Sunday, February 03, 2013

So, about sleep and flow...

Annalise asleep in the front yard, Spring 2012
Last week, both children were staying up until after 9am, and sleeping through the day. I thought it was an odd variation in their sleep patterns (they often fall asleep  in the wee hours of the morning, and wake in the early afternoon hours, it seems...). 

This happens every so often, and then they shift back to "normal".

But now, as I'm watching their sleeping patterns moving toward that place, by an hour or so each night, I'm having a new thought about this...

The times I think of as their "natural" sleeping and waking cycle correspond fairly well with my own schedule.
Chillaxin' under a quilt her grandma made.

I don't think that this is a coincidence.

I think I was still carrying around this leftover idea that their schedules should somewhat match my own.  And all those times when it didn't were aberrations, times I waited eagerly for the end of, so that my sense of normalcy could return.

And that is rather odd, because my own schedule tends to shift, too...I am wakeful with the full moon, and tend to write prolifically at those times, and sleep very little.  After that full moon ends, I catch up on sleep, and go to bed much earlier (therefore also rising sooner)...

So, why should the children keep regular sleep schedules, when I don't?

What benefit would there be, in it, for them, or for me?

He fell asleep using the computer, summer 2011.

 We used to enforce bedtimes here, and sometimes not so nicely. It was a near-nightly struggle, and a lot of energy was wasted in getting it all done, from my point of view, and in avoidance of ending their day before they were ready, from the kids'.

Now, they're old enough that, when our schedules don't mesh, it still works out.

We don't make commitments we can avoid at hours when we often are asleep (early mornings, not at all our thing!).

When we do need or want to do something that involves odd schedules, or a lot of intensity (like going to a conference, or camping, or an event that happens earlier in the day than we are usually moving, or Jim ends up in the emergency room, and we spend an entire night there... these things are easier to adjust to than they used to be, because we all understand our own needs for sleep and wakefulness, and everyone is able to honor their own body's needs, We rest when tired, rise when rested.

Not only that, but life is far more peaceful, and we can each do what we like until we are ready for sleep.

Which is where I'm headed, soon....sweet dreams! =D

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