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Getting Through Puberty (part three)

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:33pm

Addressing sleep

Kellen has always needed a lot of sleep, but when puberty hit, that was all he wanted to do. The weird thing was he was so tired, but he didn't want to go to bed. Bedtime was becoming one of those issues where he dug his heels in and wouldn't budge.

My philosophy in life is, "When things get rough, change it up".

Here are a few changes we made to address Kellen's tiredness:

Since there were evenings when he was so tired, he couldn't even eat dinner, I started offering him dinner after school instead.

We started giving him Melatonin about an hour before we wanted him to go to bed. This is an over the counter supplement which the bottle says, "Helps establish normal sleep patterns". Melatonin helps Kellen get nice and sleepy.

We decided to try getting Kellen to bed at 6pm. This seems ridiculously early for a teenager, but it really helped him to get more sleep hours in. This meant that we didn't take him anywhere in the evenings. If we had a meeting or family event to attend, we either skipped it or just one parent went. His behavior was atrocious when he was tired, so evenings were better spent at home.

There were evenings when he fought bedtime so much...again...we had to change it up. We'd give him Melatonin, turn out all the lights in the family room. Turn off the television and hide the remote, shut the door, and just let him fall asleep on the couch. After he went to sleep, we'd either lug him to his room, or just let him spend the night on the couch.

We also instituted "Pajama Day Saturday". Saturday's he could stay home all day in his pajamas and nothing would be expected of him. If worse came to worse, he was also allowed to take a "Mental Health Day" and stay home from school to sleep.

Reading this over it seems like we did not have much of a life during this time period. Fortunately, most of these changes were only needed temporarily.
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