Accommodating the needs of the "long sleeper" typically requires planning and patience, and sometimes a bit of creative juggling.
Tracey Thomsen Anderson, 57, a retired ad agency copywriter in Colorado Springs, who needs nine or 10 hours of sleep a night, and her husband, Roger - who rises at 4 a.m. after only about five or six hours - have figured out their own ways to cope with their disparate sleep cycles.
Their sons are now 22 and 20, and out of the house, but when they are home visiting, "We joke that our family runs in shifts," Tracey says. "My husband is ready for lunch when I am ready for breakfast, and the kids - well, who knows?"
The coffee maker runs at all hours. "And sometimes in the middle of the night, I will wake up to the smell of bacon or coffee because one of the kids is eating his meal on his schedule," she says. "As you can imagine, this makes family time really challenging. Dinner is the only family time we get sometimes, and I make sure that we all eat together nearly every night."
Traveling presents a real challenge. "We have something of a system," Tracey says. "If it's a driving trip, I essentially stagger to the car with a blanket and pillow, get in the passenger seat and go back to sleep after Roger has done all the packing and prepping. I sleep several hours and then am rested enough to take over driving for a while. We're good from about lunch until dinner and then he starts to fade, and I am still awake."