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to think this isn't quite normal?

(30 Posts)
FreudianSlippery Fri 10-Dec-10 15:58:48

I'm really not sure about this - tbh I hope I am BU because otherwise I'm worried.

I'm a stepmum to twins age 12, they are in year 8. Basically I'm concerned with how tired they are. They often go to bed before their given bedtime (9pm) - sometimes DH phones soon after 7 and they've already gone up.

I do understand that secondary is tiring, I remember it from when I started yr7 but shouldn't they have adjusted by now?

Bit of background - they have always been made to go to bed early, until starting yr7 it was 8pm in the week. We always respected this - even when little they were perfect angels at bedtime - but now we are wondering if they need more sleep because of it IYSWIM.

The only other thing we can think of is their diet. They eat really badly. One in particular is really fussy but their mum/nan only give them ready meals etc, they eat a lot of junk (when they stay with us they eat quite well, more fruit and veg etc) - maybe they aren't getting enough nutrients etc?

Anyway... Can't think of any other reason as they live near the school and don't get a lot of homework or extra activities etc.

So why are they SO tired? Or is it normal? I'm sure their friends aren't suffering so much, I hate to think of them missing out on socialising etc.

anonymosity Fri 10-Dec-10 16:00:31

Are they asleep in the bedroom or texting their friends / using a computer?

curlymama Fri 10-Dec-10 16:04:01

Diet could definately play a huge part in it. Do you see any difference in their energy levels if they stay with you for a week?

PortlyBlackSantaUpAChimney Fri 10-Dec-10 16:04:55

are you sure DHs ex isn't just saying that? To stop him talking to them? Not trying to shit stir here btw just thinking of why that might be.

Deliaskis Fri 10-Dec-10 16:06:10

Are they actually going to sleep when they go up? Or are they secretly reading, texting friends, etc?


FreudianSlippery Fri 10-Dec-10 16:06:57

LOL anon - fair point, but no, they aren't using phones or computers or anything - they just crash out, when they stay over they always fall asleep on the sofa bless them!

I know teenagers need more sleep but as I said I'm sure they are more tired than 'normal'

racmac Fri 10-Dec-10 16:10:47

Im not sure i see the problem - they are tired they go to bed and go to sleep - isnt that what we do?

Some people need more sleep - I certainly do - I cant cope on little sleep - i get very very grouchy and headaches etc

They are only 12 - does it matter

FreudianSlippery Fri 10-Dec-10 16:11:45

Shit stirring is a habit of the exW, so fair point there too but nope they are really that tired. If they don't feel like chatting on the phone they just say so and it's not an issue, so they wouldn't be using it as an excuse not to talk IYSWIM.

It's hard to tell about energy levels as they don't stay with us for as long as a week (normally weekends, we live quite near). I'm wondering if a multivitamin would be good but it's not really a substitute for a good diet. DH has tried talking to exW about this a lot.

Chatelaine Fri 10-Dec-10 16:20:59

If they seem OK otherwise and have energy in the day, then I think yabu, but in the nicest way. I think this sounds pretty normal given their age and the fact that they must be growing fast. Plus it's winter time, we should all be in bed by 5pm and up when it's light. grin

anonymosity Fri 10-Dec-10 19:52:48

I think its strange - they should not be exhausted ALL the time. If your DP can broach with Ex-P perhaps they can agree to take them to the GP for some general check-ups / tests?

TheRedQueen Fri 10-Dec-10 19:58:56

Onset of puberty? I can remember being absolutely knackered for a few years in my early teens. I even used to fall asleep on the bathroom floor after a bath!

Morloth Fri 10-Dec-10 21:50:08

If I could I would sleep 12 hours every night, some people need more sleep than others. As it is, I carry a constant sleep debt.

lia66 Fri 10-Dec-10 21:53:42

I don't actually think 8pm is that early for yr 7's

Only si=nce my ds turned 13 this october have we moved his bedtime to 9pm, and tbh he is ready for bed before that but won't give in.

He's an early riser though and always has been, what time do they get up?

FreudianSlippery Fri 10-Dec-10 22:03:49

They get up around 6.30. They are fine in the morning though. I'm not really sure how much energy they have at school, I know at home they just watch tv but then they are teenagers so that's normal right

I was wondering about the puberty thing too - all the changes are tiring! It just seems to have been going on a long time but maybe some cope better than others.

I think DH will remind exW about the eating issue though - maybe suggest some good energy rich foods? One of the girls is a bit underweight so she needs good fats etc I guess.

stickylittlefingers Fri 10-Dec-10 22:04:32

are they actually tired all day, or just needing to go to sleep at the end of the day? The former would worry me, the latter not. I had a friend at school who really needed 10 hours a night, would sleep for 12 if left to (weird for me as I'm a 6 hour kind of girl!). She was also really sporty, so I think she just was awake very efficiently and slept to deal with that.

