime – it has to be the exact same every night or she can’t handle it and I’ve tried for the last 7 years to get her to go to bed earlier but she just can’t handle it – and she’s too young to leave up by herself.

    So we’re stuck in this cycle – he’ll stay up past what I am able, and then head to bed before I am able to the next time. And the only time he goes to bed at a reasonable hour is when I’m working and unable to do the same.

    It’s a cycle that began right from our honeymoon. even then, he’d spend half the night up playing computer games or other leisure activities and I gave up tryingto stay up night after night when sometimes it was even daylight before he came to bed.

    I hate it. It makes so much of a difference to go to bed. We rarely wake up together because my health means I need at least 10-12 hours sleep and he needs to get up for work. But it would be so nice to go to bed together.

    It’s an issue I’d like to do something about, but something we’ll have to take to professional counselling and we’re seperated by distance for several more weeks until we can do that.

  4. Ken and I have always gone to bed at different times. I have always gone to bed real early and he goes to bed real late. It is a bummer but we make it work. We take a long walk together every day and I cuddle in bed with him every morning for devotions. It makes it easier since the children are all grown. Both of my married children always go to bed at the same time. That is definitely the ideal!
    Lori recently posted…My Healthy, Happy MomMy Profile

  5. I agree that plenty of sleep makes for a better next day and healthier connections with my husband. But even if we went to bed at the same time, he’s asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow while I lay there trying to get to sleep. LOL! And although I do tend to be a night owl – its usually to get work done- sometimes the only time to get things done. I long for routine and a nightly one would be nice. I think maybe building a routine leading up to sleep, then he can go to slumber land and I can do what needs to be done might work.
    Angela D. Meyer recently posted…Build Your Marriage in Good Times and Bad Part 3My Profile

  6. Well, one thing’s for sure, Sheila – you really hit it this time! From just the impassioned pleas here in the comments section alone, it looks like a really important topic. Isn’t it funny how we seem to feel that we must always be “getting something done” even if it’s midnight??

    In my experience, it has also been an issue. My husband has forever been a night-owl, while I’ve been an early riser. I would LOVE to go to bed together, but I’m not sure how to make it happen.

    I think, though, with a lot of prayer and using some of the gentle persuasion ideas you mentioned, we can get a little closer. My Beloved enjoys being with me, and so some of these ideas will probably be welcome to him.

    Thanks for your willingness to – once again – tackle a difficult subject!

    Lisa
    http://www.TheCourageousJourney.com
    Lisa recently posted…7 Ideas to Build Your MarriageMy Profile

  7. When my husband was working really close to home we used to go to bed at different times. I’d go to bed earlier and he’d stay up and watch a “guy movie” or something. I didn’t like going to bed at different times, but he literally wasn’t tired and it’s a pain to be in bed with him when he’s not sleepy! He tosses and turns and complains about not being able to sleep until I tell him to go downstairs anyway so I can sleep. LOL He doesn’t do it on purpose, he just needs less sleep than I do. Our solution during that period of time was when I was ready to go to bed, I’d let him know, and he would come and tuck me in. We’d pray together, he’d kiss me goodnight, and then I could snuggle down under the covers and go to sleep in peace. Now, if I really wanted him to come to bed with me, I’d tell him, and he’d honor that. Usually when I really wanted him to come to bed with me it meant I wanted to snuggle or make love or I was having a difficult time emotionally with something and needed his presence. Since I gave him the space to stay up later, he was more willing to come to bed with me when I really wanted him to.

    Now, he has a new job with a long commute (which we hope to remedy by moving soon!) and gets up early early early in the morning. We learned quickly that if he doesn’t get a consistent amount of sleep all week, by Thursday or Friday he’s so worn out he’s knocking back energy drinks just to stay awake on his drive. Not good!!! So we had to change our pattern. Now, we go to bed together every night, by or before 10. Period. He needs his rest. It’s a matter of practicality. I can’t say it’s done anything in the romance department, because the baby still sleeps in our room and wakes easily. But that’s only temporary. When we move we hope to get a house where the baby can have his own room and we will have our bedroom back and WE ARE SO LOOKING FORWARD TO IT. :-D
    Melissa recently posted…Aging GracefullyMy Profile

    • Hubby and I do something similar to this. He has forever been a night owl while I have always worked jobs where I am up and out of the house early. When I am ready for bed he will try to come lay down and cuddle or talk with me until I am ready to sleep. Once I’m mostly asleep he gets up and does whatever it is he has to do. It is t optimal but it does give us that time together even though we are on different schedules.

