Bedtime is fun.

if you love someone let them sleep It’s been a while since I’ve bitched about Poss’ lack of sleep. It’s probably about time. I am suffering, then you may as well be to. Bedtime is becoming a tragic drama with proportions the ancient Greeks would be proud of.

Really, it’s that time of year; day light savings have kicked in, it’s the last term of the year and there is no doubt that her mind is full. I am sure that kids all over Australia are doing the same thing. Tell me yours are. Please?

All the usual excuses are being rolled out; I’m thirsty, I need to go to the toilet, I need to pat the bunny, it’s still light outside, there is something eating under my bed, monsters are in my room, I want cuddles and the old favourite, I’m not tired.

Melatonin is being doled out, routines are being stuck to and we’re employing all the old tricks in getting her to sleep, yet I am still considering wrapping the house in block out blinds. We have moved bedtime to a later time slot in the hope it will help to compensate for the extra daylight, however it doesn’t really seem to make a difference.

I tried to tell her we had clocked off for the day. It seems that was a concept far too abstract for her to grasp.

So we argue with her, cajole her, beg her, bribe her to get her back to bed. We take turns to walk her back again and again. We swap beds around and try her on the couch. We lie down with her, fighting against sleep ourselves, to see if holding her like a baby will be enough to get her off to sleep. Sometimes it’s enough, sometimes it make her more distressed.

The later it gets, the more upset she gets and the more random things come out of her mouth. It’s as though her brain is processing the day again and again, looking for it to all make sense and slot into a clear, understandable vision before she can slip into slumber unencumbered.

Eventually, sometimes it’s 9.30pm, other nights it’s after midnight, sleep finally pulls her under, but her dreams are fractured. Talking in her sleep, kicking and waking up during the night, needing help to resettle.

She wakes early, but tired and grumpy, insisting she doesn’t want to go to school, crying as I dress her, wanting to snuggle back into the doona with her iPad.

It’s tempting, so tempting to just give in to her.

But we are trying to hold onto routine, trying to get her through the term and school forms a big part of that. An essential part of that. So I fight with her, beg and cajole, bribe and get her up, get her dressed and drive her to school.

Yeah. So, bedtime is fun.

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  1. once we’re over the ‘surprise’ and outrage about bedtime actually occurring (every night…) , it is mostly ‘undramatic’ here. has always been. he stayed up for ages even as a little one, without much complaint. I would walk in to check and he would be awake like a little ghost..
    now it’s questions, toilet, water, playing in the room, hopping on the bed, moving around, fan on, fan off, different blanket, another pillow, more questions and ‘i am not tired’. this is after ‘settling’ for about an hour with a book (not actually working. if book not taken away, will read until midnight).
    as i said before, I am not keen on melatonin and I have talked w the doctor. he sleeps mostly through, and when he doesn’t he comes in my bed (most times I don’t notice.. uhm). sleeps until 7 or half past even if I let him (longer if I would, but i am not that stupid..he) so he still gets about 9 hours of sleep which seems to be ok. less though, and it’s da grump for the next day. meltdowns guaranteed.
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  2. We have a non sleeper, but thankfully, she plays by the rules most nights and stays in her room or our bed or lays on a couch or reads 17 books and eventually falls asleep, rarely is that before 9.30pm and day light savings certainly doesn’t help.
    ClaireyHewitt recently posted..Day 15 Frocktober: A corporate dayMy Profile

  3. Ah, whilst we’re fortunately no longer in that place, we’ve been there often enough (several years straight!). Absolutely understand the relentless urggh that you’re going through… Hang in there, you’re doing everything great, and the year end is nigh 🙂

    • PS – Love the graphic! Reminds me of a Mother’s Day (doing a period of no sleep + 9 month old) when the boy crept out early with the kids, and didn’t come back until 1pm, bringing chocolate, croissants and coffee. A whole morning of sleep + woken with treats = most thoughtful gift ever!

  4. I wonder if you get Bach Rescue Night where you are?
    It contains essence of white chestnut and has been quite good at helping M to “switch off” : in fact that is what it says it will do. I believe it states “helps to switch off those unwanted repetitive thoughts”. Now M still has to have melatonin, but when she is going through a bad spell we give her this as well and it does help. Just a thought.

    Oh, and lots of strength till it all settles xx
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  5. As I sat reading your post, I have a 16yr old boy with ADHD who refuses to get out of bed to go to school. He can’t sleep either and lack of sleep affects everything. He now has 8mg of Melatonin to help him and as long as he doesn’t get his hands on any form of electrical diversion, he will eventually conk out, but try wake him up the next morning!!!!
    I am sitting here thinking I can’t do this again – it’s such a BAD start to the day and maybe I should let him stay home….

  6. I never talked to my parents about it, but I had awful trouble getting to sleep too. I had poor circulation, so my feet were always cold. Even when I was tired, I couldn’t get them warm enough for my body to drop off.

    One fascinating thing about the human body is that right before you fall asleep, you start to radiate the heat of a thousand suns. Your whole body gets really really hot and relaxes and as long as there are no distractions at that moment, boom, sleep.

    Self medicating, for me that means taking a boiling hot shower to bring heat to my feet just before going to sleep. The shower is directly in my bedtime routine – I brush my teeth in there, PJs, straight into bed with no distractions and unconscious. When she’s older that might help her, not sure how she feels about very hot showers.

    But since she has you guys to help her out, you can trick her body into thinking that she’s in that super-heat sleep now phase using an electric blanket. It’s what I do whenever my 4yr old climbs into bed with me and he’s tired but wants to chatter chatter chatter and roll around for an hour or two or a nighttime eternity.

    I lay him down with me, turn the electric blanket on to two (my highest setting) and he slows, then stops. You have to keep it on longer than you’d think – even once they are breathing deeply and rhythmically, you have to wait til it’s their own body throwing out the heat.

    Once you turn off an electric blanket the heat goes away pretty instantly, so if they’re not putting out their own heat they wake up again. This is why she can’t do it herself, obviously – you wouldn’t want to leave the blanket on all night.

    Not sure how you feel about electric blankets in her bed. It’s always possible she’d get cold in the middle of the night and turn it on herself and forget to switch it back of. You’d have to check in the morning. Fortunately all blankets reach a heat point then turn themselves back to zero before heating up again, so the risk of fire isn’t really a problem nowadays, but your electric bill could be not pretty.

    You could try it with her in your bed and if it worked transfer her back to hers? Put one on her bed if it turns out to work?

    No way of knowing if it will help at all, but thought I’d share anyway. Desperate measures, it can’t hurt to try. xxx Manda

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