Wednesday, September 03, 2008

To sleep or not to sleep, that is the question...

Actually, that isn't the question. The real question is how to make sure that all members of my family get the proper amount of sleep, given that we all want it at different times of the day/night.

Thomas is in the process of giving up his morning nap. He still needs it about every 2-3 days, but the process is definitely begun. Thus on any given day I never know if he will need to sleep at 9am, 10am, or 12:30pm. And then the question of an afternoon nap needs to be answered as well (if he slept in the morning he'll need another nap at 2pm or so; otherwise he won't get sleepy until too late to nap, and he'll be cranky and need an early bedtime.

Jonathan always has a morning quiet time (ever since he gave up his morning nap) and is currently in the process of giving up his afternoon nap entirely. Right now we're mandating a second quiet time on the bed in the mid/late afternoon, and he falls asleep during this time about once every 3-4 days.

Mommy wishes she could do nothing but nap, all day, every day.

Then there is night sleeping.

Jonathan is our night waker. He has always had a rather strange manner of sleeping at night (since he was very young he has awakened extremely early in the morning) but it is getting really bizarre now. Last night was somewhat typical: I woke up at 12:30am to find the light on in the family room. Jonathan was back in his room, asleep again, but at some point between 10:30pm and 12:30am he had gotten up and (I discovered in the morning) retrieved the 2.5lb block of cheese out of the fridge, taken six bites out of it, and thrown the rest in the trash. (You can imagine how very happy this made me.)

At 4am I woke up to find the light on in the family room, and Jonathan sitting on the couch, guiltily eating yogurt pretzels (which he knows quite well are treats that he is not to get for himself!) I informed him that it was the middle of the night and helped him back to bed. He got up for the morning sometime between 6:15am (when Gabe left) and 7:30am (when Thomas and I woke up.)

I have absolutely NO idea what is going on with Jonathan's night sleep (or lack thereof). If anyone has ideas, please let me know.

For napping, I'm also finding myself somewhat at a loss as to how to balance the differing needs of the family members. Right now, of course, we're just in flux and it is just going to be hard for awhile. But it seems like we're moving toward nap needs that just don't coincide well. If Thomas needs one mid-day nap, and Jonathan needs a morning and an afternoon quiet time, is there any way for Mommy to get a rest, too? Also complicating things: when in the world do we do errands, or take Jonathan to preschool, or visit with friends, if we're bound to the house by three different nap/qt needs?

Please don't remind me that I'm about to have a baby who will almost certainly not fit into any schedule whatsoever. Or that I'm about to lose my very precious night-time sleep. I might cry.


theolsons said...

Does sound like a lot to be dealing with...sorry. I don't have any fabulous tips but was wondering, is Jonathan really waking or is it possible that he is sleep walking? I was a sleep walker as a child, I almost peed in my sisters closet one night cause I was convinced I was in the bathroom.

mhcowen said...

Hey, it's actually Mike instead of Hannah this time. :) I wanted to comment on the concern you have with Jonathan's not sleeping since that is something I have had some experience with in the field of sleep medicine. To address your thoughts, I would say that there are a couple of scenarios that you could look into a little more if it happens again. (1) he could be hungry without telling you and he wakes up and just decides to eat whatever sounds good, or (2) he may have a sleep disorder called "Sleep Related Eating Disorder". This disorder is characterized by compulsive binge eating while the person is partially awake or not awake at all. It is similar to sleep walking but with a twist. There is a lot more information at the website below:
I hope this helps you guys and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. If you want, I could help you find a sleep doctor in your area if you wanted to see one just to see what they think too.

Tell Gabe I said HI! :-D