DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My boyfriend has this thing about not being able to fall asleep at night without the TV on. He is a paramedic and sees some truly bad stuff on a daily basis. So, I can get how the TV playing helps him fall asleep because it helps block out the thoughts that otherwise keep him awake. But what works for him, makes it hard for me to fall or stay asleep.
I have tried different things to block out the TV, including buying a $70 pair of noise cancelling earbuds and a couple different sleep masks. I find both the earbuds and the masks uncomfortable to sleep with, so I gave up using them.
I love my boyfriend and want to spend as much time with him as I can, but how do we get around this difference in what we need to sleep? --- NEED SOME SLEEP
DEAR NEED SOME SLEEP: I know a few people who, like your boyfriend, use the TV to help them fall asleep. Perhaps your boyfriend could explore alternate ways to block his busy mind when it’s bedtime.
For instance, if he hasn’t yet, he could try listening to music or reading something not connected to his job. There are studies that suggest exercising later in the day helps facilitate dozing off at bedtime. If his TV has a sleep timer, setting it may help you both get better sleep if it turns off after he’s dozed off. His being the one to use Bluetooth earbuds or headphones to listen to whatever he’s watching might at least eliminate one of the issues causing you to lose sleep.
There are many tried-and-true ways to ease people into sleep. It will likely take some experimentation to find something you can both live with — and successfully sleep to.