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to think very few people have YEARS of sleep-deprivation with kids?

(371 Posts)
drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 09:11:46

I have 3 kids, aged 6, 4 and 2. The middle one is a fantastic sleeper (since the age of two, was dreadful before that) - shuts his eyes at 6.30pm and opens them again at 6.30 am. If he was my only child, I would be very smug and think I'd done this with my fab routines.

The other two - different story. Youngest still wakes at night 4 or 5 nights a week and needs resettling, which takes an hour or more and leaves me wide awake. Eldest has always been an early waker (5am-ish) and now is struggling to get to sleep, and waking in the night with 'bad dreams' two or three nights a week and then taking hours to get back to sleep.

For seven years, I have almost never had an uninterrupted night. This is unusual, isn't it? Other people don't seem to be sleep-deprived like this. I have just taken the older two to school for the first day after half-term, all the other parents were making comments like 'Oh, it's hard to get up early again after the break, isn't it?' Wtf? I have been up before 6 every day of half-term as usual (either the eldest or the youngest awake and usually both) plus being woken in the night.

Are there other parents like me out there or am I alone?!

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Mon 24-Feb-14 09:26:51

I worry about this when thinking of having another baby in a year or so, my 7 month ds has always been pretty good at sleeping, and generally an easy baby, I'm due a non sleeping puking one aren't I? wink

formerbabe Mon 24-Feb-14 09:27:40

Sorry for sounding like a smug cow but really from what I hear most parents are in your boat. I hear mums all the time moaning that their school age children still wake up at night...
Can you do reward charts...? I tell my son that if he can't sleep or does wake up, that its fine but he needs to stay in bed as his body still needs to rest...he seems to buy that!

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:27:55

I urge any of you with bendy children to go and ask for them to have a sleep study.

drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 09:28:12

Karen - not sure if you are talking to me or another post about 'people blaming mental illness on everything'

I don't think any of my DC have a mental illness. I am quite aware of it, since I have one close relative with serious, life-long depression, and another with long-term anxiety issues. Both suffer sleep problems, and would say the sleep problems are caused by the mental health issue, not the other way round.

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:28:30

drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 09:30:42

BoffinMum, we have reward charts and Groclocks. The middle child wins rewards very easily as he is just naturally a good sleeper. The youngest (2) is not motivated by them. The eldest is motivated, and is very cast down when he doesn't get rewards, but seems unable to help himself from getting up.

I think you are right though that we need a firm strategy to deal with it. I have to figure out what that can be, though.

duchesse Mon 24-Feb-14 09:30:54

Another sleep deprived person here, op. Dd3 is 4y6m and hasn't slept through the night since she was 5 months old. The first 5 months were a doddle- I felt so rested...hmm

kelda Mon 24-Feb-14 09:31:24

Yanbu. Years here too, the best part of ten years.

Ds age five still awakes at nighttime, but at least now he no longer cries at night time. He has a type of dyspraxia, which I suspect plays a part.

Bonsoir Mon 24-Feb-14 09:31:27

On the whole, you need to teach your DC to sleep through the night. A bit like needing to teach them to use the potty/loo.

Some lucky parents have DC who get it in one go or are highly self-motivated. Most don't!

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:31:53

I was told the same thing by my GP and community mental health, then I was treated for severe sleep apnoea, anxiety and panic attacks went the first night. Even when I put in a complaint to them and met with them they as non medically qualified professionals were resistant to it, complaint and treatment was given by psychologist. Go get yourselves a sleep study, HCP are not always right. I was waking every 1-2 minutes to breathe and my oxygen went down to 60% I am awaiting a brain scan for what headway think were mini strokes as a result of the situation. The difference it makes to a child's behaviour day and night too is amazing.

chickabilla Mon 24-Feb-14 09:34:13

Mine are awful sleepers. The 7 year old was fine after about 12 months, waking occasionally or when ill, so we had an interlude until DS2 (3.5) was born. He had a lot of health issues so night feeds, meds etc scuppered sleep and he still wakes every night for a drink usually. The 12 month old hasn't slept through yet and still has 2 night feeds. I'm hoping things will be different in about a year!!

Clutterbugsmum Mon 24-Feb-14 09:35:05

I've had about 11yrs, although I can't actually blame that all on the children. I stop sleeping alnight when pregnant with dd1. She still wakes ap 3am and is 10. I think I'm so used to waking at 3am I now just wake up.