  8. We have always made it a priority to go to bed together. There have been seasons of our life where this wasn’t easy but we managed still.
    Jennifer recently posted…You Don’t Send Me Flowers!My Profile

  9. Great article! I agree that we need to make time to be together, with screens off, game controllers down and time together in the evening is very special. It winds down our day and lets us connect after the little ones are in bed. The key isn’t so much the bed time but the commitment to time together – watch a show, have a snack, lay together and visit, cuddle a but and more if you liked.

    One thing I have found was very important to my husband is being up with him in the morning, having that bit of time together, and doing some special little things really starts his day off well and gives me another chance to show him how much I love him.
    shanyns recently posted…Five Minute Friday – DiveMy Profile

  10. This is one thing that my husband and I have made a priority since we were first married. When it slips, I’m usually the one asking to get back on track. My hubby is much more of a night owl. But he almost always recognizes the good in it–if only that we are together when going to bed. :) Thanks for pointing this important issue out, Sheila. It’s truly a problem in many marriages.

  11. I have a different perspective on this one Sheila. I have always been a night person and I physically feel ill in the morning. Of course, my husband is the opposite and wakes up at 6:30 without an alarm clock and snores loudly, so we don’t sleep in the same room. I worked for many years and had to get up in the morning and I just dragged all day and it didn’t matter if I went to bed early or late. Now that our kids our grown, one is out of the house and since I’m not working full time, I don’t have to get up in the morning anymore, so I don’t. This leaves me with more energy during the day to get things done and to not be tired when my husband comes home…(use your imagination here) We have dinner together, clean up the dishes and then spend the rest of the evening together. Our sex life is so much better now that we don’t leave it for bedtime when both of us are tired.

  12. First of all, Sheila, let me say that I love your blog! My sister recommended it me within the past year and since then I have recommended it to several other friends. I even printed out some of your stuff for our Mom’s Group as a way to get them to visit your blog!

    Now for the topic at hand. My husband and I hardly ever go to bed at the same time. Every time I read something about this topic (usually on your blog), it makes me get a little insecure about our habit and I rethink it. This reevaluation always makes me come back to the conclusion that separate bedtimes work SO well for us.

    Here is why:

    Our kids are in bed by 8:00 and I go to bed by 10:00 or 10:30. My husband and I spend that chunk of time from 8-10 hanging out. Then I go to bed and he, being the night owl that he is, stays up until 12:00 or 1:00. Right now he’s getting his MBA online so he spends a lot of that time on school work. When he’s not in school, he uses that time to work on other projects he enjoys.

    If we were to go to bed at the same time, he would have to do his work/projects from 8:00-10:00 (I have three little kids and I really have a hard time functioning the next day if I don’t go to bed by then). Then we would lose out on our chunk of together time.

    That being said, we have recently gotten into the habit of him coming up with me to get ready for bed at the same time. That way he doesn’t have to do it later when I am sleeping and possibly wake me up. I love ending my day that way. So the only thing we really miss out on is talking in bed, but when I’m in bed I want to sleep, not talk! So, for us, we will stick with separate bedtimes!

    • I understand, Megan, and every couple does need flexibility! If you’re making that effort to get ready together and snuggle together, that’s the main thing. You’re still spending time together.

  13. This is one I struggle with. In the past when we have tried going to bed at the same time one of two things happens, either he ends up laying awake in bed because it is too early for him, and he isn’t tired, or I am falling asleep on him if I try to stay up later. It has gotten a bit better over the years, but not much. What we are able to do is spend Saturday mornings in bed together. We set out the kids breakfast and lock the door the night before and the kids know not to bug us, but I do worry that one morning a week of that uninterrupted time is enough. Sure we talk other times and fool around other times, but not every day.