If they're permanently sleepy, then that would need looking into.

lia66 Fri 10-Dec-10 22:10:25

thats the other thing, I fond when ds has no football he becomes lathergic, and when he is doing his sports regularly he has more energy and so on.

If they do no kind of sport or activity it's easy to become lethargic, can they take part in something at weekends or after school perhaps~?

HalfTermHero Fri 10-Dec-10 22:10:37

I think that sleep breeds sleep. I know someone whose parents sent her to bed early the whole of her childhood and she stuggles to say awake past 9.30pm as an adult! Nothing medically wrong with her and she blames her mum and dad for how much sleep she needs.

bessie26 Fri 10-Dec-10 22:11:07

what time do they get up?

DD is only 2, so I don't really have any idea what normal sleep is like for kids that age, but if they've always slept alot, then I wouldn't be too worried.

If you are still concerned, then perhaps speak to your GP to see if it's possible to run any tests. Don't whatever you do suggest to their mum it could be because of their poor diet!

I do know that when I went through a phase of not eating properly in my early 20s I also started sleeping alot (around 11hrs a night). Once i sorted myself out & started eating properly it stopped.

I've recently been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, before I got meds for it I was napping for 2hrs almost every afternoon (couldn't get away with it when I was at work!), and sleeping for at least 9hrs every night. I think it is very unusual for kids to have underactive thyroid (and there are usually other symptoms too), but it might be something to mention to their mum if you feel you have to persuade her to take the to the GP!

CardyMow Sat 11-Dec-10 00:19:52

I would think that by a term into Y8, they should be used to the more 'vigorous' routine of secondary school. My DD is also in Y8, she is 12, nearly 13yo. On a school night, she goes to bed (under protest) between 9pm and 9.30pm, at weekends she goes to bed between 10pm and 10.30pm.

So on a school night, she goes to bed at between 9pm - 9.30pm and gets up at 7am, so has about 9 and a half to 10 hrs sleep a night, and from what I've seen of her friends, that's round about what most of them need at that age, so if they are needing a LOT more than that, I would imagine that some of it might be down to lack of good nutrition/ good diet, especially around puberty, and in lieu of a decent diet when they are away from you, a good multivitamin might help.

LacksDaisies Sat 11-Dec-10 00:25:35

I read somewhere that teenagers need more sleep due to all the changes going on in their bodies both physically and emotionally, so the old thing of parents trying to rouse lazy teenagers is wrong...they really do need all that sleep.

Will try and find a reference.

darleneconnor Sat 11-Dec-10 01:46:38

Why are they getting up so earlyin the morning if they live near the school?

Maybe they are 'morning' people?

At that age there is a big difference between 'bedtime' and 'sleeptime' wink

HappyAsASandboy Sat 11-Dec-10 02:41:48

I wouldn't worry. At that age, I had a 'bedtime' of 9pm. but would regularly be asking to go to bed (to sleep, no texting in my day!) at 7.30pm.

If they're going to bed at 9pm normally, then that is only 10.5 hours sleep. That doesn't sound excessively long to me. As an adult, I function best if I regulalry get 9 hours sleep. It then doesn't seem odd to me that they have an earlier night sometimes.

As a child, I used to stay up til 11pm ish some weekends at my Dad's house. I can remember being physically knackered to the point of exhaustion by the end of the weekend, and my mum says I'd take days to recover from a visit! In contrast, my stepsisters of the same age went to bed at 11pm every night and breezed through the next day.

I think everyone needs a different amount of sleep. Please do't make an issue of it when they come to stay with you - don't make your step daughters feel obliged to stay up til 11pm like I did!!

beijingaling Sat 11-Dec-10 04:33:54

At that age I went to bed at 9 with lights out 9:30 (boarding school). At weekends at home I went to bed later and was fine with it though I would wake up later. My best friend on the other hand would be in bed at 8 on weekends and wake up at 6. I suspect that some young teenagers need a lot more sleep and it is nothing to worry about.

No idea about diet playing that much of a role in it but my instinct is to say that it does. Having said that I think my best friend at school would go to bed early on weekends regardless of what she ate.

onmyfeet Sat 11-Dec-10 08:52:51

Seems ok to me.

Longtinsellyjosie Sat 11-Dec-10 08:58:28

I was anaemic at that stage. Perhaps (and this will help offset the bad diet too) you could suggest a teen vitamin and especially minerals / iron supplement?

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