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#31 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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I totally agree with Crystal_R and junipermuse. My DS is 3 1/3 and has ALWAYS gotten less sleep than recommended. We just dropped his nap in an attempt to get him to go to bed before 11:30pm -1:30am. He sleeps roughly 9-9.5 hours a day about 70% of the time, 10-10.5 hours about 20% of the time and 8-8.5 hours about 10% of the time. We have tried earlier bedtimes, later ones, no TV, TV, active days, calm days, etc etc. It doesn't seem to matter. I think he has slept 14 hours once in his life. Maybe a dozen times that he has slept 12 hours, most of these when he's been sick. I truly believe he is chronically tired but nothing we do seems to make any difference in how much he sleeps and it just makes more stress and conflict between us.

DD is 13.5 months old and isn't much better except she doesn't seem to be as cranky, which makes me think she actually needs less than DS (relatively) but isn't having as hard of a time meeting her needs. She generally gets between 10-12 hours total in a day, usually 8-9 at night (with SEVERAL wake-ups) then 1-2 hours in the day, with an occaisianal 3 hour nap (as long as she is in contact with me, that is! Otherwise she wouldn't sleep at all!)

I feel like a huge failure that I can't get my kids to sleep, when most other people I know have kids that are sleeping 12-14 hours per night and then 2-4 hours napping during the day depending on age. Not only would everyone else be so much more rested, my house wouldn't look the way it does!

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#32 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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For those who have children who don't sleep well-- in my experience this is usually dietary, somehow linked to allergies, food intolerances, and/or a candida overgrowth. Unfortunately, for us, cleaning up their diets hasn't helped completely-- a lot but not completely. So we also use a natural chewable supplement with 5-HTP and melatonin. My boys go to bed at 6:30-7:00 at night and wake up at about 6 in the morning, but they no longer nap during the day (the 3yo needs it but I can't make him).

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#33 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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Articles like this worry me - because how exactly are some parents supposed to force their children to get more sleep?... I have seen CIO advocates use articles like this to back up why CIO is just fine and dandy.

I need more sleep too! lol - This is also one huge benefit of home educating and I feel lucky we can do this!

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#34 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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And how can I be mad at him when *I've* struggled with it all my life? Yet I see the difference when somehow he DOES get 12 hours sleep instead of 8-10; he's a much happier kid, has fewer behavior problems (he's prone to throwing things or hitting when he's tired) and has more energy. So while I KNOW he should be getting more sleep, what the heck can I do to make it happen? Not a whole lot. So yeah, I feel guilty too, and also a little hopeless.
That's my daughter and me.

Thankfully my son seems to have inherited his dad's sleep patterns. They just go to bed and go to sleep, get up without much problem in the morning.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#35 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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That's my daughter and me.

Thankfully my son seems to have inherited his dad's sleep patterns. They just go to bed and go to sleep, get up without much problem in the morning.
I've always had a horrible time getting to sleep (except for first trimesters of my pregnancies). I sleep like a log once I'm out, but it takes a long time to get there. I'm so grateful that none of my kids have picked this up from me. DS1 and dd1 have never been kids who need/get a huge amount of sleep, but they've never had any trouble getting there, either.

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#36 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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For those who have children who don't sleep well-- in my experience this is usually dietary, somehow linked to allergies, food intolerances, and/or a candida overgrowth. Unfortunately, for us, cleaning up their diets hasn't helped completely-- a lot but not completely. So we also use a natural chewable supplement with 5-HTP and melatonin. My boys go to bed at 6:30-7:00 at night and wake up at about 6 in the morning, but they no longer nap during the day (the 3yo needs it but I can't make him).
Diet is one possible explanation. Another is an active mind that doesn't turn itself off. I've seen wakefulness appear on lists of characteristics for gifted children, and it's a fairly common for parents of gifted children to comment about it.

I'm glad to see a few posts from parents of children who don't sleep a lot. I was thinking I was an oddball. It can be difficult with a wakeful child - not the least because there's an expectation that a child will sleep a lot if only you were doing all the right things.
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#37 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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Yes, having two kids with different sleep needs has been eye opening.

For example, if my daughter doesn't get enough sleep one night she doesn't necessarily go to sleep any faster or easier the next night. If my son doesn't get enough sleep one night his brain will be ready to go to sleep that much earlier the next night.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#38 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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For those who have children who don't sleep well-- in my experience this is usually dietary, somehow linked to allergies, food intolerances, and/or a candida overgrowth.
Sleep issues can also mean dietary deficiencies, not necessarily due to lack of good food, but problems with absorption of necessary minerals. It can also be due to stress and anxiety or even side effects from medication. And then there are kids that do require less sleep than others.

