We can all identify with not being able to fall asleep!
I have had my share of insomnia! Its not so much waking at all hours of the night but more the switch off from the day/evening busy goings on. From a mum point of view (and I’m not playing the violin here!!) going to work, doing school runs, cooking, cleaning, referee, taxi, dog poo picker-upper... the list is endless & this happens EVERY day for me! (that’s my little vent over!) with all these daily things whizzing around my head before bed makes it a little hard get in a sleep mode! but the biggest distraction before bed, is my phone… I use it for literally everything – work life, mum-life etc So, it comes as no surprise to us (and most of us are guilty of this) that we struggle to nod off when we finally put the phones down! Switching off sometimes feels like a job in itself come sleep time!
I know the things I should avoid doing and should do after 7 pm if I want to drift off at a respectable time of the night to benefit from more than 6 hours sleep (my standard!) the following day. Personally, for ME I know the do’s and don’ts to aid a good night’s sleep. 80% of the time I listen to what my mind and body is telling me
What happens when it’s your 11-year-old child having trouble falling asleep AND THEN having trouble waking in the morning?
This is the situation we have now in the Acosy Household.
My son has just turned 11, he is the baby of the family, the youngest of my 3 boys. The older two, have always slept ‘OK’ and woke up easily in the morning even as teenagers! So, this is a new thing for me too! Well… the fact that its not past & just seems to be getting worse.
As you could imagine with 3 males, our home is full of testosterone, bikes, skateboards, fights, rude words, empty fridge/cupboards, Xbox, PS4’s, homework, tiktok, YouTube, I could go on and on. If you have a house FULL of the above is it any wonder our children struggle to nod off too!
Soon after becoming a mum of 1 child, then 2, then THREE, I quickly learned that children pass though several phases from new-born all the way up to late teens – good & not so good! And all so very different. Food phases, behavior phases, crying phases, clingy phases, independent phases and still going strong!
Thinking back- Falling asleep has always been a tough one for the baby of our family, more than just a phase. Maybe because he shared a room with his middle bro & always had someone there, or maybe because I was just too soft…” just one more story mummy”, “I’m thirsty”, “I need a poo”, “its too dark”!
So now the baby is 11! And we have been in this ‘can’t sleep’ phase for… hmm quite a while! Id say about a year!
Phase? Or a more underlying problem?
Christmas is packed up for another 300+ days, schools are back in full swing, and ‘normal’ routine has resumed at home. When the boys are off school everything becomes a bit up-side-down, especially sleep. My boys when off school enjoy nothing more than taking advantage of later nights and PJ days, it’s a complete 360° from term time. They have more free time on devices and consoles, and this Christmas was no exception.
Yes, I hold my hands up and say they didn’t go to bed/sleep much before 11pm most nights during the Christmas break, then waking at 10am ish to have breakfast… at lunch time and lunch soon after and then obviously dinner!
The new term is in full swing and my little darling is still struggling to get back into a good sleep/wake rhythm. I’ve been very mindful to make sure all devices and brain stimulants are put down long before bedtime, having a calm evening and he’s settling in bed at 9pm. Great!!!! But no! 11pm still not asleep which then has that knock on affect the following day – not being able to get out of bed at 7:30am, grumpy, teary, argumentative…. All before 8.30. The mornings which start like this, rushed and with no time for breakfast, I know what kind of day he is going to have, a tired, lack of concentration, difficult one. And this cycle has been rolling now for weeks and we can’t seem to stop it!
We have tried, meditation, warm baths, listening to the radio, warm milk, lavender pillow mist, sleep-time essential oils, night light on, night light off, silence, audio books, writing a journal, talking, moved his room around. I’ve even offered to read him a story… he laughed at me!
There is plenty of help out there for new babies sleep patterns & plenty on offer to find out how to help a toddler drift off, even tips for adult’s sleep hygiene! But what about pre-teens?
My question again… Phase or problem?
What else can I do to help my child?
How do you get an 11-year-old to sleep?
Have you had a similar experience with your older child?
I love to know if you have and if you have any advise or other ideas to help to get his body clock ticking as it should be and not at 11:30 at night!
When talking to friends and family about this they look at me as if I should know by now! It just goes to show how very different we are and even mums with 21 years of practice still need a bit of help now and then!
Thanks in advance!