Son just turned 7 and never asleep before about 930pm. It is driving me spare!

(17 Posts)
WTFwasthat Sun 22-Sep-13 21:41:34

Every morning he has to be woken for school so is clearly not getting enough sleep to be able to wake up naturally. He chunters around in his room. I allow him the ipad for around 20 mins then he draws, potters around, sings to himself, thuds about on the landing so I know he is awake and it is really bothering me! He is not being a pest but he will not wind down! Is it the ipad thing that is disturbing his sleep patterns? he seems happy enough at school but regularly melts down when I collect him which I am thinking is due to him being tired. A school Mum said to me "oh, I wouldn't have that, 7:30pm and my son is fast asleep". But short of drugging him there is not much I think i can do. Is this normal??!?!?! It makes going out very difficult as no one wants to look after a child who won't go to fecking sleep at a reasonable hour! YOur views please.......

WTFwasthat Mon 23-Sep-13 07:23:12

oh well, I guess it's normal then?!

CairngormsClydesdale Mon 23-Sep-13 07:30:45

No iPad. Bedroom door closed. Books. Raising hell if I heard footsteps on the landing! grin

I say this as a mother who believes in the value of sleep. My children sleep seemingly far longer than the majority of their peers but like you I see very visible behavioural issues if they're lacking!

Buzzardbird Mon 23-Sep-13 07:30:58

It is normal yes for your dc and many others. The only thing I will say is that no electrical gadgets ie games, tv for 1 hour before bed really helps my dd (nearly7) wind down and if lucky will be asleep before 9 (bedtime is 730) she is allowed to read with low lighting on for half hour after she has been read to etc. It is annoying isn't it when people rub it in by saying how little johnny is asleep by 7 and up bright eyed the next morning? I then rub it in that dd will allow a lie in on the weekends smile

BranchingOut Mon 23-Sep-13 07:31:49

I do believe that some children have a later sleep cycle, but I would still avoid technology just before bedtime if possible.

Make the expectation that he stays in bed, even if he is awake.

Lower lighting?

WTFwasthat Mon 23-Sep-13 07:38:21

thanks all. He has a low lighting and there is never much frantic activity before bed. Bath, reading (either him or me) then he does have the iPad for a while. I think I need to withdraw this as....... the other night however, he made a huge lego castle so he is not forever on the iPad. I just find it so frustrating. When I htink he is shattered he will still be padding about way after Ihave said goodnight. He gets very short thrift from me if he calls,comes down etc so there is no reward for him to be awake. I will only let him go on the ipad if he is downstairs from tonight and see if that makes a difference. Also every evening we go for a good walk wiht the dog around 6pm so that should wear him out after a long school day surely?!

my 6.5 and 4.10yos are just the same. It drives me nutssad
by the time they have settled and I have done a bit of ironing, washed up, it's my bedtime
We have a solid routine with bath story bed etc but just endless arsing around. I do generally get to have breakfast and a poo brew in peace before they get up thoughgrin
I don't allow electronic stuff just before bed either

ohmeohmyforgotlogin Mon 23-Sep-13 07:50:21

Defiitely remove iPad. Screens fool the brain into thinking it is daytime while the body is wanting to rest. Messes up your hormones that help you sleep. Could you teach him relaxation techniques or put on a sleep hypnotherapy cd? He needs to train himself to wind down. Google relax kids for some info.

Bonsoir Mon 23-Sep-13 07:54:53

As others have said, electronics interfere with sleep. I think you should try going cold turkey and not allow any screens during the school week at all, except for some gentle DVDs.

Does he eat a lot in the evenings?

SavoyCabbage Mon 23-Sep-13 07:59:54

We just started letting dd (9 ) draw instead of read in bed. It's definitely had a negative effect on her fling asleep, before she just read. She would be asleep in 20-30 minutes.

Now we can hear her scrabbling about for pencils and stuff. Or whatever she is doing.

I'm definitely going to go back to the old routine.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 23-Sep-13 08:08:37

Some kids go to bed later than others naturally, but it is not too hard to "retrain" a bit.....

We were having trouble with bed time "drifting" later and later and my mum told me what had worked with us (4 siblings, we must have been hell...!) so we tried and it worked...

The ideal situation is that "Bedtime" is fixed - say 7.30pm, get washed/teeth/loo/PJs, get into bed and have a book to read.... allow reading only, in bed, one trip to the loo before lights out at 8.30. If they go to bed later, lights out is still 8.30 - less reading can be done....

In the interim, you need to shift it all a bit later - if he normally settles at 9.30 - make 9.30 lights out this week.... 9.15 next week... 9.00 the week after etc...... allow one hour between prep for bed and lights out - so that moves too.... initially IT NEEDS TO BE THE SAME AT THE WEEKEND - in order to retrain the brain to be sleepy at that time....

Mine are 11 and 12 now so we are at (informally - now they just do it, we don't need to say it is bedtime) 8.30 prep for bed and 9.30 lights out.... except Friday when they go up when they are tired - usually 9-9.30, and just go to sleep...

Hope my tone is not preachy - not meant to be - it just worked for us....

SkodaLabia Mon 23-Sep-13 08:15:36

Yep, I don't believe in 7 to 7 suiting everyone, but if I use a laptop before bed I can't sleep either.

lljkk Mon 23-Sep-13 09:29:02

what time does he have to get up, OP?
My 5yo falls asleep around 9pm but he's up bouncing around the house by 7am, so works for us.

heidihole Mon 23-Sep-13 09:32:49

what time does he wake on weekends if you let him wake naturally?

Edithmark Mon 23-Sep-13 09:43:13

My 6yr old DS is the same...naturally sleepy at about 930 or 10 and struggles to get to sleep earlier. I think it's a bit inherited...we are all night owls here and are naturally brighter at night and awful in the mornings.

Having said that we are strict about bedtime. 730 to go upstairs for bath/teeth/loo etc and def. No coming back downstairs. Then bed, 2 short picture books of nothing too exciting (used to want some blood and guts Viking story but I felt it wasn't helping). Then lights out at 830. (Luckily dont need to get up til 800 in the morning...live right next to school), allowing for a good 11+hrs sleep.

However he is till often awake at 930 or 1000 singing to himself or rolling around in his bed or looking at a book (has a nightlight on). And is often complaining that he is hungry despite eating a good tea and having a pice of fruit at about 720 just before he goes up.

Not sure what else I can do...all ideas gratefully received. (We turn the tv off from about 7ish downstairs...but he's not fussed about watching I anyway. No iPads or anything either).

georgeannaskala Mon 23-Sep-13 09:53:25

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BranchingOut Mon 23-Sep-13 10:51:19

As an aside, I love the way that small children sing to themselves for entertainment, even in bed!

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