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Sleep - and certainly not lack of!

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Whilst it may be weird for me to ask such as thing, how much sleep do your LOs get a night? I only ask because when my LO joined me (when he was 3 years old) he slept a good 12 hours at night. However, this hasn't changed despite him now being 7 and I sometimes have to give him 13 hours - meaning that he is asleep more than he is awake! He gets very grumpy towards the end of the day, which shows how tired he is, and I know that his days are usually busy. However, whether it is the holidays or not he will get out of bed at the usual time (6:15am) and will be sound asleep by 6:15pm at the latest - and sleep right through. There is never a sound from his room and he doesn't even manage to read a book or play with his soft toys before drifting off.


Would this be something that you would see your GP about or should I just count my blessings as I know that it could have been a whole different story?!


Thanks all in advance! Smile


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Personally, I would just go with the flow on this one. Anecdotally children that have experienced trauma seem to need more sleep (although I cannot cite any sources to substantiate this information).


My AS is 8 and still goes to bed officially at 7:30pm; he gets up around 6:30am. This varies slightly on Fridays and Saturdays and when it is holiday time but still he needs his sleep and is a joy if he gets it and he is personally less joyful if he doesn't. Also, as he gets older he is doing more out of school clubs during school terms that don't finish in time for him to be in bed at 7:30pm but this is built in to his routine so, for example, karate (Thursday) doesn't finish till 7pm so by the time he is home and fed he won't be in bed till 8pm (earliest) but this doesn't seem to bother him as it is part of the routine. Cubs (Monday) doesn't finish till 7:30pm but we do usually manage to feed him beforehand; but still not in bed till 8pm. He seems fine with this. I think that the later nights some days are compensated by the usual routine on other days. My AS loves routine and rituals.


My AD is 15 and regularly goes to bed around 9pm. We don't usually impose this time but do encourage it if she has been "difficult" during the day. During the holidays she may go to bed later but still doesn't emerge until she's had at least 10 hours sleep, or if she does then she is usually somewhere between grumpy and defiant.


As long as it doesn't impact on your household routine then I'd just go with it.


12 hours sleep means more time for you to recover - sounds ideal to me, as long as there isn't anything else that you are worried about in terms of his ability to be stimulated during the day, for example.


Peahen.


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Thanks for the reassuring reply, Peahen. There's nothing else that I am really worried but it does limit what he can do during the day. I would love to take him to after school clubs, for example, but with time built in for tea and other routines it would be near impossible to achieve anything additional during a weekday (and especially due to his grumpier behaviours which now emerge around 5:30pm, rather than around 2pm when he was 3 years old)!


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Oh well, if bedtime is 6:15pm then how about finding a club that finishes so that you just can't quite get him to bed at 6:15 but can by 6:25 or 6:30pm? Little, tiny steps. If if is something that he enjoys doing then you can probably factor it in. Depending on how you travel, if you need to take a packed tea for before or after then just do it (I say!). If you know that it helps him to keep going on sugar or carbs then just bung them in to him (within reason and as long as no medical reason not to! Do check out toxic e-numbers, though, as a lot of snacks contain these and we have to be quite careful here) and see what happens. Go with the flow and adapt as necessary. Don't fret about it - try some club taster sessions and see if he comes out asking for more ...


Peahen.


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My girls are 6 and sleep 7-7 every night.


They’re happy with less and if we have a late night they cope but the norm is 12 hours


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Mine are 5 and 8 and still need about 12 hours (7pm-7am). In fact, when we try to keep them up later e.g. on holiday (as sharing a room often means we have to go to bed when they do!) DD will often announce at about 8 30 that she needs to go to bed. She has more frequent wetting accidents when she is tired too.

It is becoming a problem with after school activities and trying to get homework in. We take a picnic tea to eat at gymnastics before we come home otherwise we would get home at 6.30 then have tea and go straight to bed on a full stomach. Brownies is an issue- DD stayed on in Rainbows for an extra year as Brownies doesn't finish until 7.45 and we don't get home until after 8pm- plus it is a Monday so its not a great start to the week. We are trialling it but I'm not sure we can carry on as she doesn't engage particularly and is often wet when I collect her which is due to tiredness.

Homework- has to be fitted in between about 4.30 (need to unwind after school) and 5.30 (teatime) on nighrs when we have nothing else on as any later means we cannot get any focus from either of them. It often means we don't bother with homework!


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12+ hours needed here too at age 5 and oh can you tell if not enough sleep has been had...