  14. No marriage post by me today but I did write about Good Morning Girls! Anyway, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this post! You are a great writer and I agree w/you about going to bed together. It’s just solidifies the team spirit a little for me. I get that not everyone is like this but I like going to bed and having my husband turn the lights out as we walk upstairs together. It just lonely when I have close up shop alone.
    Mary @ A Productive Endeavor recently posted…Stepping out my comfort zoneMy Profile

  15. My husband snores HORRIBLY. I try to go to bed before him because I can’t get to sleep if I’m not in a deep sleep by the time he comes to bed. Even still, he can usually wake me during the night with his snoring. I pretty much sleep on the couch every night, once he comes to bed. :-( It’s either that or battle him all night and neither of us gets sleep. I would love nothing more than to snuggle my hubby every night. But it’s just not reality.
    Ugh………

    • Now THAT is a very real problem! We’ve been through bouts of snoring in our marriage, too (they tend to stop when my husband’s weight goes below a certain level) but I totally understand what you mean. Honestly, in a case like this I’d recommend separate bedrooms (I don’t do that often, but people DO need to sleep). I’m not sure how well you can sleep on a couch on a regular basis. But that is DEFINITELY a problem, and I sympathize.

      I think you can still have fun before you turn in, even if it’s to separate places. You can have the same bedtime but then you can each go to your own beds. It’s not ideal, but at least going to bed at the same time gives you a chance to talk and unwind together.

  16. THANK YOU for confirming what God has been speaking to me!!!

    Blessings~
    Alethea
    Alethea recently posted…Submit to YOUR HusbandMy Profile

  17. My husband insists that the 45lb dog sleep in our bed, and that we have a tv in the bedroom. He likes to watch tv until 11:30 or so. I am not a tv watcher at all. I sleep on a pallet in another room…our sex life is non-existent. I will not sleep in a dog bed!

  18. We’ve done it both ways and there is definitely a connection that we need when we have some time in bed together talking about the day, etc. During those seasons when I have to go to bed much earlier (when he was in school or I’m pregnant/have a newborn) we’ve worked out a way for him to get mostly ready for bed and then lie down together for at least a few minutes so that we can chat, snuggle and pray. It is so easy to get distracted from this habit though.

  19. I am one of those people who simply needs more sleep and my husband needs less. A great compromise that we have come to is that when I go to bed around 10pm, we get ready and go to bed together. Sometimes DH falls asleep and sometimes he’s not tired. I fall asleep within a few minutes of talking and cuddling and then DH sometimes gets back up again to have his time. I sleep soundly, so it doesn’t matter to me if he is awake or asleep, but we still have that time together at the end of the day.

  20. What do you do when you husband works nights and doesn’t even get home until 1:30am (at the earliest)? Even on the weekends he isn’t ready for bed at 11. That is one of the things I have missed about him working days.
    Lacey G recently posted…A ChallengeMy Profile

  21. Before marriage, I always dreamed of cuddling and chatting in bed before sleep, but I married a guy who is fast asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. :-) Because of work, he goes to bed VERY early (before 8:30). Maybe I should go in and cuddle until he falls asleep and then go back to the livingroom until I am tired.

  22. I think that going to bed together is ideal if you can do it. My husband and I are fortunate that we have similar work schedules and sleep habits. so going to bed at the same time works well for us. But it sounds like a number of couples who don’t have the same schedules/habits have worked out good ways to enjoy some of the togetherness that going to bed together provides.
    Gaye @CalmHealthySexy recently posted…Strategy #5 – Take Care of Yourself – CalmHealthySexy 2013My Profile

  23. in the beginning of our marriage my husband and I would go to bed at the same time. It was wonderful. Once had kids that all changed, he would stay up much later than me. It’s been in the last month that we are getting back going to bed together because we have commited to getting up together to pray together. as much as I have been wanting this for years it’s hard to make that transistion. I have gotten comfortable in my bed time routine. Snuggling uder the covers and reading my book. I find myself getting annoyed when he wants to talk…so I am praying that God changed my heart and that I embrace this opportunity to rebuild the intimacy in our relationship. After all it’s what I have been praying for…
    kimberly amici recently posted…Filling UpMy Profile

