Sunday, June 27, 2010

Late night life

I have always been a late night person, I feel better at night. Over the years my kids have been staying up later and later.

Our kids have never had a set time that they had to go to bed. We have evolved into really late nighters more and more.

It has been so hot lately that they are staying up all night and sleeping late in the day. I think this will pass as time goes on and the seasons change. Isn't that life? Growing and changing with the times and seasons literally and figuratively.

Lately we have been going out at night around the neighborhood, last night we went out at 10:30pm. I walk and the kids all ride bikes. It's a way to get a little exercise and fresh air when it's a little more tolerable. Did I mention we have been in the high 90's with heat indexes in the low 100's, it was 104 last I checked. So the weather is having a bearing on our activities and times we do them.

We have lots of late night talks. We discuss all sorts of things. We sometimes play games or watch tv, a few might be on a computer, or drawing or playing.

They get pretty creative and play and make stuff up. The other night they were drawing, looking up how to draw ____ on the computer. They made all sorts of cool pictures that were left for me to see when I got up.

Pretty much what you do during the day we do at night. Learning happens all the time, life is 24/7 you should choose when you want to be awake and sleeping. The world is always awake, we have 24 hour stores and people who work the night shift. We do need people who are night time people to help the world run smoothly.

I remember a time several years ago ( like 8 or 9 years ago) that we used to prompt Kieran to start winding down or head to bed around 10pm. It wasn't a bedtime it was just a suggestion. Well Cassie was a toddler and she was up well until midnight running around. One night he asked why he had to go to bed while his little sister didn't.

Well Hello!      Lightbulb!

You don't HAVE to go to bed, you can go to bed when you want, I never thought of it, it was just a routine. What I think happened is he realized he wanted to stay up and so he did.

He would be asleep by midnight or earlier but because he wanted to. Actually Kieran still goes to bed before the younger kids, he is 15 now.

 It is important to listen to our internal clocks. Mine is all messed up after years of getting up for school even though I couldn't fall asleep until late at night.

I suffered migraines and insomnia because I had to conform to something that wasn't natural for me.

Right now Cassie is going through changes, she has herself on a really different  sleep/wake schedule. She has been staying up all night and sleeping all day. Then all this week she was getting up at like 7 am and going back to sleep around 10 or 11 am and then sleeping the whole afternoon. She has been really tired and requiring more sleep, I believe it is body changes, possibly the start of puberty?

What I do know is that she is tired and is requiring more sleep than usual so she is listening to her body and sleeping regardless of what time is on the clock.

My husband does have a day job and he goes to bed when he is tired and he gets up in the morning to go to work. He is a morning person but he also stays up later than most people who get up for work do.

Whenever daddy goes to bed that means it's time to quiet things down so he gets his sleep. Once in a while they will forget and get loud and wake him, but most of the time he sleeps undisturbed.

When they were babies they slept and woke on their own time, we never messed with that. So many people have kids and try to make them fit nicely into their lifestyle and schedule. Well I think that causes problems, babies know when they are tired and hungry or wet etc.....  We need to continue to trust and foster that as they grow.

Why do we have to live on an 8-5 work/school/day, bed by 9pm, up at 6am. I guarantee you that only a small percentage of the population actually thrive on that schedule.

School has set our young people up to live on their schedule regardless of what is natural. I know we as unschoolers do not live on any type of school schedule.

We live and learn naturally, we sleep when we are tired.

"I can't help noting that no cultures in the world that I have ever heard of make such a fuss about children's bedtimes, and no cultures have so many adults who find it so hard either to go to sleep or wake up. Could these social facts be connected? I strongly suspect they are."

~John Holt~ Teach Your Own


unschoolermom said...

I completely agree with this. I just wish it were still feasible in our home. Since we, as a family, decided to do daycare, I have to wake at 5:00 a.m. The daycare kids play - sometimes loudly - and will wake up Taliesin and Nathanael. So I try to get them to bed by 11:00 or so. But they are usually tired by then, anyway. I used to be big on not having a set naptime. But with so many different children here, we do have a quiet time - between 12:30 and 1:00 in the afternoon, everyone lies down to rest. Otherwise, everyone wants to lie down at a different time and everyone gets cranky with everyone else. I think it's just because there are so many different families here.


Lauren said...

That's so funny. I just wrote about this from a pre-schooler's level of learning! (Perhaps you're also participating in the unschooling carnival... hmmm... lol.)