Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Let them sleep!

Everyone has a say in whether or not to let your children sleep in or wake them up to keep on schedule.  For years, we have always woke them up to keep everyone together on schedule.  Most days, most of them were already up anyway.  But what we noticed is how much of a bad mood and cranky and whiny the kids were that we woke up.  Not putting much into this, we just dealt with it.

Fast forward many years later, and we are letting them sleep.

Along with our switchover to all natural/organic foods (which by the way, we LOVE), this has made sleeping actually happen. 

We have always had few good sleepers but I can say that sleep has always been a struggle for us.  My heart would sink when I heard other moms tell me or overhear them say that they have good sleepers or that they have slept through the night ( a whole whopping 8 hours+!).  Granted, there was usually a little baby around that would keep me up and that is not what I am talking about.  I mean all the other kids ages 1+. 

Our bedtime radically got later and later as the kids got second winds and my hubby and I were at our wits end.  We never had time together to talk or read or just watch a little movie.  It was at the moment the last kido fell asleep that our own bedroom light went off too.  Then first thing in the morning, our early birds would be awake needing us.  Where did we get to spend some 'we' time? 

We implemented our family night prayer time by around 7:30ish and put our energy into getting them to sleep and in there beds by 8-8:15pm.   All of them.  That's it.  They get to read till 8:30pm and then LIGHTS OUT for all kids.  If they come out of their rooms or keep their bedroom buddy awake, the consequence is that they get cold yucky oatmeal.  Seriously.  Hey, I am feeding them at least!!!  They decided it they want to eat it and if not, then go hungry.  There is always snack time and lunch.   And this also applies to waking up in the morning, if they wake up their siblings, they still get yucky cold oatmeal.  We have stuck with this and so far, so good.

We decided that it was worth the sacrifices we'd make to put our marriage needs first.  That's that.

With an earlier bedtime, they are sleeping in later.  Weird concept, huh?  My oldest still does not need a lot of sleep (never did!) and that is just his makeup.  He is up early and has always done that, and no way can we change it.  But now, we work with it.

I know it has been studied that kids under 12 need 12 hours of sleep at night.  How many of our kids actually get it?  Mine sure weren't and we were ALL paying the price.

Food and sleep are necessary to live and thrive and we wanted to live well, not just survive.

My oldest is 11 and I wish that I did this sooner, years sooner.  My hope is that a young mom or a mom with youn ones will read this and see the hope :)

Kids need sleep.  Did you hear me?--Kids need sleep!  12 hours is worth the sleep.  Most have an average of only 9 hours of sleep.  No wonder they were cranky and sassy.  Oh my.  I am not attributing all that crankiness  to just sleeping but in my own experience, it has a lot to do with it.  Of course, to everything-there is always exceptions but I would recommend always try to get the sleeping in order and then evaluate.

Hope you have a good nights sleep!
God bless,


Tina Marie said...

Sleep is so important, I agree. Our first was a good sleeper from 8weeks on. I was so spoiled when my second came along. She was a horrible sleeper. She still has a hard time falling asleep and is a super early riser. All of my kiddos are up before seven. But they have strict bedtimes. I like the cold oatmeal idea! Whatever works is my motto. Are you able to get more quality time in the evenings with hubby? That is worth all of the work in the end. We desperately need that time to unwind as mothers. Thanks for sharing.

Sam said...

Just wait till they are will never get them up...not to mention all the naps my 14 year old takes!!! My teen kids say that being homeschooled during high school is worth it just for the reason to get to sleep in!!!