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     I was reading an article over the weekend about children and their sleeping habits. I found it particularly interesting because Cameron, on the one hand, will sleep like a log for 12 straight hours, whereas Taylor will sleep lightly for 6 or 7 (if we're really, really lucky). It also seems that no matter what time we put her to bed, bright and early she awakens. Astonished by this for 6 months, we tried all sorts of bedtimes, ranging from 8pm to midnight, but always the same thing... the pitter patter of feet begin by 6am (at least) without fail. Ugh!
    This leads me back to the article. The writer boasted that pre-school age children through 2nd graders should be getting an average of 13-14 hours of sleep per night. (GASP! That's about what I get in a week!!) THIS new mama was completely baffled, because those hours seem more like periods of hibernation than anything to me. I mean, do the kids have to wake up somewhere in the middle to stock up on food, drink, and to take a potty break? Or, at the very least, run a few laps to make sure their muscles don't start to atrophy?? But just then, my mind began to wander as it made mental lists of all the glorious things that I could accomplish in a day if the children slept for 14 hours.... I didn't even want to breathe for fear of jinxing the data. But, lo and behold, researcher after researcher reported the same thing on other articles that I checked out as well (ya know, just to see if this is really too good to be true).
     So, my question was, How in the world to you make them sleep that long? Clubbing them with a bat is obviously out (obviously), as is giving them Benedryll every night (but maybe some nights....?), and tying them down just seems like way too much work. But the writer KNEW this mama was gonna ask the tough questions and she was prepared. Her answer? Put the children to bed earlier. (Oh yeah, 'cause THAT'S gonna work.... she's never met Taylor, the world's most ridiculous sleeper.) However, the writer insisted that this was the way to go. She explained that when children don't get their 13-14 hours each night, they become sleep deprived. And when sleep deprivation sets in, not only are they crabby (duh), but they sleep restlessly, further adding to the sleeplessness. Hmmmm.... interesting.
     Ok, my curiousity was piqued. I wanted in! I wanted it so much I could almost taste it!! So, that night, we sent the kids to bed at 7:15 instead of their usual 8pm bedtime.... lucky for us, Cameron still refuses to learn how to tell time (there's a natural consequence for ya, buddy... refuse to learn? Go to bed 45 minutes earlier. Sweet satisfaction.) The next morning, both kids awoke at their normal times. Hazah! (Well, if it worked at 7:15.....)
     The next night we moved bedtime to 7:00 pm. (Just to see what would happen... this is purely for scientific purposes... it has nothing to do with the fact that there's a magazine on my nightstand that I'm dying to flip through.) Miracle of miracles, the kids slept a little bit later the following morning! If it weren't for chronic back pain (and shear inability) I would've done a back flip. Now, there may or may not have been an evening where it was 6:50 pm and we were lying in bed reading our nightly story (come on, don't judge! It was already dark out... and rainy AND cold.... and, heck, even I could've fallen asleep in those conditions!). Wouldn't you know it, those little squirts didn't wake up till quarter after 7 in the morning??? Sure, Taylor peed the bed, but the fact of the matter is, she slept! Thank you, sweet research team, for your revolutionary results that have made one mommy very happy (even if my husband DID create a plan for us to eat dinner on our way up the driveway from the school bus stop so that bedtime can be at 5 pm tomorrow.... in the name of research, of course.... Yes. Of course.).

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