The other night, when Daddy and I were telling the Captain bedtime stories and Baby D had already gone to sleep in his own room, something happened that was strange….the Captain yawned. After four+ years of being the mother of this child, I realized that he doesn't yawn very often. I asked Daddy to confirm and he laughed and agreed, although we hadn't thought about it, really.
It's strange….Baby D yawns ALLLL the time and is a pretty good sleeper, but the Captain rarely yawns! I was reminded of back in the day when all the sleeping experts said to watch for cues that he is sleepy so we would know when to put him to bed. Well, one of the most obvious clues was yawning and he just would never yawn so we would never know. And if he did yawn, you bet we'd put him down that very instant! Which, often times, we'd put him down after a yawn and alas, he'd talk to himself in his crib for an hour before falling asleep, which stressed me out, but I got over it.
So what other cues were there to show he was tired? That's a good question. He's only told us he was sleepy a handful of times, mostly when he is sick. On New Year's Eve, we allowed him to stay up past midnight for the first time in his life. He went to sleep at about 12:45 and woke up just an hour later than his average time. He then took a nap of regular length and acted completely normal (for a four year old boy.) Weird. I'm still trying to catch up on the sleep I lost when the Captain was a baby. And no, I'm really not kidding! This kid slept 45 minutes at a time off and on until he was a few months old and as I've said many, many times, didn't sleep all the way through the night consistently until he was 18 months old. So, yeah, still catching up on that sleep.
The Captain hasn't always shown signs of exhaustion like I've heard that other children do. Sure, he gets a little grumpy if he misses his nap, but that boy can roll on and on without passing out until we MAKE him go to bed. With Baby D, you KNOW when he needs to go to sleep and that he can't make it much longer without closing his eyes and falling asleep…
So how can this be? Daddy loves sleep. Mommy loves sleep and doesn't function well without 8 hours. Baby D loves sleep and sleeps 11-13 hours a night and has slept through the night for most of his life AND usually is happy when it's time to go to bed! Then, there's the Captain, who rarely yawns, only ever fell asleep in his high chair once in his babyhood, fell asleep on the couch once, is bright eyed before all of the rest of us, no matter what time he went to bed, and told us last night that "I have energy all the time, I don't need to sleep." This is the kid that STILL wakes up in the middle of the night and comes to sleep on a tiny fold out couch on our bedroom floor, which CAN'T be quality sleep.
I heard a report once…and Business Insider reports, as well, that a small group – 1 – 3% – of the population can function very well on just a few hours of sleep. Some of these sleepless people are very successful, such as Donald Trump, who claims to only sleep 3 or 4 hours a night, Jay Leno, who only sleeps 5 hours a night, and Martha Stewart, who sleeps LESS THAN four hours a night. I am very interested to know how these people slept when they were children! Maybe they all caught up on their sleep as children so they didn't need as much as adults? ha! Either way, I'm not giving up on the Captain until he's a teenager and doesn't sleep until 10 or later on Saturdays…..
How much sleep do you need? What about your kids?