  24. Discouraged says:

    This doesn’t really pertain to this post, but I have to put it out there because it’s killing me. I am THAT girl. Married to a great guy. He works hard and is faithful to provide. He doesn’t do anything outside the home as in hobbies. He does play computer games (more than I’d like, but…) He is not a communicator. We have seven kids and 17 years of marriage. I’m so alone. I bought 31 Days to great sex and gave it to him. We talked briefly about Day 1 and he rated our marriage so much higher than me and that was it. He didn’t see the need to go further through the book because he is satisfied. I am not. He is happy with our marriage and I should be, too, is his thinking. He is a good guy. So I always feel guilty about fussing that I want more. More romance, attention, time with him, s*x. Because, “there is always some other woman out there who would love to have my man.” That is commonly what is “preached” to us. I have read all the marriage books. I am a Christian. I love God and I know that marriage is not ultimately about my happiness, but I’m feeling discouraged and like, “Is this it?” Really? I make our marriage a priority. I do. There is nothing on his side. He won’t help me put kids to bed at night so we can go to bed together or earlier. I’ve asked. He’d just as soon play computer games and not be intimate. I feel like marriage should be mutually satisfying for both of us, but he just doesn’t seem to care. I bought some intimate things for his stocking for Christmas. He has yet to want to try any of it. We are nearing 40. I’m feeling like we are running out of time and should be living and loving each other to the fullest as much as possible. Yes. We have lots of kids. Yes. It’s hard, but I feel like we could be doing so much more together than we are. He doesn’t even try.

  25. My wife and I have a deal together. No sex after 11pm (unless of course we both really want it). We both have a tendency to stay up later than we should, but I’m up at 5am for work, and she doesn’t function well on less than 8 hours of sleep. Add to that a baby that still wakes multiple times a night and a 4 year old who won’t sleep past 6:30, and frankly, having sex after 11am is not worth the grumpy wife the next day (not to mention the fact that I want her to have a good sleep for her own well being). So, if it’s a night I’m wanting to re-connect, I make sure to be ready for bed and drag her (willingly) upstairs by 10pm.

    Now, rewind back to before, when we were barely having enough sex to call it a marriage, and yeah, we never went to bed together. Now, I think we didn’t go to bed together because it was too painful to be reminded that we weren’t having sex every night so I was avoiding opportunities where we’d both be in bed awake knowing nothing was going to happen, but either way, the two coincide.
    Jay Dee recently posted…How Sex Impacts the Rest of My LifeMy Profile

    • “Now, I think we didn’t go to bed together because it was too painful to be reminded…”

      Wow, that just made a light bulb go off over my head! Going to bed at the same time has been an ongoing struggle for me and my husband. He has promised to make it a priority, but then doesn’t follow through. I think, now that I read that last paragraph of yours, that bedtime is not the issue–its other *intimacy issues* that have made sex problematic and, therefore, time for talking and connecting in bed feels bad. I have a lot to think about.

  26. I cannot agree more! :) I think that one of the absolutely most important things that my hubby & I have done that has kept us close as a young couple with kiddos, is to go to bed together. At this stage in our life, actual “just-the-two-of-us-out-to-dinner” dates are hard to come by, so spending time together every night and connecting with each other has proved invaluable (and generally leads to some “extra-special togetherness” as well) ;) I actually just wrote an entire post on my blog about this very thing, and how we manage to do it even with three little kiddos– http://www.aheartfulhome.blogspot.com/2013/01/making-every-night-date-night.html
    Kathryn recently posted…Making Every Night Date Night!My Profile

  27. I know this post is several weeks old, but to the lady who’s husband snores so bad she can’t sleep — have you investigated medical reasons behind it? The reason I ask is because when I got married, my new husband’s snoring nearly derailed our marriage before it started. It would literally rattle the windows — you could hear him from the street! I made him see a doctor within a month of our wedding, and it turns out he had a very serious problem with sleep apnea – where it was actually life threatening! He now sleeps with a breathing machine, and believe me, the difference in sound is night and day. No more snoring, and a little bit of white noise, like a fan, and we can cuddle.. And knowing that he is not risking life and limb due to sleep deprivation nor will he die in his sleep is a huge stress reliever too!

  28. Yes! I’m looking forward to school starting next week because our routine also comes back!

    My kids need a lot of sleep (more than their friends, it seems…or maybe nobody is getting enough??? NO clue). Anyway, during the school year, we all wind down at 7:00, if we’re at home. (A few activities go later.) We put our pajamas on, grab a book, and all settle in for family reading time. (All “gadgets” are checked in to the charging station. We ALL unplug.)

    The youngest has 30 minutes of reading (when he was really young, we read to him). Then off to bed at 7:30.

    The older two read for an hour, then to bed at 8.

