Last night while putting my 3yo daughter to bed, I noticed once again that as she fell asleep, her hands twitched slightly for a minute or two. If was definitely different than her “I’m not asleep yet, just breathing slowly” hand motions that she had exhibited just a few minutes earlier, trying to get comfortable and slow down.
I know about the stages of sleep, and I’ve certainly seen my dogs twitching and moving about as they sleep (and kids too, but dogs seem to be far more active in sleep in my experience), but I’m curious whether there’s a, what, psycho-muscular stage of sleep where your limbs flip around a bit?
Of course, the whole topic of “falling asleep” is a big one when you’re a parent, in my experience at least. I mean, you’d think that it wouldn’t be so hard to fall asleep if you’ve had a busy, active day, and goodness knows, kids need more sleep than we under-sleeping adults.
I mean, do you even get seven hours of sleep a night? I know so many people who are operating on a permanent sleep deficit, where they go to bed around 12-1am and then are up and moving (albeit sometimes slowly) by 6:30 or 7:00am. There’s no question that different people need different amounts of sleep (I need less than Linda, for example), but children definitely need quite a bit, and it’s not unusual for my kids to get 10-11 hours/night of sleep and still be slow to arise the next morning.
Indeed, babies are supposed to sleep more than they’re awake (like puppies!) and even when they’re in pre-school, I have been told time and again that 12 hours is the target sleep level for the wee ones.
Nonetheles,s the number of times I sit in the room saying “just close your eyes, breath as deeply and slowly as you can and let yourself drift off…” to my children is rather extraordinary. Of course, being an adult, I’ll sometimes drift off with them, then get up and read/watch a movie/email/whatever for a few hours before I finally go to sleep, just to wake up before they do anyway.
How about you? How much do you sleep? How much do your kids sleep? And, finally, do your kids exhibit any sort of involuntary motions or movements as they just transition from awake to asleep?