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Kids that don't sleep long hours
How do you know what's healthy?


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#1 Procrastinator5000

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:46 AM

My DS is nearly 8 and he never falls asleep before about 10.00pm. He then bounces out of bed at 6.30, ready to start the day.

He is very bright and brilliant at school, rarely sick and has a great appetite so I can't see any signs of him being overtired, but could there be hidden effects of this shorter night of sleep every night?

I know that he does stay up reading at night, but even when I say he's got to go straight to bed at 8pm, no reading, he tosses and turns and comes out to see us saying he just can't sleep.

Should I be concerned about this or just leave it? Do some kids just thrive on less sleep/

To be honest, one reason we want him to go to sleep earlier is so that we can have our own time in the evenings without thinking someone is about to pop their head around the corner! By the time he's well and truly asleep, I'm tired and ready for bed too.

#2 emnut

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:57 AM

We have the same issue with DS1 having about 6 hours a night or so- we have discussed it several times with his pead who has said that as long as he is healthy, eating, drinking & having energy to play rather than being fatigued all the time it is most likely just that it is the amount of sleep he needs.  On the rare night he does sleep more he tends to be lethargic during the day

#3 SeaPrincess

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:02 AM

My children are younger but I see a difference between them in their sleep needs.  DS2 dropped his nap earlier and when they were younger, we used to put DS1 to bed while DS2 had his last BF.  DS1 goes to bed, falls asleep and wakes up in the morning.  DS2 goes to bed, messes around, comes out for drinks/toilet/ask questions/can't sleep.....there are so many excuses! And he wakes up at the same time as DS1.

I totally get where you coming from though.  I need some child free time at the end of the day and when they don't go to sleep it is exhausting!

#4 No girls here

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:02 AM

He sounds like my DS1's twin (although he's already 8).  He seems to have a lot of difficulty switching his brain off, so I still think it's important to get him to bed at a reasonable hour as he needs the time to wind down.

#5 pickledbrain

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:07 AM

Some kids, like adults, need different amounts of sleep.  If he is growing, able to concentrate, not grumpy / moody (anymore then a typical child), has energy etc. then I would be just going with it.

Can you send him to bed at a "reasonable" time and then he isn't to come out at all.  Lights out by 10pm (or 9.45 to order to wind down and be asleep by 10) so you don't have to be too worried about him coming out.  At nearly 8 I'd say he is old enough to know to stay there.

I knew a man who could only sleep 4 hours a night.  Didn't matter what he did during the day, what he ate, when he went to bed etc., he only slept the 4 hours.  He became a baker!  Figured he was awake anyway, he may as well make the most of the early mornings.

#6 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:22 AM

My rule has always been that I don't really care what time they go to sleep, but they need to be quiet and in their beds.

My kids are known as the energiser bunnies. Ds1 7 yrs had swimming at school, did his own normal swimming lesson after school and was still not falling asleep until after 8 pm, and still bouncing out of bed at 5 am.

His friends were asleep before 5.30 without doing the extra swimming and were late to school as they could not be woken at 8.30 am.


My kids sleep anytime 7-10 pm until 5 am. Have done so for years. Evening up at midnight still has them awake at 5 am. No sleepins in our house.

Paed and dr have no issues. They are healthy and growing.



#7 baddmammajamma

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:29 AM

As pickledbrain mentions, people -- including kids -- require different amounts of sleep.

My daughter (7) is perfectly functional on 8.5 - 9 (but she can only attain that level with the help of melatonin), whereas her little brother requires much more.

Like you, my husband & I have to be a little more creative in carving out our "alone adult" time!

#8 giggleandhoot

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:41 AM

I have no idea how much DD1 is getting. We put both her and DD2 to bed at 7.30 (mummy and daddy's time lol)  but i know she sits and reads or sings.. and is usually asleep by 9.30. We got a puppy and now she'll bark when DD1 comes out, which is a help lol, she'll pop out a few times with some excuses. BUT DD1 is Very tired in the morning which i don't like. She seems to take after her dad of wanting to stay up late and sleep in. DH is not a very good morning person either and can easily stay up late. DD2, is like me...early to bed and early up.

#9 Procrastinator5000

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:52 PM

Thanks for all the replies, it's great to know that it's within the range of normal.







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