I do agree with the author's on their main point, though. I can get by with very, very little sleep for quite a long time and think I function quite well. When I get a good stretch of "normal" sleep, I feel 100% better. I've seen it with my dc's, as well. My ds suffered from side effects from an allegy med that gave him restless sleep (at best) and chronic nightmares. Took him off the med - better sleep. Added in some minerals that his diet was likely deficient in (magnesium) - better sleep. Then we uncovered a hidden food allergy, removed it from his diet and began a gut healing treatment. He is now sleeping so much better and functioning so much better, that I realize how negatively the lack of sleep was affecting him. This whole process took YEARS to figure out.

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#39 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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Not all people who need less sleep are deficient or bad or allergic. Human beings are not a one-size-fits-all species. There is variation in what each of us needs. That's ok. It's part of what makes us all so nifty awesome. My daughter has zero trouble going to sleep. When she wants to nap during the day she comes and finds me and asks for a nap (seriously--that was one of her earliest verbal requests) and she sleeps for as long as she wants to. She just doesn't need as much sleep as the 'average' toddler. That's ok and it doesn't mean I need to try and figure out what is wrong with her.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#40 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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I'm not sure who Lola and Lotta are, but I wondered the same thing about Frances the badger in Bread and Jam for Frances. The whole family has time for a leisurely sit-down breakfast, and then Frances has time to skip rope at the bus stop.
... and I don't know who Frances is, but I've thought the same thing about the Cat family in the Richard Scarry books. They clean their whole house BEFORE school and work? And the clock says 8:00AM when they're eating breakfast, BEFORE THAT?!?

I'd love a later school start time.
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#41 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 08:38 PM
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Thanks for sharing. I'm a big believer in sleep but it's good to be reminded why it's so valuable.

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#42 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 08:49 PM
 
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People are often very down on me, because of how careful I am to protect my kids' bedtimes. My kids seem to go to bed much earlier, and sleep much longer, than other kids that we've gotten acquainted with, and parents think I'm weird.
I have a few friends who are like this, and I think it's great and applaud them giving their kids the sleep times they need.

BUT...

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I hate articles like this. I have tried everything in the world to get more sleep for my child (who often does seem tired and cranky) but as the saying goes "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." Articles and books telling me how my child would be better off with more sleep, make me want to pull my hair out. We have always been very consistent about bedtime with a great bedtime routine. But that doesn't mean dd falls asleep. There have been times she has layed in bed awake from 7pm until 11pm without falling asleep. She usually is unable to fall asleep for a nap, unless driven around for 30-40 minutes (which isn't always doable now that we have a baby as well) and even if we can get her to nap and fall asleep at a decent time, there is absolutely nothing we can do about the early wakings (often as early as 4 am). The guilt these types of articles have created for me is enormous. And like a pp I too think that this type of research is often used as ammo from the cio camp. I have spent so much of my child's baby and toddlerhood feeling as if I were a good enough parent, if I just knew the right things to do to get my child to sleep everything would be better.
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I totally agree with Crystal_R and junipermuse. I feel like a huge failure that I can't get my kids to sleep, when most other people I know have kids that are sleeping 12-14 hours per night and then 2-4 hours napping during the day depending on age. Not only would everyone else be so much more rested, my house wouldn't look the way it does!
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Not all people who need less sleep are deficient or bad or allergic. Human beings are not a one-size-fits-all species. There is variation in what each of us needs. That's ok. It's part of what makes us all so nifty awesome. My daughter has zero trouble going to sleep. When she wants to nap during the day she comes and finds me and asks for a nap (seriously--that was one of her earliest verbal requests) and she sleeps for as long as she wants to. She just doesn't need as much sleep as the 'average' toddler. That's ok and it doesn't mean I need to try and figure out what is wrong with her.
This has been my experience. We do all the same things that my friends with kids who go to sleep early do, but many times it just does not work. DD shows no other signs of having food allergies or intolerances. Short of drugging DD or doing CIO, I see no way to get more sleep for her. We have tried and tried and tried. What we end up with is a mama and toddler, both in tears and angry. How is that good for anyone?

