In Ask Sherry, Life, Parenting

Ask Sherry: How much sleep do I really get? Honestly speaking!

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In your money diaries you often put that you go to bed earlier – like 6 or 7 pm.

All my Week of Money posts can be found here.

6? I don’t remember 6 p.m… unless I was really conked out and sick. Usually it is more 7 or 8…

So sleep is one of those tricky things that is hard to pin down as I don’t have a FitBit which I hear from another mother, tracks your sleeping time as well (nor do I want one)…

I do “sleep” at 7 or nowadays, 8, but this is a loose bedtime. I tried being strict with: WE MUST GET LITTLE BUN DOWN FOR BED AT 7, but then I gave up because sometimes he got hungry at 7, and I would feed him, or I would not want to stop the game we are doing too soon… I figured to each their own.

I never had a set bedtime and I turned out fine, and in Europe no one ever forces kids to go to bed by the clock, so I’m adopting my French side’s perspective on this issue.


Kids regularly stay up late and hang with adults until everyone goes to sleep, and there is no frustration or anger at “sleeping early” (especially if Little Bun doesn’t actually have school the next day), and they don’t wake up angry during the night, or lie there unable to sleep because they hear fun sounds happening in the kitchen. LOL…

I usually try to end up READY for bed around 7-ish or 8-ish, which means pajamas on Little Bun, my face is washed and covered in lotions and potions, and we’re all in bed.

My partner at this point is definitely already lying down, half dozing off because Little Bun doesn’t want him at all at night, and I’m the one wrangling him into bed.

After about a half hour of nonsense and tomfoolery, like running around like a banshee, jumping like a kangaroo and then wanting to suddenly eat food, drink, or play with Daddy (I can tell when the request is a real need and when it’s a fake one just to avoid bedtime by time), I manage to get him INTO BED, lights off, around 8:30 or so.

Then the fight to get him to sleep begins.

I’m already half dozing off beside him, my partner is halfway into Lullaby Land (only awaken temporarily from time to time by squeals from Little Bun or scolding from me directed at Little Bun), and I am just trying to keep a blanket on him, and to get him to SLEEP.

I would say by 9 is when he actually settles down, stops wiggling, stops asking for water (he does not need), and stops asking for the bathroom, and closes his eyes and starts breathing slowly to fall asleep.

Is that ALL of you going to bed early or just your kid?

Yes, we do all sleep at the same time, and pretty much wake up on his schedule.

When I am sick AF and really tired, or just brain dead, I get ready for bed MUCH sooner, around 7 for sure, and lie there reading books to him or just half dozing off.

I would definitely say that I don’t actually sleep right away, and sometimes my brain still needs time to calm down (if I am not tired), and I sometimes feel myself lying there, awake, with insomnia until about 10 or so… or that’s how it feels anyway, I forbade myself to check the time in these cases because the light would wake me up and knowing the time would stress me out that I am missing out on sleep.

During the night, Little Bun also wakes up a LOT, and interrupts our sleep.

He squeals for the blanket, potty, water, Mommy, math, reading, you name it.

He wakes up from nightmares, he wakes up when he is too hot, too cold, not on the right pillow, missing his toys, not close enough to Mommy, not on the bed, on the bed, outside of the bed, upside down on the bed….. etc…

How many hours of sleep do you usually get?

Personally, I know my body and I need a solid 8 – 9 hours of sleep.

This is… this just makes me laugh and cry tears of sadness writing that because I have not consistently slept 8-9 hours in a very long time… over 4 years.

I am someone who needs to sleep a lot, and maybe as I get older this will diminish and I will need less.

My partner has noted that as he has aged, he has needed less sleep but now prefers to nap during the day… which I think contributes to needing less sleep but who am I to say anything.

If I nap during the day, I cannot sleep at night unless I am sick AF and so tired and drugged off cold and sinus pills that I can sleep at any time, anywhere.

Sometimes my body is so exhausted, I can also nap 2-3 hours during the day, but then fall asleep easily at night and sleep..

