Sunday, January 11, 2015

In search of a good night sleep - Part 2

I have always been a poor sleeper. I have had insomnia on and off for years, even resorting to taking prescription medications to fall asleep. I tell you, some of those side effects are both wonderful and disturbing.

As you read in my previous blog post, I have started to make my bed every morning. This is leading me to WANT to crawl into bed at night. One reason is because it is a nice and welcoming place to go, not a place covered in clothes, or disheveled.

In this installment of my better sleep series, I am going to discuss the effect of routine. Since my husband and I both have sleep issues, we didn't instill good sleep habits in our children. They would go to sleep when we went to sleep. My oldest never was able to sleep in her own room. My youngest slept in her own room until Hubby lost his job. It was his job to put her to sleep at night and most nights they ended up sleeping on our sectional, in the living room.

When I became a stay at home mom, I decided that I would tackle this problem. In the beginning of the summer (when I became a SAHM), I ended up having both of my girls sleeping with me. Hubby took advantage of the girls bedroom and started sleeping in there.

This worked well, until I ended up getting very little sleep due to having no room in my bed. I needed to find a way to reclaim my bed. My oldest daughter has slept with me most of her life. She had several very scary events in her crib, that made it difficult for her to sleep alone. We both needed to sleep, so I ended up letting her sleep with me. Once we stopped fighting her to sleep in her own room, we all got a lot better sleep. That is all that really mattered at the time. Once you added in my youngest, the "good sleep", faded.

This summer I had a goal. I wanted my oldest to be in her own room by the end of the year. We talked about it and eventually she would bring it up on her own. I guess getting kicked in the kidneys all night by her sister, was a good motivator. So one day while she was at school I made up her bed. Put all the stuff she normally slept with all nice and cute in her room. After school I took her to the store and we picked up a toy that had multiple pieces. I told her that for every night she slept in her room, she got one of the pieces.

I was expecting a total breakdown and fight. The first night she went to bed no problem. The second night, she fell asleep in bed before I even went to say good night. A few nights she has come out complaining of a bad dream, but always gone back in for a full night sleep. She will occasionally come into my room and want to cuddle and say she wishes she could stay. But  I always take her back without a fight and she stays in her room. It has been a wonderful transition for all of us.

So now, our youngest sleeps with me. My hubby sleeps in her room and our oldest is in her own room. We have a long way to go to achieve my dream of everyone in there own room, including hubby with me. But that is what this series is about. It is about my journey of getting to a place of successful sleep for us all.

Check back soon....topics will include: essential oils for better sleep, nightly routine, finding the right mattress, how old is too old for bed sharing, etc.