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#43 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 09:15 PM
 
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My dh and I are on the high end of sleep needs. Always have been. So, it's normal for us to go to bed around 9 (he gets up at 5; I get up at 5:30). And, on the weekends, we still go to bed around 9, but we sleep in (one of us on each day) until 8 or so.

So, it's really easy for us to put our kids to bed at 7. That only leaves 2 hours between them nad us, you know?

I think if parents go to bed at 12 or 1, then putting the kids to bed at 7 seems a bit unreasonably early. If my kids stayed up until 9:00, I might die.
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#44 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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We are all over the sleep spectrum at our house. Aside from typical age-related sleep regression, DS has always needed a lot of sleep. He goes to bed at 7 and gets up around 7:30 after sleeping a full night, he also takes a 1 1/5 - 2 hour nap most days. DD on the other hand can go, go, go and wakes up all night long and gets up ridiculously early. Does she need more sleep? Most definitely, but I have yet to figure out how to get her to do it. I constantly fight the urge to go to bed late and sleep in late, but I'm one of those people who needs a lot of sleep to function.

I take the article to mean that parents need to consider how work/school/preschool/extracurricular activities are interfering with their child's sleep and how it influences their behavior and performance.

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#45 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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Sleep issues can also mean dietary deficiencies, not necessarily due to lack of good food, but problems with absorption of necessary minerals. It can also be due to stress and anxiety or even side effects from medication. And then there are kids that do require less sleep than others.
Yup. DS1 slept less than any other baby I'd met at that time. He was exclusively breastfed. He slept very well at night (woke up, nursed and got a diaper, went back to sleep - start to finish was about 9 or 9.5 hours, with 1 or 2 short breaks in the middle). He napped...but only in about 10 minute stretches. That was it. Most of my friends with babies (not many at that time, I'll admit) couldn't believe it. He just never slept that much.

Now, he's a teenager, and he doesn't want to sleep, even when he should...and then doesn't want to get up. *sigh*

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#46 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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I take the article to mean that parents need to consider how work/school/preschool/extracurricular activities are interfering with their child's sleep and how it influences their behavior and performance.
This is actually a big part of why I decided to homeschool. With the school schedule taken out of the mix, meeting everyone's sleep needs is a lot simpler. It's still not easy (too many people!), but it's easier.

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#47 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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This is actually a big part of why I decided to homeschool. With the school schedule taken out of the mix, meeting everyone's sleep needs is a lot simpler. It's still not easy (too many people!), but it's easier.
I agree. I hated getting up at 6:30 for school and was consistently late almost every day my junior and senior year because I overslept.

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#48 of 54 Old 02-06-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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I don't think it's justifying CIO. Sleep is very important. When I don't sleep enough I feel depressed and I overeat. When my kids don't sleep enough they are cranky, emotional and unreasonable.
but some kids just don't sleep well. Most babies do not and some toddlers and even preschoolers and older don't sleep well. My oldest DD has always been a terrible sleeper, very hyper by nature. However, she is not obese and isn't any less intelligent than the next child.

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#49 of 54 Old 02-06-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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but some kids just don't sleep well. Most babies do not and some toddlers and even preschoolers and older don't sleep well. My oldest DD has always been a terrible sleeper, very hyper by nature. However, she is not obese and isn't any less intelligent than the next child.
Well I bet my dd is similar to your oldest. She is very active both mentally and physically and at 3 years old is still a pretty bad sleeper (she still rarely sleeps through the night). And she is incredibly bright and very lean so her intelligence and weight have not been negatively affected by her lack of sleep. But I often feel that her behavior has been. On the rare occasions when she is well rested she more easily goes with the flow (though she's never totally easy-going) and she throws less tantrums.

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#50 of 54 Old 02-06-2010, 04:45 PM
 
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RE: the food allergies etc idea.....We considered that for quite a while actually. (My DH has a hard time believing it, but...) DS was dairy intolerant as a baby, until about 15 months old. So even after that we cut dairy out for roughly 4 months-with absolutely no change in his sleep. And now, with absolutely NO other signs of a problem, I wouldn't even know where to start. Over the years I've kept an informal idea in my head of what we eat to try and see trends, but there hasn't been any.

I also haven't seen any evidence of decreased intelligence, or obesity, but totally agree with the behavior- DS is very inflexible and high strung and intense and while a lot of that is temperament, there is also a component due to chronic lack of sleep.

