My nearly 7 year old son is having a very, very hard time falling asleep lately. This seems to have started during the Olympics, when he was staying up late (~11pm) with Daddy. Now despite our best efforts, getting him in bed every night by 9pm, he cannot fall asleep until 10:30pm or later, often closer to 11pm.
He does sleep in to compensate (he still gets about 11 hours total) so he is getting enough sleep. We homeschool, which is why he can sleep in. But things go much better with our daily routine if he is up and about by 9am or so. We'd like to get him back to a 9pm bedtime.
He gets a lot of exercise during the day, and fresh air. We go to the playground/hiking every day for at least an hour, plus do a long walk every night after dinner. In addition to that he is playing soccer and is on the slackline in the backyard. So he SHOULD be tired.
Any tips for helping him get to sleep? Tonight we are trying putting some new age music on softly to see if that might help. :)
If he's getting enough sleep, then I would suggest setting an alarm to make sure he gets up earlier. I wish my 7yo would sleep for 11 hours a night! He gets about 10 hours most nights.
Thanks for the ideas! I have tried waking him up early (~8:00) and even then he wouldn't fall asleep a minute earlier. I will keep at it though, and will research the melatonin as well.
Last night we tried the soft music and it made Dad very drowsy but not my son. ;)
My kids are trained to go to sleep to the dishwasher. It's like white noise, but with a rhythm. I actually find it soothing, too, and I am really not a fan of constant white noise (can only take the vent fan for the stove for a limited time). Maybe try that. We load it up after supper, but don't turn it on until they're in bed and stories have been read.
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
what time does daddy come home? can you start powering down after daddy time.
it will happen slowly. i dont think you can expect immediate change.
for us powering down is KEY. unfortunately the neighborhood kids are up till 9:30 pm so dd is riled up till that time and she needs at least an hour and half or two to really power down to be able to fall off to sleep.
the thing is i have discovered if i start things like music when she is not ready to, it works the opposite way to rile her up.
i would focus more on the before going to bed - slowing down time - rather than in bed why cant he fall asleep yet time. its the 'before going to bed' in our experience the most critical time.
Thanks for the ideas!
Daddy works from home so he is always here. :) He finishes work around 5:30-6:30 so they do usually have some time then, while I make dinner. He reads in bed for awhile before he falls asleep. He LOVES to read so he would happily lay there and read for hours. I do have a couple ideas, one is limiting or eliminating screen time between our after-dinner walk and bedtime. He and Daddy will often watch some sports during that time. We will get him in bed and reading a bit earlier, and see if we can whittle away at the current going to sleep time. It has been better the past few nights, which for him is 10:30 rather than 11pm. :) Progress! I am just so grateful that we are homeschooling and he can still get as much sleep as his body needs.
honestly personally i wouldnt do this. it is such a sweet bonding time that is going to be so special to look back when adults. i think watching sports is a good thing. even through teenage years, your dh will have at least ONE thing to agree and disagree on and connect, when conversations get awkward.
if anything i'd focus on his reading and limit that. i too have a reader and at times i have to tell her to go on the computer or watch a movie just to get her into a different mode. too much reading can lead to blah. in fact i have to watch dd's reading at night coz if its interesting - then she cant fall asleep until she has finished that part or the whole book.
I was thinking of getting rid of the tv more because, for me, it kind of keys me into the time, not so much anymore, but when I was a kid I knew when all the shows came on (of course this is over 30 years ago when it was normal for a young child to be allowed to watch the whole prime time line-up) and I certainly wouldn't consider going to bed anytime before the end of that 10 to 11 timeslot. Also, for my kids, I try to keep them away from the games after five or so. If they have screen time at night, I'd rather them watch than play a game. They can get kind of stressed out and keyed up, yk?
I wonder if this problem could take care of itself if you gave it some time (not sure if you want to wait, though). As it gets cooler outside and fall sets in and it starts getting dark earlier, maybe his rhythm will change a bit.
Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.
oh yeah this is a very good point. i mean he is already slowly sleeping earlier.
Thanks for the ideas, I came back here to check in because it hasn't gotten any better. Sigh. It's 11:30pm and I can still hear him awake up there. We get him and his younger sister (age 4.5) in bed by 9pm and he just lays there for an eternity and she falls asleep in five minutes. It has become very frustrating for him and he's often coming out in tears saying he cannot fall asleep. One day a week he goes to a homeschool enrichment program so has to get up pretty early and I have noticed that he does not have an easier time falling asleep those nights either.
All I can think to do is to start waking him up pretty early every morning for a few days to see if it could help. I have always had the hardest time waking sleeping children though, I hate it! Probably because none of them have been good sleepers as babies. :) What do you think?
Can you or Daddy lie down with him and read him a story? Maybe he just needs some cuddles to fall asleep.
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie