Tuesday, July 16, 2019

OK, this is seriously my favorite picture ever of sleeping baby Smarty. She was so small. And, no, she did not "sleep like a baby". In fact, she woke up every single night for 20 months because she wished to be "refilled". On the positive note, once I managed to get her weaned, she started sleeping through the night and continues to do so since then. From the very beginning, she slept in her own crib in her own room, and that's what she is used to. I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the nights when she would wake us up in the middle of the night - she knows very well (from our first disastrous trip to Germany when she was about 20 months) that sleep-deprived parents are cranky parents.
Smarty is a healthy child who needs her "beauty sleep". Granted, her hours shifted more to "teen sleep" now. She was never an early riser, and she prefers to go to bed at around 10:30 pm and then wake up after 9 am. Too bad that this is not possible during the school days. On school days, she goes to bed at around 9:30 pm or 10 pm and gets up (with an alarm clock) at 7:30 am. Luckily, her school starts at 8:30, and it's only about 20 minutes drive, so she does not have to get up early.
Smarty said that one of her teachers did a "sleep survey" and it turned out that she is the only kid in her class who gets enough sleep. Many of her classmates go to bed at midnight and are still doing their homework at 11 pm. Frankly, I don't think that it's because her school gives out a ridiculous amount of homework. Even on the worst days, Smarty hardly ever spent more than 3 hours on her homework and that would be on the weekend. I think that other kids are either overscheduled with extracurricular activities or have poor time management skills. In terms of time management skills, Smarty tends to procrastinate on big projects, but she does not "dilly dally" with homework - she tries to get it over with as soon as possible. On average and not counting media studies projects, she spent less than an hour a day on homework last year, and that was with six homework-carrying subjects. So I feel really sorry for her classmates who definitely don't get enough sleep.
Of course, it's also possible that they don't need as much sleep. Some people do really need significantly less sleep than the recommended amount. Nicola Tesla, for example, slept 2-4 hours a night. However, I know how Smarty behaves when she does not get enough sleep - the best way to describe it would be that she gets fragile and has a hard time managing her emotions. So my goal is to make sure that she does not "skimp" on sleep. Unfortunately, she does have nights when she can't settle down until midnight complaining that her mind is "too full and too whirly" to sleep. On these rare occasions out comes melatonin that, I think serves more like a placebo. We only resort to it when we see that Smarty is beyond herself and her normal ways to relax and self-soothe will not work, even with our support.
I really hope that Smarty will be able to get a decent amount of sleep as she goes through high school. She is really good about putting herself to bed when she is tired and the time is "right" - i.e. it's no earlier than 9 pm. However, I keep hearing "horror stories" about high achieving kids staying up all night to finish a project or a paper, and I really hope that it won't be happening here. There is nothing more important than mental health, and mental health comes with enough sleep.
Goodnight :)

Your Turns

How many hours of sleep do your kids get and do they get enough?


Joyful Learner said...

Mine gets 10 hours but needs 1 hour to fall asleep. That’s a lot compared to her friends. When she stays up late, she usually ends up with a fever. I’m hoping TKD will tire her out so she can fall sleep faster. Being able to sleep deeply would also be nice.

MaryAnne said...

Mine get 10-11. Anna goes to bed at 7 and gets up at 6am; the three other kids all go to bed at 8 and also get up at 6. So far none of them have shifted to truly sleeping in, although Johnny is starting to stay asleep until 6:30 or 7.

Ticia said...

I've got one kid who puts himself to bed when he's tired and is begging to go to bed sometimes.
My other son is more of the, he can go to bed or not.

My daughter, on the other hand, she is terrible at sleeping but is also my child who needs the most.