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This seems a lot of sleep to me for a 7 year old. Our seven year old starts going to bed a 8:45pm usually asleep by 9:15pm and sleeps until 8:00am. Also not so much for the number of hours asleep but for the earlyness of bedtime, you must find it really difficult to get him to do anything after school. I can imagine, get home, do homework, start dinner, bath, bed?

Does he actually need to be up at 6:30am?


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Thanks, everyone. Our morning routine is really good and my LO is definitely a morning kind of person - I was just wondering about the end of the day. Thankfully I can see that I'm not the only person in this situation and so I'll just have to see how things go as he gets older Smile


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Can I ask why you think it may be a problem that your child needs a lot of sleep? Usually children and adults get too little sleep and your LO would not be sleeping over 12 hours if they did not need it.


My child is six and also sleeps at least 12 hours. Anything less and they become totally unmanageable and disregulated. Also my child is very tall and I have noticed that every time they are growing they need more sleep.


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Is there any reason he needs to be up at 6.15? If not start putting him an hour later to bed so that his bedtime is in the normal range. If he really needs that hour he'll wake up later as well.

In my opinion 6.15 for a 7 year old is too early, I personally would not go earlier than 7.00. Instead of having 13 hours I would give him a rest moment during the day if he really needs it, not in bed undressed, just on the sofa dressed with a pillow and blanket.

I have no idea or your child has learning disabilities or other special needs, as it is not unusual for those children to need extra sleep as llife takes a lot of energy and everything is more difficult for them. Friends have a 12 year old foster child who goes to bed at 19.30 every evening, they re happy because he talks non stop all day, he has special needs, the usual stuff, attachment, learning, behavioural.


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Both mine have always been good sleepers in terms of length of sleeping (don't get me started on the going to bed part....!). I always wondered if it was trauma related but we're many years on and it still holds true.


Anyway dd2 has always had to be woken in the mornings (from age 2) unless allowed to sleep in till 9 /10 am! She gets grouchy (as she puts it) when tired it's true, but I haven't worried too much about whether she continued to get her preferred 13 -14 hours as it's just not realistic once they start school etc. I suppose for most of primary school she slept from around 8pm to 7.30 am - can't recall exact bedtimes from age 7. If I were you I'd try Pluto's idea and see if you can put him to bed later so he wakes later. If it helps, dd1 was always an earlyish riser until she hit 8 - then she stopped dive bombing us in bed every morning!


Another point - back to dd2. Up until 4 she easily napped for 2 hours after lunch as well as sleeping 12 hours plus at night. In fact I often had to wake her after the 2 hours. I used to wonder sometimes if she was using sleep to avoid being awake / with me.


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I have a 14 year old here who still sleeps a lot. When she joined us she was almost 5 and she and her brother woke each other and us at about 5am. Over the years that has improved and she is now awake at about 7 and allowed down from 7.30 (although she often comes down earlier) This is because she hits the ground running and hubby does not so her constant chatter drives him crazy this early.


It does not matter what time she goes to bed (it was 1am this morning!) she still wakes at 7 but is just grumpier later in the week. She now goes to bed at 9 in the week and 10 at weekends. She regularly chooses to go up before this and always falls asleep as soon as her head hits the pillow. She stands in her room to wait for her goodnight kiss so she stays awake!


With sleep she is a lovely happy little girl, without it she is a grumpy, rude aggressive teenager. I put up with never having a lay-in!


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My younger daughter used to spend a lot of time asleep. She has an avoidant attachment and this was her way of avoiding us! She had therapy and stopped doing it.


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Really interesting as I was concerned about DD sleep. She is 8. Goes to bed at 7.30- 8ish and is up at 7am. In the holidays she has been sleeping until 9.30/ 10am!


But, school has been manic, she swims twice a week, does karate and has adhd. So I guess her body is recovering. She has a healthy diet and is in the healthy weight range.


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My daughter always had trouble getting to sleep - she has ADHD - but recently has needed to spend whole days sleeping for which she takes a break from her medication (with medical approval) - it is thought this need is related to her recent trauma and her need to process this so I generally let her take a sleep day just after (or sometimes before) therapy days - my support person says it is a form of dissociation. If she is sleeping those hours I would take it that she needs to for whatever reason, though tinkering around the edges to try to get other activities included in her day is also a good idea. These days people tend to have far less sleep than they need so it is good that she is able to take what she currently needs without difficulty


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