During my quest for insomnia relief, there has been an overlapping event that has given me some more to think about. My son is not a baby, he’s two and a half years old, but in the last two weeks he has transitioned into his own bed. No more crib.
He has always been a pretty agreeable sleeper. Now things are a little bit trickier because he does not have to stay in his bed. There is nothing to stop him from getting up, walking to the door, opening it, walking down the hall, and then jumping on my head or turning on my light one minute later, or at three in the morning, as happened recently.
This is not exactly baby insomnia, but I feel like some of the reasons for insomnia that I have are not so dissimilar. We are both restless. We are both curious and imaginative and have a hard time getting our brains to shut down at night. We both play hard, so it stands to reason that we would also sleep hard, but that’s not really how it goes very often.
But things have been getting better over the last couple of weeks. Now he has developed his own brand of terminal insomnia (no, it doesn’t kill you, it just means you wake up in the night and can’t go back to sleep). He will begin to cry late at night after having been asleep for two, three, or six hours. Then, no surprises there, he doesn’t really want to go back to sleep.
Even though it is difficult, the answer to his version of baby insomnia has been pretty simple: pick him up, put him back in his bed, turn out the lights, and above all else, don’t start playing or reading stories with him, which is what he wants.
Maybe I’m becoming a heartless monster, but he never cries for more than a couple of minutes once he understands that it really is time for sleeping.
Now if only I had someone to tell me no and force me back into bed when I get up in the night to read…
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