Oh sleep. You Fickle Thing.


So the last couple of days have been extremely harsh. Not only are we kicking packing into high gear, but Biggest has been adjusting to a new schedule, and it hasn’t gone very well.

I’ve had several issues over the summer with Biggest, due to his sleep patterns. At the start of the summer, he used to be up with the sun around 5am. We tried blackout curtains, and that helped a fair amount, but in the end he settled on somewhere between 6:15am, and 6:30am. Every so often, it’d be a bit varied, but for the most part, that’s the way it’s worked out. Well the other day, I stumbled onto a blog by Mommy Shorts (link is available on my Recommended Reading page), who was going through sleep training with her two daughters. Her struggles seemed to almost mirror my own, so I read further, and discovered a few things. Thanks to the popularity of her blog, she was surprised with unsolicited assistance from a certified child sleep consultant, and after reading what she had to say, I decided to implement a couple of solutions for both myself and Biggest. It’s been tough. I can see some improvement already, especially in my own, but it’s certainly difficult changing a sleeping pattern.  Some of the information I’ve gleaned are as follows.

1 – Children get up between 5:30 and 7:30 in the morning, and that is considered normal. In this regard, laying Biggest back down to bed until 7 when he’s up at 5:30 is not only pointless (unbeknownst to me, I thought I was helping the situation!), but is really only contributing to crankiness because if he’s awake at that hour and happy to be up, he’s not going to be doing anything other than lying there bored stiff.

2 – Sleep windows for children are important. If you miss these, children get a second wind, do not fall asleep quickly or easily, and often result in morning crankies. After doing some observing, I’m fairly positive Biggest’s ideal bedtime is actually 6:30, not 8. On this thread, I’ve missed my sleep window for nighttime about as long as I can remember. Given when I get up in the morning, I should be ready to sleep at about 10. I can tell you with certainty that I get my second wind no later than 11pm.

3 – Naps need to be done no later than 4 hours before bedtime. Things tend to go haywire if you mess with that by more than an hour.

I strongly recommend reading through a couple of her latest entries, as they are more in depth, and come from an original source, instead of my paraphrasing.

Keeping those things in mind, Biggest has had a couple of mixed up nights, as we’ve been switching bedtimes. There’s also been a couple of times that he took himself for a nap instead of waiting until after lunch like we normally do, and that interfered with the 4 hour rule (I wasn’t about to put him to bed at 5 since he woke up the other day from his 2 hour nap at 1). However, minus the tired attitude, and the fact that he’s suddenly become terrified of planes, he had an excellent day today, and was able to listen clearly and follow directions all the way until bedtime. I did something special for him today, he got to pick up Pappy from work. He was promised that excursion in exchange for finishing his supper, which wasn’t his favorite. Apparently it was good incentive, because there wasn’t a stick of his supper left. Admittedly, I was a pretty proud Momma.

My end hasn’t gone as well. It’s awfully difficult to train an adult vs. a child, and I’m no exception. I’ve aimed my bedtime to 10, and I get to bed about 10:30, but I’m still working out how to get a good sleep. Not only is my husband up a bit later than that (I find it difficult to sleep without him, the whole bed wakes me up just by being empty), but his computer is in our bedroom, and the lights and the hum keep my sleep light. I suspect this will get better once we move, as his computer will no longer be housed in our room. Regardless, I’ve been a bit less groggy (it’s actually not groggy, I think it’s more that I’m only fighting grog instead of exhaustion and grog), so my mornings have improved a bit. I also managed to wake up just before my third alarm. Yes, you read that right, to cut through my groggy, unless it’s a child screaming (I seem to wake up awfully quickly for that), it takes 3 alarms. Yeesh. I think I’m gonna put a bunch of pillows behind my back and see if that helps tonight.

Anyway, thanks for reading, that’s the scoop, and also the reason for no update yesterday. Stay tuned!

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