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#51 of 54 Old 02-06-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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My dh and I are on the high end of sleep needs. Always have been. So, it's normal for us to go to bed around 9 (he gets up at 5; I get up at 5:30). And, on the weekends, we still go to bed around 9, but we sleep in (one of us on each day) until 8 or so.

So, it's really easy for us to put our kids to bed at 7. That only leaves 2 hours between them nad us, you know?

I think if parents go to bed at 12 or 1, then putting the kids to bed at 7 seems a bit unreasonably early. If my kids stayed up until 9:00, I might die.
I don't see how the gap between the child's bedtime and the parent's bedtime is significant. If the child is going to bed at 7 and sleeping until 7 the morning, I don't think thats "unreasonably early" - it's simply meeting their need for sleep. If the child needs 12 hours and the entire family is in a position to start their day at 9 am, then sure, keep 'em up until 9. But if the child is going to sleep at 7 so they can get their 12 hours and the parents require less - say 6 or 7 hours - and the entire family needs to get going at 7 am, then the child should be in bed well before the parents.

(BetsyS, the following is NOT directed at you, it's just an at-large rant )

I hate the attitude that parents who put their kids to bed early are doing so because they're not interested in parenting after 8 pm. I put my kids to bed early because they need the sleep. Keeping them up would be NOT meeting their needs - and that would be very anti-AP. Yet I see many MDC posts that imply that parents who do maintain very firm boundaries for sleep are somehow less AP. OP, thanks for starting this thread and shedding a little light on a different POV.

[/at-large rant]

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#52 of 54 Old 02-06-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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RE: the food allergies etc idea.....We considered that for quite a while actually. (My DH has a hard time believing it, but...) DS was dairy intolerant as a baby, until about 15 months old. So even after that we cut dairy out for roughly 4 months-with absolutely no change in his sleep. And now, with absolutely NO other signs of a problem, I wouldn't even know where to start. Over the years I've kept an informal idea in my head of what we eat to try and see trends, but there hasn't been any.

I also haven't seen any evidence of decreased intelligence, or obesity, but totally agree with the behavior- DS is very inflexible and high strung and intense and while a lot of that is temperament, there is also a component due to chronic lack of sleep.
I share as part of the problem-solving process, my kids' sleep improved by cutting out their food allergens, but they also needed other things. DD needs magnesium every night, even now that she's 6 and we've been supplementing since she was just shy of 2. DS needs melatonin.
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#53 of 54 Old 02-06-2010, 08:50 PM
 
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And this has ticked me off all my life. I need a lot of sleep and I don't do well in the mornings, so having to start school around 7:30 did me a huge disservice. I would seriously consider homeschooling my kids if they have the same sleeping/waking problems I did, just for this reason.
Wow so early? We started between 9-915a. 730 was when my mom was making sure I was up and ready as I had to head out to catch the bus at 810 (20-30 min bus ride for highschool) and elementary I had to be out there by 830 or so.

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#54 of 54 Old 02-07-2010, 02:28 AM
 
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There have been times she has layed in bed awake from 7pm until 11pm without falling asleep. She usually is unable to fall asleep for a nap, unless driven around for 30-40 minutes (which isn't always doable now that we have a baby as well) and even if we can get her to nap and fall asleep at a decent time, there is absolutely nothing we can do about the early wakings (often as early as 4 am). The guilt these types of articles have created for me is enormous. And like a pp I too think that this type of research is often used as ammo from the cio camp. I have spent so much of my child's baby and toddlerhood feeling as if I were a good enough parent, if I just knew the right things to do to get my child to sleep everything would be better.
Oh wow, this sounds a lot like my 4yo DD (the lying in bed for hours unable to sleep part). It doesn't matter what we do, the earliest she will go to sleep is 10 pm, and she has been this way for most of her life.

In my DD's case, she still requires a lot of sleep (11-13 hrs per day to be at her best), and doesn't really have a problem getting that many hours, except that her body clock seems to be wired toward going to bed at 11:30 pm, and then getting up around 10:30 am. Luckily, we don't usually have anywhere to go in the mornings, and yes, this is part of why I am homeschooling.

I always wonder what I am doing wrong that she won't fall asleep earlier, and sometimes get so frustrated that she isn't wired to sleep earlier like all the other little kids I know. DH and I were always very much early-to-bed, early-to-rise types before we had kids. DS (9 mos) is an early-to-bed baby, but DD just isn't wired that way, apparently.

“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
― George Orwell, 1984
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