We're into day 3 of our new bedtime routine. Right now, all three boys are sick. Not terribly sick, but they have colds with runny noses, cough, etc. Benjamin especially sounds bad today and will probably stay home from school tomorrow,.
What does that have to do with bedtimes? Well, Chris and I decided that one of the reasons they are sick is lack of sleep and a compromised immune system. This year they are all up by 6AM (Benjamin gets up at 5:30) and have been falling asleep after 9PM. That's partly because when they go to bed together, they spend time arguing about having lights on or off and how wide open the door should be.
For awhile, we contemplated how to give them their own rooms. Our house, however, just doesn't allow it. In order for them each to have their own rooms, we'd have to give up our "family room" and put the TV in the living room, something I'm not willing to do. So the dormroom stays.
Instead, Chris suggested that we stagger bedtimes. Since Sunday, we decreed that Kindergarteners go to bed at 7:30, 1st and 2nd graders go at 7:45, 3rd and 4th graders at 8:00, and 5th graders may stay up until 8:30. Amazingly, it has worked wonders. Jonathan has time to fall asleep before Alexander joins him, and Alexander is usually asleep by 8:30. They are easier to get up in the morning, too. Tonight at dinner, Alexander remarked that he likes the new bedtimes (!) Now the only question is why we didn't think of this earlier.