Sleep tight

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LIFE - Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­ators.com.

DEAR AN­NIE » My hus­band and I have been hav­ing an on­go­ing con­flict about when to go to bed at night, as he in­sists we go to bed at the same time. I am more of a night owl and some­times will want to stay up un­til around 11, ei­ther be­cause I’m not tired yet or be­cause I want to watch a movie or pro­gram that’s not over un­til then.

My hus­band wants us to go to bed at 10, stat­ing that it’s the only way to get enough sleep be­cause our dog con­sis­tently wakes us up around 6. He says that when I go to bed af­ter him, I wake him up while crawl­ing into bed, caus­ing him not to be able to fall asleep again for hours. Also, he rou­tinely falls asleep while watch­ing TV in the liv­ing room and says that if he’s not wo­ken by 10 to come to bed, he can’t get back to sleep. I do think that some­times the rea­son he can’t get back to sleep is that he’s al­lowed him­self to get worked up over the fact that I didn’t wake him at 10 as in­structed.

This bed­time is­sue has caused huge fights. He ac­cuses me of be­ing self­ish and not car­ing about the im­pact the lack of sleep will have on his health, while I feel that he’s be­ing con­trol­ling and treat­ing me like a child by forc­ing me to go to bed at a cer­tain time. I be­lieve that he’s sin­cere about his sleep is­sues and that his point is not to con­trol me, but I never imag­ined that as an adult I’d have an im­posed bed­time.

I think there are larger is­sues at play. If I con­sis­tently ac­qui­esce to his de­sired bed­time, will I be al­low­ing him to treat me like a child, or will I, as he ar­gues, be mak­ing a wise adult de­ci­sion to do what’s best for our mar­riage and health? Each of us thinks the other is be­ing un­rea­son­able, and at this point, I am con­fused and don’t know who’s right. But I do know I missed the end of the most ex­cit­ing World Se­ries in years. — Tired of the Fight

DEAR TIRED » Shame on him for deny­ing you the chance to wit­ness that breath­tak­ing 10th in­ning. Even chil­dren should have been al­lowed to break their bed­times for that one. Speak­ing of chil­dren: Don’t let your hus­band treat you like one. It sounds as if he has a bit of a con­trol­ling streak, and it will only grow big­ger if you take his de­mands ly­ing down. So be firm — but also com­pro­mise. Per­haps that means agree­ing to go to bed at the same time once or twice a week.

To ad­dress the is­sue of your wak­ing him up when you get in bed, con­sider get­ting two twin beds and push­ing them to­gether. I’ve heard from many read­ers that this works well.

DEAR AN­NIE » Could you rec­om­mend a good way to let vis­it­ing guests know that I pre­fer them to limit their teeth floss­ing to the bath­room, where it’s pri­vate? I was sur­prised to see this go­ing on in the TV room while said guest was sit­ting on the sofa. Af­ter the guest left, I found the piece of used floss on the cof­fee ta­ble. How do ed­u­cated peo­ple do things like that? Thank you for ad­dress­ing this un­pleas­ant habit.

— Grossed Out

DEAR GROSSED » It sounds as if your guest was raised by wolves. Time to teach this pup some man­ners. Be po­lite but di­rect and ask him or her to stop next time. You can soften the blow by mak­ing it about you and your pref­er­ences, e.g., “Would you mind keep­ing the floss­ing to the bath­room? That’s just how we do things here. I ap­pre­ci­ate it.” I hope you’re done find­ing used floss ly­ing around your house. Yuck.

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