Monday, January 18, 2010


I don't sleep overly well. Pre-Davan, I would sometimes have some trouble falling asleep, but, once asleep, I'd sleep well all night, getting up some nights to pee, but mostly just sleeping until I was done sleeping.

Then I got pregnant. By the end of the pregnancy, I wasn't sleeping well. I wasn't comfortable. I was on bed rest, so I wasn't getting any exercise in. Going to bed to sleep wasn't much different from laying on the couch all day, so I just wouldn't fall asleep. I'm very attached to sleep, so this wasn't fun.

Even less fun was after Davan joined us on this side of the womb. I believe that she still doesn't necessarily sleep through the night, I just don't know about it anymore. I did know about it, though, for many, many years. By the time she was three, she'd crawl into bed with us sometime during the night and that would wake me up, but, at least she wasn't nursing at night anymore.

All those years of interrupted sleep seem to have changed my sleeping abilities indefinitely. Sometimes I have a lot of trouble falling asleep. It's not uncommon for me to get up 3 times to visit the facilities. In addition to that, I wake up pretty much anytime I need to turn, which is often. Sometimes one of these should-be-brief wakings turns into a long, long time of being awake before sleep will come again. Sometimes I wake up too early and can't get back to sleep.

As I mentioned, I really need my sleep. It seems that 9-10 hours a night is good for me, which is a lot of sleep. If I have disrupted sleep or just don't get enough, I'm tired. I've tried before to make due with less. There is a whole post about it here, in fact. Well, that experiment lasted about four days before I was just drop dead tired and gave into sleeping more.

Davan also has some sleep issues. It takes her quite a while to fall asleep, sometimes a couple of hours, which is very frustrating to her. She also sometimes wakes up and can't go back to sleep. Her sleep needs seem to vary periodically from nine to ten or more hours of sleep a night. She's grumpy if she is tired, too.

We've been talking about it lately and we've decided on a new bedtime routine and wake up routine, as well, with an eye to better sleep. We're incorporating several ideas about sleep from reading we've done.

Bedtime used to look like this:

8:50 - Davan brushes her teeth, closes her curtains, puts on her pjs - stuff like that.
9:00 (give or take a few) - Davan gets into bed. Anthony reads to her for 20 minutes (we used to take turns, but Davan and I spend a lot of time together, so we let that be Anthony's time now).
9:20 - Anthony leaves and Davan reads to herself for as long as she wants
10:00 - If Davan hasn't yet said goodnight, this is the last chance

For me? Well, it's more hit or miss. Usually, though, I'm in bed by 9:30 and read until about 10:15, but it varies greatly from getting into bed at 9:00 to not until 10:00 and lights out anywhere from 9:45 - 11:00.

In the mornings, I get up anytime between 7:30 and 8:30, but usually am only dozing after 7:00, which is a lot of hours dedicated to sleeping, no matter if sleeping has happened or not. Davan sleeps until whenever, but, lately, it's been about 8:30. If she's had a rough night, though, it'll be as late as 9:00, after which I'll wake her up.

The new routine, which we'll try for a month before doing any major modifications, looks like this:

8:30 - All three of us brush our teeth and do pjs and other bedtime related activities
8:40 - Sit on the couch together and read out of the family book
9:00 - Anthony goes to take his shower. Davan and I stay to read.
9:30 - Anthony comes to say his final goodnight to Davan if he hasn't already. Davan and I cuddle and relax in the darkened room listening to relaxing soft music. We don't talk, just chill out.
9:50 (or so) - I walk Davan to her room, say a final goodnight, then go to bed to sleep. No more reading in bed.

7:00am - I get up and, as soon as it's light out, regardless of weather, go outside for at least 15 minutes, but, preferably just do my morning exercise outside. (Natural light first thing in the morning is supposed to help set circadian rhythms.)
8:00 - If Davan isn't up yet, I wake her up. (I'd like Davan to go outside, too, but she is really resistant to that in poor weather (read, not summer) and I don't want to fight about it every morning, so it's up to her to do or not.)

Then we'll go on with our day.

There are times we won't be able to stick to the routine. For example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we don't get back from Do Jump until 9:40 or so. It'll be a How Many Kisses Goodnight reading (a loved bed time board book from Davan's toddlerhood) and a shorter relaxing snuggle, then bed on those nights. We'll go on vacation. We'll have evenings out. But, we'll come back to this routine when we can.

Davan, who loves predictability and routine (in most things), was rather upset by the idea of revamping bedtime, but she really liked snuggling last night and fell asleep okay, even though she'd slept in until 9:15 yesterday morning.

I feel asleep pretty well and didn't set an alarm, but was awake (for the second time - I first woke up at 6:20 thanks to the garbage truck and thought about getting up, but didn't) by 7:15 anyway. I'll set an alarm for tomorrow.

So, thus far, it's going fine. We'll see how it continues.


  1. Good luck with it, I'll be waiting to see how it turns out.

    It seems that for me, no matter the routine, something always interrupts it or makes it impossible to sleep.

    Add my obsessive personality to the mix, and a midnight pee turns into a two hour ordeal of pondering absolutely everything in the universe that's bothering me.

  2. I haven't slept through the night in 17 years and can't believe I ever did! What was it like? I can't remember. But I'm sure it was lovely. Like you, I need about 9 -10 hours and just can't get it. We still have one in our bed and one on the couch in our room and although I'm not nursing anybody anymore - I have an 8-year-old who has to be awakened twice a night or she wakes up in a wet bed - so I might as well still be nursing somebody! And don't even ask me about sleeplessness now that I have a 17-year-old driving...that is a whole other story. Thanks for your kind words on my blog!

  3. Yeah...I think sleep is a lot of the reason why we never had another kid, even though I've often felt the draw of a big family. :)

    Thanks for visiting!