Kids and Insomnia
I have never been a great sleeper, every now and then I get a good run and I can sleep well for a few nights. Overall though, since I was a teenager or even younger, I have not been a good sleeper.
There are clear memories of me as a young child, tossing and turning in bed and waking up multiple times a night. Often for various reasons or none at all and then really struggling to get back to sleep. Apart from a short break which lasted some time a few years ago, I have always struggled with insomnia.
Newborn baby-induced insomnia
When I became a mother, it was the best thing that happened to me. Sounds cliche, right? I mean it kind of is. But truly she is my reason more often than not. They who are the powers that be, say all newborn babies sleep. Well, let me tell you a little secret from when that little girl was born: she was a bad sleeper.
She came out of the womb sleeping 30 minutes at a time; day, night, naps, it all came out in shorts bursts. She did not care. You could set a timer to it. 30 minutes and she was done for at least an hour. w. Time just seemed to melt into one big blob of napping whenever I could and slipping into a whole new level of exhaustion.
Recognizing a familiar sleep pattern
If nothing else, I was deeply grateful that I could relate; I understood not sleeping. More importantly, we went through the same things. I could see the signs and recognize the patterns. Can having insomnia equip you for anything? It can for a baby that does not sleep well.
I was patient, as I understood so well that you literally cannot force someone with bad sleeping ways to sleep better. This in turn made me kinder to her and just more aware of everything. When you go through something that is the same you just understand each other better.
Healthy bedtime habits
Something that really came in handy and actually still does, is a healthy bedtime routine. Since she was little, I have stuck to a similar routine. We slow down the pace about 1 to 2 hours before bedtime and do quiet time things, bath, and books.
We read and we chat and we light lavender diffusers to help create a calm atmosphere. Making sure the bed is tidy and crumb-free is next after all the teddies have been tucked in or lined up for bed.
These things have stuck and over the years her body and mind have caught on. Some nights we even get 6 solid hours now and on a really good night, she can clock 12 hours. It is not always consecutive sleep, but it is so much better than what it was.
I feel confident that this is something I will be able to guide her through in life. Which honestly makes it all so worth it for me.
Share with the community, have you had a child that also has insomnia, how have you managed it?
Do you have any perfectionistic tendencies?