For ACTUAL sleeping time, I would say on a good day, I sleep at 9-ish, and wake up at 5-ish, sometimes if I am lucky, 6…. so that says technically it should be 8 hours, but as I rarely achieve deep REM sleep during those 8 hours due to Little Bun waking up tomfoolery, I feel like my actual sleep is closer to about 5 hours.

Just enough to function, barely enough to use my brain at work sometimes, but adequate fuel to run off on for the next few weeks until my body just does that 2-3 hour nap thing on the weekends and drops into exhaustion at night to “recharge”, which I hear is not really a thing because you cannot “catch up” on sleep and eliminate your “sleep debt”.

So to recap, I need about 8-9 hours of solid, uninterrupted, sleep and I get maybe 5.

If I get 6-7 hours, then I feel REALLY good, but then my body wants even more sleep (stupid body).

The last factor, is that if Little Bun constantly wakes up in the past 2-3 weeks pretty consistently, my brain gets primed and ready to wake up at any time, so it won’t allow me to drop into deep REM because I am unconsciously anticipating that he is waking up.

I know this is as FACT because there are times where Little Bun sleeps perfectly fine, like a little sweet cherubic angel, no snoring, no squealing, and everything is in harmony, but then my brain just goes: FUEAATETEHh..ZZZH?? .. Little Bun? …. Fzzzzhhehhhe??? .. and I am awake, going through a cycle of anticipation and trying my hardest to fall back asleep as fast as possible.

I know a mother who says she used to take Tylenol or Advil voluntarily even if she wasn’t sick, so that she could use the sleep drug in there to keep her brain foggy so she would be able to drop back to sleep instantly even if her kids woke her up, so she could get SOMEWHAT of a decent rest and not feel like some braindead zombie from sleep deprivation.

When will all of this end? Maybe when he turns 5, I hear. I hope. Who knows? Right now I am just trying to survive.

Along the same lines – do you not go out in the evenings very often because you go to bed early? I have friends who fade at like 845 so we meet for early dinners then they bail and head to bed for 9.

 

To answer the second part of your question, I have no life.

Bottom line, I do not go out at night.

I need an Early Bird Special for everything, and I only get #% done before 6 p.m.

My partner goes out once in a while (once every year LOL) but even he is home at 10-ish, 11 at the very latest.

We are exhausted, sleep-deprived parents who have no life. I am not complaining because I was never really a partier or a Night Owl to begin with so I feel close to zero loss of anything as I never got used to it to begin with, but I do miss that people can’t seem to meet up until 7 p.m. at the EARLIEST and by that time I’m ready to be like: yo… I’m putting a scrunchie in my hair and about to pass out…

If I go out to eat for whatever reason, I make sure it is super early, the minute the place opens, and I don’t stay past 8:30, 9 LATEST because I am factoring in driving home, washing my face, getting ready for bed, and hoping to sleep by 9:30, if not 10, so that the 5 a.m. wakeup is not brutal.

If I am really having a good time though, I’ll have to weigh that between losing sleep and how much I want to stay and feel like a regular human with friends, and a social life.

What I will say, is that I never manage to stay out past 11 p.m., and the one time I came home around 9:30-ish, Little Bun had refused to dress in pajamas, and conked out cuddling his father’s arm because he was waiting for Mommy to come home.

I felt Mommy Guilt and Very Terrible, but at least I know he will go to sleep eventually, even if it is super late, and he won’t be angry if Mommy isn’t home…


BY THE WAY.. I would like to note that this is just my child and not necessarily because we Co-Sleep.

We DO co-sleep, but I know parents who put their kids in their own beds at night, and have to get up 5 – 7 times a night for the SAME NONSENSE. But these parents are getting out of their warm, comfy, snoozy beds and having to walk in a cold apartment, in the dark, to deal with whatever BS they find in their kid’s room.

My child, sleeping alone or with us, would be just as terrible at sleeping. I am just not lucky in that regard. He is not a heavy sleeper and dreams a lot.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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2 Comments

  1. SarahN

    Wow you really make me think I don’t want to take the gamble of a child who’s as restless with sleep beyond being a baby. It terrifies me, as like you I need a lot of sleep and hate the people who aren’t free til 7pm

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      That.. is.. me. I am in bed by 8 and exhausted.

      Reply

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