    That gives my husband and I an hour to connect, read, fold laundry, play a game, watch a TV show, whatever. We’re in bed by 9 or 9:30 most nights. I find I work really hard to get all of the chores done before 7 p.m. because I want to be able to do something fun with my husband, not clean the kitchen or fold laundry! It’s a good incentive to me, and I think about it as the “end” of my official workday. Sometimes I need to work “overtime,” but really, as my kids are getting older, it’s realistic for me to get it all done before then.

    I should say, this all looked VERY different when the kids were little. But for this stage of life, (elementary and junior high) it’s working great!

    People think it’s freakish, but it’s a great routine for our family. We’re all up early in the morning, and I find that I’m much more productive at 5 a.m. than I am at midnight. I should add that we’re naturally “morning” people, so this works well for us.

    Our kids are alert and ready to learn, and they’re all in the “gifted” reading program…not because they’re so amazing, but because they read A LOT.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d share our routine.When we’re all scattered at night, it’s harder to maintain the relationships…not just with my spouse, but with my kids.
    chewing taffy recently posted…judgedMy Profile

    • That actually sounds really idyllic! I love the idea of everybody unplugging and going to charging stations, too. Kids’ bedtime reading is so important for all kinds of reasons, too!

  29. Heather D says:

    I’m so thankful to see a post dedicated to bedtime. My husband and I struggled with this for years. He works 3rd shift Fri-Mon, so the rest of the week, he tries to adhere to a similar schedule to make working hours easier. I sleep alone half of the week while he’s at work, so the other half, he makes sure to come to bed with me and stay until I’ve fallen asleep. And a few times, even though he’s laying there wide awake, if I wake up, he’ll stay in bed even longer. Before bed, we try to make a habit of chatting, praying and always cuddle. Working on this routine has seriously CHANGED my marriage. Some nights it’s only 10 minutes before I’m totally out, but it has made a huge impact on our intimacy levels.

    I know time is a huge factor for a lot of people, but even ten minutes together before bed can change your life!

    • Absolutely! Thanks for sharing. I’m sure that will encourage others with similar “problem” schedules. You can make it work!

  30. So Needed This says:

    This is so true. I can remember when my husband and I were dating, he would stay at my house and lay down with me at night until I fell asleep before he would go home. I needed him there to feel safe. Now we rarely if ever sleep in the same bed, after 2 kids (and one of those kids is 7 years old!). One of them always ends up in the bed. We will try it for a few days, and then he goes back to the couch. I can tell a big difference in our marriage and feel disconnected from him always. Thank you for the encouragement to make this a priority. I’m going to try to get him to read this post.

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  1. […] I was saying, I decided to read Sheila's blog this morning. The topic was how as married adults we need to be more diligent in getting proper […]

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  3. […] This post about adults needing bedtimes was a must-read.  I would agree with the author that one of the top things you can do to improve your marriage would be to commit to regularly going to bed at the same time! […]

  4. […] This post about adults needing bedtimes was a must-read. I would agree with the author that one of the top things you can do to improve your marriage would be to commit to regularly going to bed at the same time! […]

  5. […] go to bed at the same time. Turn off those screens and turn in! And here’s a way to think about it: You need 8 hours of […]

  6. […] I was saying, I decided to read Sheila’s blog this morning. The topic was how as married adults we need to be more diligent in getting proper […]

  7. […] after dinner you both scatter on your different computers, and then you go to bed at different times. Maybe he plays video games and you check Facebook, until one of you turns in. But if you’re […]

  8. […] 12. Go to bed at a reasonable hour–TOGETHER! Adults need bedtimes, too. […]

  9. […] That takes communication and forgiveness. That takes energy when you’re exhausted. That takes going to bed earlier, getting more organized so you have more time, being stricter with kids so you have time to […]

  10. […] go to bed at a decent hour! If you want sex, then playing video games until one in the morning and then expecting her to be […]

  11. […] know some marriage problems can’t be fixed by just getting more discipline or starting to go to bed at a decent time or being deliberate about everyday tasks. But it can’t hurt. And if you do get more […]

  12. […] I was saying, I decided to read Sheila’s blog this morning. The topic was how as married adults we need to be more diligent in getting proper […]

  13. […] sleep-deprived, we get into more conflict. We don’t want sex. And we lose intimacy. Going to bed at a decent time and getting sleep is one of the best things you can do for your […]

  14. […] and snuggling, and it’s not clear WHO initiated. It just happened (all the more reason to go to bed at the same time, so that things can “just happen”!). And sometimes he has a really low sex drive, and […]

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