Everyone is tired all the time, right?
Well, I’m not. 😉 Not lately, that is…
I go to bed relatively early to read or watch TV, now that I can. It didn’t used to be this way, my second baby didn’t sleep by herself, or through the night, till age 4 and a half.
Talk to me about sleep deprivation, and I got stories to tell you. (But I’ll save those for another day…)
After, when she finally did sleep, other things kept me awake: Worries, peri-menopause symptoms, pets, city wildlife, or my partner struggling with his own sleep issues and waking me up with his tossing and turning when he finally decided to go to bed at 2, 3 am. Just as I was in deep REM sleep…
These days, I can choose to go to bed relatively early to ‘come down’ from a busy day because that hands-on period with small children is behind us now. Even if I’m not tired enough to go to sleep, I choose to head to the bedroom just because there aren’t many options for solitude in our small home.
Doesn’t matter though. Technology is portable these days so if I’m inclined to read or write, I can do that anywhere including in the bedroom. The point is, I like my alone time in the evenings. Besides, I’m usually the first one up the next morning, often by 6 am. That’s just me, though. I prefer morning activity to late night wakefulness.
Bedtime routines do still exist around our household for the offspring however. They have school and activities most days of the week so they are being trained to respect downtime for the body, physically and mentally speaking.
They go to bed on their own, or their dad takes them to their rooms. Occasionally I may still do the whole tuck and kiss goodnight and all that. But most evenings, they do their own thing just as I do mine.
Actual bed (go to sleep) times for both kids have changed slightly as they got older. Up until recently we insisted they be in bed by 9pm. If they wanted to read for a while, I was ok with that. There are no devices in their rooms, and there won’t be for the foreseeable future. But books are allowed.
Now they’re older, at 11 and close to 14. Just because mom disappears after 9ish pm doesn’t mean they’re ready to do the same. They want to watch TV or Netflix mostly, which is fine.
So while the three of them watch something (The Office, Grand Tour), I head to the bedroom to watch my thing, read and/or write, as I said.
But by 10pm, the house is silent. Even the teenager is required to turn light off by then.
I don’t know about your night time routine but proper sleep hygiene is at least partially responsible for less grumpiness in this house.
If they get enough sleep
they are much less grumpy the next day.
😉 🙃 😁
Especially now that school hockey begins again. Practices at 7 am means rising at 6 am and although my teen is pretty good about getting it together for hockey, he does complain slightly more later in the evening about how tired he is and how he shouldn’t have to do homework or chores because of that. 🙄
But then, we discovered something.
My partner told me that while he was just getting ready for bed at around 11:30 pm last night, he heard our son’s phone chiming incessantly. Normally, the phones are turned off overnight while plugged into the charging station near my desk. My son must have forgotten to turn off his phone that night.
So my partner walked over to have a look at the kid’s phone.
Four buddies of our son’s still in group chat, texting each other. Four 13 year old boys, up past 11 pm on a school night, on devices, texting each other.
(What will they be doing when they’re 15 at 11 pm? Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question.)
Perhaps this is normal for most people, but I struggle with a deeper understanding of how a kid, a young teenager, can get by on less than eight hours of sleep at night on a regular basis.
Are we the oddballs here for enforcing earlier bedtimes on a school night?
For the record, I don’t micromanage the bedtimes on weekends when there’s no early morning practice. But I do notice that the boy especially does sleep longer when he doesn’t go to bed at a decent hour. Which tells me he needs his eight hours still…consistently.
Frankly, I find it hard to tolerate my kids when they’re sleep deprived, and there have been times…then again, I barely tolerate myself when I’m sleep deprived, so there’s that too.
I wonder how this sleeping situation is going to continue, going forward with adolescence. Will sleep elude them? Will they start this endless sleeping on weekends like we hear from other parents with teens?
How do you manage your own, or your family’s sleep? Do you (or did you) anticipate this less-than-adequate sleep to be a disruptive force in your household? How does one survive this next phase with sanity intact?