Many couples don’t go to bed at the same time. Some people are night owls who thrive at night and some are morning larks who are most energetic in the morning, and it is those preferences that most determine a couples’ co-sleeping patterns, also known as dyadic sleep patterns.
How synced a couples’ bedtime is can have a significant impact on their relationship but contrary to common assumptions, these affects can be both negative and positive and are often a mix of both.
On the pro side of syncing sleep times, some people simply love to fall asleep while in an embrace because they find it physically comforting. To others, having the same sleep time represents their relationship being in a good place. Being in the bed alone makes them feel anxious because they associate their partner’s absence as a sign of conflict or avoidance, reflecting relationship tension.
Having separate sleep times can have other advantages: Some people value their alone time and being up when their partner is sleeping is their only way of getting it, and couples with younger children can rotate child care in order to divide parenting responsibilities more equally.
Differences in bedtimes can be managed but it takes communication to set mutual expectations and problem-solve issues that arise when couples are unable to both unwind and relax together before they go to bed. Set a time to talk and work together to get yourselves on the same page.