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Abigail van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My brother and I are in our 40s. We live several states apart and visit each other a couple times per year. We are both very active but on different time schedules. I’m a morning person who has been getting up at 5 a.m. for so many years my body will not sleep past then. He’s a night owl. He sleeps until 10 a.m. and expects to be doing fun activities until at least midnight.

He plans specific activities — buys us concert tickets to a 9 to 11 p.m. show that’s an hour away, which guarantees to keep us up past midnight. He gets upset if I don’t stay up late because that means we don’t get to spend as much time together or do all the fun activities we want. He won’t wake up earlier because weekends/vacation days are his only chance to sleep in. (He has to get up at 8 a.m. on workdays, so he’s not willing to meet in the middle.)

After our visits, I’m so exhausted it takes me a week to recover from getting only four hours of sleep while he’s here, and it affects the quality of my work. Is there a rule of etiquette for guests and hosts regarding adjusting schedules to accommodate each other? Shouldn’t the host choose the schedule? For instance, at his house, activities go from 10 a.m. to midnight, but at my house, we get up earlier and go to bed earlier? Or must the host accommodate the guest’s preferred schedule? — Sleepy in Wisconsin

DEAR SIS: Houseguests are supposed to abide by the schedule of their host. What this means is your common-sense assertion that when you are at your brother’s house you would stay up later, and when he’s at yours he would go to bed earlier, is correct.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.