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Sleepovers & Bedtime

Dealing with “I'm Not Tired”

Just about every parent, at one time or another, has heard the old "I'm not tired" line when it was time for their child to go to bed. And while hearing it may be something all parents go through, how you handle it will set the stage for many other "I'm not tired" nights to come!

Children and Sleep at Bedtime

There are many reasons why a child may claim they are not tired when it is time to go to bed. Sometimes, they really aren't tired. But that doesn't mean it should provide them with a "get out of bedtime free" card! If you let your kid stay up simply because they claim they are not tired, you will likely hear them exclaim it on many nights thereafter. If children really are not tired when it is time to go to bed, it is a good idea to look at what may be causing it. Perhaps they are falling asleep during the day, going to bed a little early for their age, or have been eating too much, too close to bedtime. Children in elementary school, typically go to bed around 8:00 p.m., give or take an hour. But if your child has been going to bed at 7:00p, perhaps it is time to change the bedtime to 7:30 or 8:00, and so on.

Winning the Bedtime Battle

When your child first says they are not tired, that's the time to nip it in the bud. Respond by explaining that they still need to go to bed and follow their bedtime routine. One of the best ways to encourage a healthy sleeping pattern and beat the "I'm not tired" battle is to establish a bedtime routine that you consistently follow. Even if your child says they are not tired, still follow their normal bedtime routine. If it is an isolated incident, it is not much to worry about. However, if it is a recurring problem, and they really are having difficulty, you will need to determine what is causing it and then address that issue. If you can't pinpoint a reason and are still having problems with it, be sure to bring it up with your physician.