The Romance of Sleep/Wake Schedules, The Research Life. - Deepstash
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Sleep/wake Schedules And Romantic Partnernerships

Should our sleep schedules and bedtime preferences impact who we select for a romantic partnership? Sleep is often involved in romantic relationships, but how important is it that couples maintain similar sleep and wake times? The importance of sleep/wake scheduling preferences, or chronotypes, likely depends on scheduling flexibility, problem-solving skills, and ultimately, time spent together with your partner. 


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What’s a chronotype and why does it matter?

A person’s chronotype is essentially the time in which she/he prefers to be awake and active.

  • Some people are more morning types and prefer to start the day during the early morning, while others are more evening types and would rather go to bed later in the night and wake later in the day. 
  • Young adults often prefer evening activity more than morning activity, while those who are older often prefer the morning rather than the evening. But this isn’t always the case.  
  • Chronotypes may also be linked with how people choose romantic partners and even their satisfaction with their relationship.


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Do Chronotypes Really Matter for Romantic Relationships?

In a word, yes, chronotypes can matter for relationships. However, the mechanisms behind chronotype similarity and relationship satisfaction are complex.

  • Couples who have similar chronotypes, for example both morning types or both evening types, are more likely to be satisfied with their relationships than those who have different chronotypes (e.g., morning type and evening type).
  • Having different chronotypes could be beneficial in some cases like taking turns to care for a young child. While one partner sleeps at her normal hours, the other could be “on duty” to watch over their child.


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How Might Mismatched Chronotype Partners Manage Romance?

Chronotype similarity may be influenced by time spent with a partner, and that often involves problem-solving for people who manage busy or inflexible daily schedules. 

  • Either schedule flexibility or effective time management skills may be most important for those couples who have mismatched sleep/wake schedules. 
  • Romantic partners who have different chronotypes can build and maintain a successful relationship, as long as they are good at problem-solving, which would allow them to find quality time to spend together.


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I am an academic sleep researcher, healthy sleep advocate, and writer. #sleephealth #sleepguide #sleepingtips


Choosing romantic partners often involves sorting through several qualities, shared hobbies, and characteristics. Maybe we should also consider sleep/wake schedules when vetting potential romantic partners.


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