Monday, February 27, 2012

The Solution

So, in my second post today (yay for you) I thought I would offer a solution. I mean discussing a problem without taking measures to fix it, is just complaining...right?

Ok, by now you know the problem...lack of sleep!! So, here's what I plan on doing about it (that sentence sounds so 7th grade science fairish.)

1. Be More Consistent: We have a strict bedtime routine that sadly does not work, and although we are consistent with the progression of events, we lack a definite bedtime. It's usually between 8:00 and 9:00 but can very depending on what's going on, mainly on the weekends when I put him to bed late so that I can sleep in on Saturday. Let's face it, 4:48 comes WAY too early! Anyway, the experts say that consistency is key to more peaceful rest. Looks like 9:00 will be the new bedtime through the summer and 8:00 during the winter. That way I won't have to condition him to the time thinking if I do say so myself.

2. Get The Bedroom Environment Right - we have tried everything we can think of where this is concerned. Light and no lights. Sound machine and no sound machine. Covers and no covers. Thin pillows and thick pillows. Security toy and no security toy. Warm room and cool room. You name it, we've tried it. I've talked with his daycare and they play lullabies before nap-time. Can you guess what I'm picking up on the way home?

3. Create A Relaxing Environment - as you can imagine, my frustration and anxiety over bedtime doesn't help Eli's mood. I'm working on remaining calm and less tense. Additionally, I plan to use some aromatherapy to help. I'm a big believer in holistic medicines and natural remedies, so I think some eucalyptus oil in the bathtub and some lavender diffusers in the bedroom may help.

I also plan on letting him feed Nemo before bed because he really looks forward to that. Additionally, I intend to read him a story nightly since hes likes books so much. I think those are relaxing yet rewarding activities that will easy the tension of bedtime.

4. Watch The Diet - I believe what we eat directly effects our mood and our bodies. I know, I should be a rocket scientist....ha! I'm not stuffing Eli full of candy and Mt. Dew before bedtime, but I'm not exactly monitoring every bite he eats either. I plan on reducing sugar (even in fruits) after 6pm. This means no more Sprite...poor guy! Additionally, warm milk releases natural serotonin levels into the body. He'll be drinking a heaping cup while we read the books mentioned above.

5. Prayer - and lots of it. First of all for me. God didn't give me this challenge for giggles, although I'm sure he's had a few. He gave me this situation to bring Him glory! Whether it's learning to lean on him for strength or to encourage another momma in her time of need, rest assured, HE WILL BE GLORIED!! I need prayer for wisdom in when to be disciplining and when to be nurturing through this process. I need prayer for patience in the process of training a child. I need prayer for strength on the days I nearly fall asleep driving.

I need prayer to be a part of the bedtime process so that I can teach my son how to talk to our Heavenly Father, and to show Him that true peace (even from Captain Hook and bad dreams) comes from Christ alone.

I feel like I'm walking a fine line here. One between obsession and discipline. I need daily wisdom in teaching my child to sleep. There is a difference between not being able to catch shut-eye, and not wanting to. I so need discernment in those areas of gray. Please pray for me, Eli and Eric as we once again start this journey toward rest that is so very needed in out home.

1 comment:

  1. I think about you and this struggle a lot cuz I am a lover of sleep...and I know when it was just me and Hunter is was SO hard. He always (and still does) hated going to sleep. He was the child that would bang his head against the wall to keep from falling asleep. My DAD was the child that would hold his arms over his head when he was sleepy so that when he would nod off, his falling arms would startle him awake. My sister to this day does not like to go to bed in fear she will "miss something". My kid got it honestly. But NOT honestly from ME. Me....I can sleep on a noisy school bus, on the front of a speedboat while it is racing across choppy water. You name the place, I can sleep there.

    Some things I did with Hunter to get him to calm down and realize that it is time to sleep (and I was NOT a scheduler....not consistant with the time but we had the same general routine). It is a little different now, because his Daddy is in charge of bedtime now...but the principles are the same. First of all, we dont generally do baths right before bed. They seem to get him riled up rather than relax him. They are done before supper (usually). All potty breaks are done before he climbs in bed (once potty training started). RIGHT before climbing in bed he gets his vitamins and picks out two "fun" books. We climb in bed (both of us) and I tuck him in. I don't usually get under the covers with him as it usually wakes him up when I get up to leave the room. We read his two fun books and then I either read him a story out of his Bible or a just simply tell him a Bible story (depending on my preference). Then we say our prayers. I say one first, as that is how children learn to hearing their parents. Then he says his. In the beginning I helped him say his but now he says his own. He does NOT get out of bed and kneel by his bed to say them. We are working to create a peaceful environment so once he is tucked in, he stays there. He says his prayer laying down in bed. (the having to close his eyes while he prays often makes him VERY sleepy.) And then....I sing. I have found that singing with many babies/children helps soothe them. I sing church songs. NOT Bible class songs. Bible class songs tend to have motions and he has a tendancy to sing along. The song choice I think is a preference but I found that for me it is much easier to recall the words to Jesus Loves Me at 3 am than it is other types of songs. The singing has also worked with my niece who is also a TERRIBLE sleeper. When I visit my sister, I often give her a break from baby...and I have often gotten her to sleep relatively quickly by singing softly to her. (It also works with my VERY YOUNG [6 month olds] Bible class students).

    Sorry this is super LONG! :)

    And some things I have learned over the years...different foods/drinks and even meds effect people differently. You hear about people giving their children Benedryl to help them sleep on occation....NOT my kid. Up all night. SO BE careful with everything. If he is OVERLY tired it is MUCH harder to get him to bed. My well behaved child turns in to a HOLY TERROR when he gets TOO sleepy. Daddys are VERY GOOD at getting children riled up RIGHT before bed. I've found that tickling sessions and wrestling make it harder for him to fall asleep. We tend to watch a short video (we are very much tv people here) while laying in MY bed right before bedtime. It gives him time to wind down and let his body relax.

    I pray you find something that works as we all need our sleep :)