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Married Life

Can Morning Larks and Night Owls Share a Nest?

I’ve just found out I’m what the sciencey people call a “Night Owl”. Den is most definitely a Morning Lark. This means that most nights around 10pm, you can find Den happily snoring away on the couch in front of the television, while I potter around winding myself down for a few more hours before bedtime.

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Then, our morning routine usually goes something like this:

Some ungodly hour of the morning:
*beep beep* *beep beep* (that’s my cyber impression of our stupid, hateful alarm clock)
Denis: Springs out of bed, practically already dressed in his gym clothes and bounds out the door all disgustingly perky for something two hours of exercise.
Emma: “Urggghempfttthhhhhh…”

Denis: Returns from morning workout, ready to tackle the day.
Emma: (just barely out of bed and heading for the shower) “Urggghempfttthhhhhh…”

Denis: Mind moving a hundred miles an hour, launches into conversation about everything from what’s for dinner that night to business plans to what he needs to do today
Emma: “Urggghempfttthhhhhh??”

I can’t help it. I honestly don’t feel like I warm up before 12noon most days, and certainly never before my first latte. Denis thinks I’m lazy as all hell.

But I’m NOT, DENIS! It’s GENETIC! And it’s a proven fact that people have a disposition to be either Morning people or Night people. I’m night people!

My whole being springs to life late at night, and I feel ready to create and be vibrant! I do my best work as the clock nears midnight, while YOU, Denis, snore away on the couch, wasting precious hours. You can’t function late at night (has been known literally to fall asleep halfway through a conversation), I certainly cannot function in the mornings… I can’t think straight. It physically pains me to be out of bed. Just to GET out of bed is a massive effort.

So it’s a trade off – a few hours at the end of the day versus a few hours in the morning…
You probably know if you’re a Night Owl or a Morning Lark by now – it isn’t something that easily escapes people. The question is – can Night Owls and Morning Larks happily share a nest?
The University of Wisconsin doesn’t think so. They did a half-arsed study back in ’05 (28 couples participated = totally inconclusive) and based on that, they believe it causes major stress to relationships if partners aren’t synced up on their sleep cycles.

I can see why they would think that – while one person is gearing up, their other half is unintelligible and grumpy, while the reverse happens at the other end of the day. Trying to sync up your sex cycle is no picnic either (just TRY and touch me in the mornings… I dare you!), but on the flipside, there are a few good hours in the middle of the day when both lovebirds hit their stride. And perhaps the extra hours alone are a good thing (certainly for us, when we share a house, office and social life practically 24/7) – having your own space and all that.

On the other hand, I can imagine how lovely it would be if we COULD share an early morning breakfast together before the start of the day (shudder…) or if we could climb into bed at the same time and wind-down together over some good conversation and maybe a little nookie before we sleep…

What do you think? Are you and your sweetie both Larks? Both Owls? Completely opposite? Can it work?

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Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.


6 comments for “Can Morning Larks and Night Owls Share a Nest?”

  1. Posted by That Guy from across the hall | May 29, 2009, 5:31 pm

    I’m going to change topic a bit – did you see the item on the news about the “Yes, I’m Single” badges? Basically, you wear a small blue badge when you are out at bars/social events and it lets people know that you are available. What do you think about this?

  2. Posted by Emma | May 30, 2009, 8:39 pm

    Yes, I’ve seen them… If enough people catch onto it, then I guess it could work. But if no one else knows about the program, don’t you think it would look a bit desperate?

    I’m a big believer in playing hard to get, myself…

    And if single people get them, what about the “Go Away, I’m Married” badges? Shouldn’t we have those too?

    What do you think?

  3. Posted by Living With Messy People | $30 date night | Date Ideas, Marriage & Romance Blog | August 24, 2009, 10:22 pm

    [...] problems in my marriage. As you, dear readers, know this isn’t our only difference, I’m also a Night Owl while he’s a Morning Lark and while he’s a health freak, I’m lukewarm on the whole exercise [...]

  4. Posted by april | September 2, 2009, 1:04 am

    My partner is too a morning lark – or maybe just needs a lot more sleep than me, as I’m still up at 3am, he’s asleep on the couch at 8.30pm…not working very well to be honest..

  5. Posted by Emma | September 2, 2009, 1:23 am

    Thanks for your comment, April. It can get really difficult when you have two different body clocks… I guess weekends during the day is the only time you can spend together awake?

    If it makes you feel any better, I just wrote a post about how the average couple only spends 2-2.5 hours a day together and a third of that is watching TV!

  6. Posted by Ales | December 12, 2010, 10:32 pm

    I just broke with my gf, minutes ago, because she is a morning lark, and Im a night owl, and i told her, that such combination might not be happy, she kept on repeating what i said, but we were discussing the mind types, and wondering if ti works, but as I started to wonder how would be to live toghether, I just couldnt avoid spitting my opinion, i messed it, and i feel sad to lose her, or i feel sad to lose my freedom, dont know what to do. Help pplease

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