I love sleep, who doesn’t?  As I get olderI notice more and more what  a difference it makes in my life.  A good night’s sleep is like gold; sets me up for a productive day, restores my sense of humour and enables me to deal with the kids in a more present,  less distracted, way. I also eat more healthily, drink more water and am able to resist late night snacking – mainly because of the earlier bedtime of course.   Sleep!  How I love thee!

They say you need a good 8 hours sleep a night but ‘they’ clearly have not had children.  I haven’t slept a full night through since I was pregnant with Oscar. He’s four now and still wakes every night and comes into my bed.  In fairness, some nights I barely notice, I’m so used to it by now (and so tired).  I could make an effort to take him back to his bed and get him back to sleep but frankly, that requires a level of wakefulness I’m not prepared to consider at midnight/4am. Equally,  getting a lie in with a four year old in the house is virtually impossible so the early nights are essential.

Alfie is at that wonderful stage when a late night equals a late morning – mostly.  I say wonderful, it’s not so much fun when you have to go to school in the morning. At the moment he’s having great difficulties getting to sleep and it seems he’s not the only one, if my straw poll of school mums is anything to go by.  Despite being tired out he tosses and turns, is up and down and sometimes not asleep until 10 or 11pm, usually in my bed by this point. This has been going on since we got back from skiing and despite my best efforts does not seem to be improving.  Bizarrely, he no longer coughs at night – or at all in fact – and you would think this would allow for better sleep but…

We like a bit of whale music of a night – an easy sell to a budding wildlife presenter – and we have a sleep playlist on Spotify which worked wonders when we first put it together. Similarly meditation – I love Mediation Oasis and they have a nice kids sleep meditation – but this only works now and then. The wonderful Cbeebies Radio podcasts send Oscar to sleep in minutes, especially Old Jack’s Boat, but have the opposite effect on Alfie. I’ve tried lying next to him, as I often to with Oscar, but with mixed results.  Therein lies the rub; some things work, sometimes.  A quick flick at netmums sees similar threads in various forums; just search my six year old can’t sleep, and shows similar thinking; yes we’ve often used lavender oil, often have a bath, yes he’s probably overtired, no we can’t fit more activities/exercise into most of our days and he loathes hot milk.  Of course we still do bedtime stories and he’s a great reader, so I sometimes give him reading time by himself (his brother is almost always out for the count by 7.30pm, silver linings and all that).

Like me, he’s great company when he’s had a good night’s sleep.  But the late nights are taking their toll and we’ve had morning meltdowns all the way to school on occasion.  Thankfully it’s half term now.  Not much planned but a mix of lazy days and activities like Castle Espie and W5.  And Dad is home on Saturday, albeit a flying visit, but it might make all the difference. I sincerely hope so because as of next week I’m in full time rehearsals and will be a full time working single mum. Eek!



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