My sleep deprived parent friends try not to give me dirty looks when I yawn because I had to get up at 7.30am and had to drag my children out of bed for the school run. They desperately try not to grimace and narrow their eyes at me, when they pop over at 9am on a weekend, and my children are still sleeping, and I explain this is the norm!
My children are good sleepers, they have been since they were around 7 and 8 weeks old, and I regularly had to wake them at 10am as babies so that we could ‘start the day’. I apologise now to sleep deprived parents reading this, I do feel your pain….those 7 weeks or so were really hard. I suspect you hate me a little bit too now!
I’m not sure why my children have always slept so well, although a couple of pointers of things I DID do may help some of you. I never crept around when they were asleep as babies, and they got used to sleeping whilst I was hoovering or doing other noisy activities.
I also let them settle themselves. I had to really resist the temptation to run in when they whimpered or cried, but often if I waited those 30 seconds longer, they settled themselves back to sleep, rather than being woken up properly by my noisy entrance to their rooms.
When they were small, we also had a bath, snuggle and story routine before bed, which made them suitably sleepy, and which was also my favourite time of the day. There really is nothing quite like cuddling sleepy little mini men as they gaze up at you as if you are the centre of their universe. I miss the days when they fitted on my lap without completely crushing me.
I do wonder though, whether the main cause of how well my children sleep is genetic! My Mum is a ridiculously heavy sleeper, who was and is impossible to wake for anything! She has been known to sleep through smoke alarms, luckily false alarm ones.
My Mum also used to sleep walk when she was younger, and I would share with you some of the bizarre things that she used to do, but since she reads my blog I had better not as I don’t want to be on her naughty list!
Both of my sons are ridiculously heavy sleepers. An example of just how heavy, is that when my eldest son (who is diabetic) was really ill a couple of years ago, his brother didn’t wake at all.
He didn’t wake whilst his brother threw up in a bucket beside his bed, he didn’t wake when Si knocked over a huge box of Lego in the room, he didn’t wake whilst I was on the phone to an emergency nurse and doctor, and I even had to wake him by shaking him when the paramedics were in the house, to tell him that he had to stay with Si’s parents whilst we went off in the ambulance with his brother.
I check my eldest son’s blood glucose level at night before I go to bed, and considering this involves pricking his finger for blood to test, he doesn’t stir at all. As a toddler he used to fall asleep standing up with his head resting on the sofa, which although was ridiculously cute, wasn’t quite so good when he half woke up and landed on his bum.
Like my mother, both my boys sleep walk on occasion, and I have had some ridiculous conversations with both of them when they have clearly not been awake, and they don’t remember it at all when they wake up.
This is one of the downsides to them being such heavy sleepers though, as although at times cute, sometimes the sleepwalking is really not so cute, such as the sleep / vomit fiasco. My youngest was really ill and I woke up to find him being sick in the bathroom, I cleaned him and the bathroom up, and the landing where he’d not quite made it, and started to say goodnight to him.
He then piped up to ask if I had cleaned up downstairs, to which I queried why on earth he had been downstairs. He was under the impression that he must have gone to sleep downstairs that night, as that was where he had woken up. I went downstairs….it really was not pretty! He had slept walk his way into virtually every room leaving a sicky trail behind him, and had barely missed a wall, a stair or a carpet…by the way I am really sorry if you decided to read this at lunchtime!
Like my Mum and my boys, I also am a really heavy sleeper and I have in the past slept through huge storms, loud arguments between our neighbours that involved a lot of banging, and various other noisy events that would disturb ‘normal’ people!
Even Si hates me a little bit for my heavy sleeping ways! He, like his own Mum, is a very light sleeper, and is driven slightly mad with jealousy at how I can sleep through all manner of disturbances that wake him.
This is especially true because not only am I a heavy sleeper, I sometimes talk in my sleep, grind my teeth in my sleep when stressed, and also once woke him to accuse him of having an affair with Sam Bailey (x factor). He was though more annoyed with the Sam Bailey incident that it wasn’t Cheryl Cole, and informed me he was going back to sleep to dream it ‘properly’ for me, although of course he couldn’t get back to sleep, and I was asleep within seconds…
When my back problems were at their worst, and I was waking two or three times in the night in pain, I swear I saw him try to hide a small half smile of satisfaction, that I now knew his pain of sleep deprivation. However, I now sleep as heavily as ever, and he doesn’t…
We have been discussing adding to our family, and to be honest my biggest worry with this is not how will my old lady back cope with pregnancy after all these years, but more what if they get his sleep genes?!!!