Sleep Issues: Part 45.

You know how when your kid is a baby and bedtime is such a challenge and when they’re FINALLY asleep you’re like, “OH MY GOD I CAN NOT WAIT UNTIL THAT’S NOT SUCH A CHORE ANY MORE.” Well, I hate to break it to you, but it may be more than a decade before you get there.

We have lost all control of bedtime and sleeping situations at my house. And there are so many factors to blame it’s an impossible thing to fix easily. But last night it just hit me: This is officially a giant mess and I have GOT to start getting bedtime under control again.

I guess the FIRST factor that started messing things up had two parts. Part 1: Nikki was scared and wanted someone to lay down with her at night. Part 2: My mattress was terrible and Donnie and I are not very sleep compatible. Those two things together meant that I ended up just falling asleep with Nikki most nights and not caring enough to go back to my own bed. Donnie likes to watch TV to fall asleep and I like silence and darkness. I also am a light sleeper so if I fall asleep somewhere, I’m probably not going to move because my subconscious knows I’ll never make it back to sleep again in the new location, I’ll jut be awake for the day.

And that’s how I kinda accidentally started the trend of me sleeping in bed with Nikki.

Now! We did get a new mattress but Donnie and I still aren’t super sleep compatible so most nights I’ve been very slow to change the routine.

That was Problem 1.

Then there’s Problem 2: Wesley’s leg cramps which have ALWAYS been a problem but not a consistent one. Some weeks he never wakes up, other weeks it’s 2-3 times in one week. I can usually see a growth spurt surrounding the surge, but sometimes I think it’s just an increase in activity or exhaustion.

Recently we’ve added a new problem to the mix. Problem 3: Wes is now scared to sleep by himself. And the fear seems pretty intense as sometimes it’s even branched out to him not wanting to be in any room by himself. This fear is legitimately intense and as someone who had CRAZY fears as a child, I know had debilitating those can be.

And then the final problem…Problem 4: I’m trying to adjust bedtimes. The kids have been CRANKY in the mornings. REALLY cranky. BAD cranky. So we’re trying to get them to sleep by 8:30 now instead of 9pm. And they are fighting this HARD CORE. Last night Wes and I fought over bed time for a good 30 minutes which basically pushed us back into his old bedtime.

So…add all of these problems together and I’ve not made it to ACTUAL sleep before 9pm for quite a while…and I’ve been waking up 3am or earlier…AND almost EVERY night involves at least ONE kid waking up out of pain, fear, or general restlessness.

I’m now looking at the concept of 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep like the holy grail…something I desperately want but might be simply an unattainable legend. Add stupid shit – like plates falling from walls at 2am – into the mix and I have decided that the universe is simply conspiring against me. I’ve always been very open about my need for sleep – about how I can feel a complete unraveling if I don’t get at least – AT LEAST – 7 hours of sleep for more than 2 days in a row. It only takes two days of less than 7 hours for me to completely come apart and here we are at a whole week of just shitty night after shitty night and y’all? IT IS NOT PRETTY.

It doesn’t help that my husband has a ton of work chaos right now so I’m down to solo-parenting many nights so even if I was good at asking for help (I’m not) there’s no one to really ask for help because he’s running on even less sleep than I am right now. But I feel like I’m at that point where I need a warning label across my forehead: WARNING: Contents Volatile. Because when I’m this sleep deprived I’m prone to extremely emotional reactions to everything.

Basically – what I’m saying – is be kind to people you meet on the street today. You don’t know which one of them is holding her exhausted shit together by a very tiny thread.

7 thoughts on “Sleep Issues: Part 45.”

  1. That’s what I was going to say! Even if you can’t get to the root of the problem right now, there might be some quick fixes for now. Also, that means one less room to get ready when you have to show the house.

    As for you and Donnie’s sleep incompatibility, maybe if you wore a sleep mask and he “watched” TV with headphones on?

  2. I was going to suggest the kids sleep together too! My sister and I used to do that all the time growing up. We have fond memories of dragging her twin mattress across the hall to my room :). Another idea is one of those baby monitor video cameras in Wesleys room. Maybe that would make him feel like someone was with him if you were able to see him at all times. Not that you would constantly be watching but it might help his peace of mind 🙂 I’m a psych RN with lots of experience with kids 🙂 it helps the kids that are scared of sleeping alone if we put them in the room with the camera. Fears are real even if they seems silly to adults!

  3. I’m so glad I’m not alone. SERIOUS crabster in the morning, also trying to move bedtime up. And O has a habit of crawling in our bed every night, but we’ve messed up by letting her fall asleep there several times and now it’s default. I feel like the sleep train derailed.

    Solidarity fistbump! ?

  4. I was also going to suggest putting the kids together! If that’s not an option, can you explain to them that this isn’t working for you and even though it may be hard for them it’s time to make some changes? I know you don’t want to dismiss their fears – you’re showing your house now but are there things you can do to make their bedrooms a more positive place?
    Would they be willing to read in their rooms with a light on until they get sleepy? Might help keep their minds distracted from being alone. Or listen to audio books or music? I like the camera idea above, esp if it has 2 way audio so you can reassure them when they need it (hopefully not long term). Is the fears something they can talk to a therapist about?
    My almost 3 year old has always had sleep trouble and we still sit in the room with him and cuddle while he falls asleep. I’m hoping we can phase it out soon bc I’m pregnant and will have 2 bedtimes to contend with soon but I also enjoy the snuggles. So feel free to ignore my advice as I’m also a mess some days – when bedtime takes over an hour or I fall asleep in his bed and then can’t get back to sleep in mine. I’m just trying to picture what I would try a few years down the road.

  5. We have VERY similar problems at our house. Two of my boys share a room and my daughter, who also will not go to sleep on her own, comes into their room for stories then goes to her room. She knows as soon as Noah (5) falls asleep, I’ll go to her room. She often falls asleep while waiting for me. On the nights when nobody can fall asleep, I give them Melatonin. Noah gets it more often since he’s had 3 different doctors recommend it due to his ADHD and the other two (7 & 9) just take it on occasion when they’re having trouble going to sleep. Good luck! I know it can be so hard when you’re functioning on such little sleep. I hope you have a good night tonight!

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