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Happy National Sleep Awareness Week, 2008!

Who knew there was a National Sleep Awareness Week?  I didn't.  The CDC offers some guidelines on how much sleep we should get.  In our household, our sleep routine isn't the smoothest, but I think we all come close to getting the "recommended" number of hours.  Sleep is an important thing for us all.  In honor of National Sleep Awareness Week, we invite you all to share in an open discussion:

What are your tips and tricks to helping your little ones get the sleep they need?  What are your tips and tricks to make sure YOU get the sleep you need?  What are chronic sleep issues you encounter?

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Ready? I flew my two kids to Arizona to visit my Mom, and with her capable support, I took a 4-hour nap. Yup. Four solid hours. Next time that'll happen? When we visit again in the fall. Glorious and sad.

How hilarious, to post this on a mother's blog. A study some years back said that mother's of young children get the least sleep of anyone else in our society.

Before I became a mother, 6 hours of sleep was grounds for leaving work early, going to bed early, or calling in late. Now, it's a pretty good night. I'll sleep when they leave for college....

I've struggled with varying degrees of insomnia for the past decade. Last fall, as we approached the birth of our first child, everyone warned me I was in for new and painful levels of sleep deprivation. I wanted to try cosleeping, but was worried that I would have trouble sleeping with the baby since I'm a light sleeper and often my husbands movements and sounds wake me up.

To my great amazement, in the 4 months since the baby was born, I'm sleeping better and more than ever! Is it the breastfeeding hormones? The fact that we walk for hours each day? The healthier diet? The pleasure of snuggling up with a cuddly baby at night? Whatever it is, it's awesome. He goes to sleep for the night at around 7, and I usually konk out at around 9 or even earlier (!!!) and we wake up sometime between 6 and 8. We do nurse during the night, but both of us more-or-less sleep through it most of the time (I barely remember it in the morning).

I don't know if it'll last, but right now, it's really, really nice.

I've struggled with varying degrees of insomnia for the past decade. Last fall, as we approached the birth of our first child, everyone warned me I was in for new and painful levels of sleep deprivation. I wanted to try cosleeping, but was worried that I would have trouble sleeping with the baby since I'm a light sleeper and often my husbands movements and sounds wake me up.

To my great amazement, in the 4 months since the baby was born, I'm sleeping better and more than ever! Is it the breastfeeding hormones? The fact that we walk for hours each day? The healthier diet? The pleasure of snuggling up with a cuddly baby at night? Whatever it is, it's awesome. He goes to sleep for the night at around 7, and I usually konk out at around 9 or even earlier (!!!) and we wake up sometime between 6 and 8. We do nurse during the night, but both of us more-or-less sleep through it most of the time (I barely remember it in the morning).

I don't know if it'll last, but right now, it's really, really nice.

With our girls now 7 and 4, our sleep routine has normalized considerably. They are asleep by 9pm, latest. Bedtime is 7:30-8pm and they talk in their bunks for a while. Often times, there is negotiation, last-minute trips to potties, water requests, etc, but it is not too much of a struggle, in the whole.

To my husband's frustration, I am a sleep hog by nature. I like to be in bed by 10pm. A mama needs her beauty sleep, right? I am thankful that we're at the stage right now wherein the kids are good about getting themselves to sleep.

Our real issue is transferring to our bed in the middle of the night. Both girls climb into our bed between about 1 and 4 am. It's a tight squeeze. Any suggestions on keeping them out of our bed? Any suggestions on getting them to let us sleep in on Saturday and Sunday mornings?

kind of interesting I was thinking yesterday about how unacknowledged it is that once you have kids that there is way more "family bed", co-sleeping, or just general sleep disruption then you would ever imagine. One of my neighbors mentioned sleeping in 3 beds a night as she dealt with an infant and a young child. I have been cuddling with my son lately as he goes to bed and have dozed off a couple times this last week. Just last night he ended up in my bed needing some comforting (after a dr appt and 4 shots!).

So sleep is an interesting topic!

I wonder how many families are routinely experiencing a set up besides everyone sleeping in their own bed all night.

My boys, ages 5 and 3, haven't realized it yet, but they go to bed incredibly early compared to their friends. They are normally in bed by 6:30, then some stories and cuddles, and are usually asleep by 6:47. Almost always 6:47--I guess we have our system down pat.

They usually sleep until 6:30 or 7:00 am, although 5:30 isn't unheard of. Not being a morning person, I experimented last summer with a month of putting the boys to bed closer to the 7:30-8:00 range. Horrible. They still woke up at the same time, but were super-cranky in the evenings.

As far as the family bed aspect...both boys have slept with DH and I since birth. When I was prego with #2, we started putting the older one in his own bed. So they both start the night in their own beds now. The little guy is a nighttime ninja, he slips into our bed, I have no idea what time, but I think around 1:00am-ish. The big guy spends most of the night in his bed; I know because he is as subtle as a mack truck when he gets in our bed, usually around 5-6am.

I am due with #3 in about a month (another boy!), and because #2 is always in our bed, I've decided to get one of those co-sleepers that attaches to the side of the parents' bed. Has anyone used one of these before? What did you think?

My 16 month old co-sleeps, which was wonderful for the first year.However, her increased mobility does not stop when the lights go out. She is a bed-hog and a blanket thief!
My husband and I are ready to have our 'marital bed' back.
We've tried the chair-next-to-the-crib-all-night-for-a-week technique. We've tried the mattress-on-the-floor technique (She just gets up and climbs into bed with us). Perhaps I should get a bigger mattress and sleep with her until she feels at home there.
Anybody have any tried and true tricks?

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