DD2 slept through from 6 weeks. But she wakes at 5.30 am and has done from day one. At least now she 6 she stays in her own room until we get up at 7am.

DS slept through again from about 6weeks and like dd2 he wakes at 5.30am and stays in his room until I get at 7am.

MigGril Mon 24-Feb-14 09:36:52

We had 6 years hear, between 2 DCs. And since DS started sleeping through last year he decided 5am was a goods time to get up. Only just training him out of that now, he's slightly better at 5.30am. And we still get interrupted nights due to illness.

l don't think a lot of people admit to it either. it was easier to cop second time around as we decided to cosleep. so I wasnt as sleep deprived.

KungFuBustle Mon 24-Feb-14 09:38:32

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

drivenfromdistraction Mon 24-Feb-14 09:40:40

Bonsoir, I don't always agree with your posts, but I think you may be right about having to teach a child to sleep.

I am not very well-qualified for this. I have a tendency to insomnia myself, and my entire family are incredibly dysfunctional when it comes to sleep (only when DH and I got together did I realise what 'normal' sleep is like)

Do you have any tips about how to 'teach' a child? I am now looking at the Millpond Clinic website.

kelper Mon 24-Feb-14 09:41:21

Ds is 6. Up until about 2 months ago we were getting woken at least twice a night. He's always been an early riser (between 5 and 6 most mornings)
It was worse when he was a baby. He hates napping in the day, even when he's ill, but you could get him to sleep in a car.
I tell myself I'll be waking him when he's a teen, but I'm not convinced.
I used to get insanely jealous of people who had babies who slept through, but over the past few years I've just got used to it. Fortunately dh and I are a good sleep tag team ;)

hazeyjane Mon 24-Feb-14 09:43:25

Dd1 is 7, she was an awful sleeper as a baby/toddler due to reflux and then being put on an asthma drug that caused her nightmares. Now that has settled, but she is a sleep walker/talker - and rarely has an unbroken nights sleep.

Dd2 is 6 and is the 'good sleeper' despite 2 years of 5 am wake up and regular night time nosebleeds!

Ds is 3.7 and disabled, he has been an awful sleeper since birth, due to a combination of reflux, getting stuck in certain positions, recurrent lung problems, seiizures and episodes of choking at night. He also seemed unable to turn off in order to sleep, often being awake until midnight, he now has melatonin, which helps with the 'turning off', but he still wakes in the night with the other problems, and wakes for the day between 4.30 and 5.

To be honest I don't tend to talk about it with friends in rl, apart from my friend who has a child with similar problems. It is what it is, and it probably won't change anytime soon. Dh and I just do what we can to maximise sleep for all of us.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 24-Feb-14 09:45:45

Only one child, but 4.5 years of waking before 6am between the ages of 3.5 and 7 years. Still now as a 10 year old she only sleeps past 7 on school days every Saturday, Sunday and holiday day she is up before 6.30am.
Prior to this she was an excellent sleeper so incredibly well trained. I have tried every trick in the book. It is not through lack of training she just rises early.
Add to that I am a lone parent, I work fulltime including night and weekend call outs. I go to conferences for a rest so looking forward to my four nights in April what bliss I only have to be in lectures at 8am.

hazeyjane Mon 24-Feb-14 09:48:00

KarenBrockman - I am really glad you have found a reason and help for your sleep problems, but you seem to be suggesting that sleep apnoea is at the root of everyone's sleep problems and anxieties - and I just don't think that is the case.

Sneezecakesmum Mon 24-Feb-14 09:48:14

5.5 years and still counting grin sad

BikeRunSki Mon 24-Feb-14 09:49:08

Newbie at 2.5 years here. DS is a great sleeper. Dd had never slept for more than 4 hours I don't think. She is 2.5. I lie on Red Bull, carbs, tears and shouting.

FaceDirectionOfTravel Mon 24-Feb-14 09:49:19

You are not alone but I would reconcile !yself to the fact that most people won't understand. If you have a good sleeper,you will just never understand how life narrows so much due to lack of s!eep.sad

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:50:12

No you are suggesting that, I am suggesting that there may be many reasons that may be behind sleep disturbance and that some HCP's are not always up to date with training and research.

GossamerHailfilter Mon 24-Feb-14 09:51:49

I am 7 years this weekend. DS2 has ASD and has never slept through the night, or managed a whole night without me getting into his bed.

KarenBrockman Mon 24-Feb-14 09:53:26

KungFuBustle Maybe you should look at getting a sleep study done. Have you looked up psychological transference?

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