It is 10:23 AM and my 11 year-old son is sleeping upstairs, that good sleep, his mouth agog, his conscious mind resistant to any barging through the door, stomping through the room, opening the curtains to the world parent intrusions, his limbs growing by the minute as he restfully whiles away the summer morning hours in tweener dormancy. It is summer and his camp does not begin until 12:30 so he has plenty of time, but the real issue is that he has trouble going to sleep at night, especially when he sleeps so late in the morning, he can go to 11 or 12 if I let him sometimes. His serene slumbering pose is in direct contrast to the tossing, turning, and frustrated tears at 1 AM in the morning when he cannot get to sleep and he shows up at our bedroom door asking what he should do. Last night he turned on his light an hour or so after laying down and read books until midnight when he turned off his reading lamp again. I said goodnight to him at 1, and he seemed tired. I know I am tired of staying up because I feel bad leaving him up by himself and now my lack of sleep is catching up to me as my day starts at 8. 7 hours last night is pretty good compared to most of this week, but then again he was still awake when I went to sleep which always leaves me a little unsettled. Remembering this I regret that I did not wake him earlier, but when I went in the room he looked so peaceful that I could not get myself beyond some mild rousing that I knew would probably not work. His doctor says he is a night person, that we shouldn’t worry about his lifelong problems going to sleep. Or waking up problems, depending on how you look at it. A boy needs his sleep, that much seems clear to me as I return downstairs and let him lie… but tonight I will probably regret it, any advice out there? Would you wake him up?
What did your parents do? I remember my own mom yelling at me from downstairs at regular loud intervals of maybe three or four minutes. I hated her in those moments as I resisted re-entering the world at her prodding.
He woke up himself at 10:35, hooray! I am off the hook for today… 10:35, still a little late but his doctor would be happy as he always says the correct time a child should sleep is until they wake up on their own. Fat chance during the schoolyear, but he got his beauty sleep on this July day!