It’s been almost eight years since I got really serious about sleep at our house. Putting my children to bed earlier solved maybe half of their behavioral problems. I feel sorry for tired children that get drug around when they should be home in bed. They aren’t happy, their parents certainly aren’t happy and no one within sight or sound is happy.
I really had no idea that young children need twelve or more hours of sleep a night. I thought I was doing good when I started putting them to bed at seven o’clock consistently but one day we were driving home at four thirty in the afternoon and my three year old fell asleep in the car. I was irritated because we all know what that means. Children have a little nap in the car and then they think they don’t have to go to sleep when it’s bedtime but she stayed asleep as I lifted her out of the car and she was still asleep as I brought her into the house so I put her in her bed.
She slept all night long.
A few days later she fell asleep in the car at three thirty and again we came home and I put her in her bed.
Again, she slept all night long.
Apparently she still wasn’t getting enough sleep so I moved my two littlest’s bedtime to five o’clock. They went to bed at five for a couple years until I could see that they could happily stay up until six o’clock and that’s been their bedtime ever since.
Their bedtime is sacred and I almost never mess with it. If we are invited to an event that is after their bedtime they don’t go. People will ask me where my little children are and I tell them they are home in bed and then I think in my head, “Where they should be.” They only go to activities that don’t interrupt their sleep. They have the rest of their lives to go to evening and late night events but their childhood is precious and I want it to be as fabulous as possible by making sure they are healthy and happy and always well rested.
Sleeping Bunnies – This is a version of a cute little song I sing with my bunnies.
People are always asking me how I get my little bunnies to go to bed so early. I get them ready for bed, I read them a story, I tuck them in and they go to sleep. They don’t know if it’s six o’clock or ten o’clock. If you want your children to go to bed earlier, put them to bed earlier. Easy.
Putting myself to bed earlier is a whole other story but it’s something I am going to seriously work on this week. If I have any success I will let you know.