Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sleep Deprivation - It Starts Early

My daycare days have not ended on a good note two out of two days this week. The problem (in my eyes) is simple. Tired children = cranky children. Cranky children cry at the drop of a pin.

The transition out of afternoon naps for one of my children has led to a screaming session at the end of two out of two days this week. The answer in my eyes is simple. Let the poor child sleep!!

It gets under my skin when I see a three year old child fight sleep in every way imaginable during the quiet time in our day. To me, you don't fight your body's cue to sleep. You succumb to it. If you learn to fight it when you are a pre-schooler, what is in store for you when you get older? I know far too many adults with sleep issues, to think that bad sleeping habits formed as a child are nothing but a bad thing.

A friend who has had chronic insomnia for more years than I know, has told me time and time again that she wishes she would have had 'someone like me' formulate her sleeping patterns when she was a child. So something tells me (namely, my friend) that I am on the right path.

Do not force tired children to stay awake! You are teaching them to ignore their body's need for sleep.

I honestly belief if this exhausted, cranky three-year-old child would close her eyes and rest, she would not sleep long enough to disrupt her evening's sleep. In fact, I (personally) believe it would enhance her sleep. In my experience, an overtired child is one of the hardest children to put to bed at night.

So I sat beside this child yesterday afternoon, simply to try and encourage her to at least relax, even if she was not sleeping. She would not be still. She moved and twitched and wiggled around and forcefully resisted any of my efforts to snuggle or calm her. It was only when Senior Cat came and snuggled up beside her, that she finally calmed.

The loss of nap time for the aforementioned child has been my undoing. A ten hour day of children without a break is ... hard. Add a tired and obstinate child to that equation and you have a recipe for disaster.

I have been sitting here staring at the spaces in between the words, trying to find the best way through and around this phase. I have a 1-1/2 year old who is already showing signs and signals of what is forthcoming in her nap-schedule (and it's not good).

We are over-stimulated in our world today. We do not sit still. I am including myself in this statement when I think of what I surround myself with, when I relax. I have a phone and computer at my side, with the TV on, a book to grab if what is on television does not interest me and perhaps a little snack &/or beverage.

Quiet time is too noisy with all of this stimulation. Perhaps it is time to turn off the world and tune into our thoughts. Myself included.

Except ... the moment the house is quiet, I am the one who is energized. Knowing I have an hour to myself is what it takes to get through a child-filled day. How do I get that back and teach my children to relax and tune out the world at the same time.

Tune in 'tomorrow' folks, for the never-ending saga on how I survived my Day at Daycare.

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