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Another early meet start question

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MILgymFAM

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I got the schedule for my girls next meet and they have a 7:30 report time at a meet an hour away. I have to get both their hair ready and sleeping with it done from the night before is not an option for us, so they will have to get up around 5:45. They are 13 and 15. My YDD gets car sick, so they won't be eating before either.

Here is my conundrum: my girls are serious night owls. They are homeschooled and I have let them follow their natural rhythms as long as everything that needs to get done gets done. My ODD typically goes to bed around 12:30 (she has to get up earlier than YDD for her college classes), but my YDD rarely goes to bed before 1 am, usually closer to 2. Even when she was in public school she would lay in bed and stare at the ceiling for hours, trying to fall asleep. She typically sleeps until noon.

Now my question: should I attempt to roll back their entire schedule for one meet or just let them tough it out and be tired this one day? If I were going to attempt to adjust their sleep rhythm just a bit, how far out should I start? In increments or all at once?
 

ldw4mlo

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Role back their bedtime. It's kind of a life skill. We can't always go to sleep and wake when we want. Very rare is the person who can do that all the time. And it's a safety issue. Tumbling is not something you want them to plow through, sleep deprived and with low blood sugar.

From the varied shift working Mom, who deals with a plethora of wake and sleep times, during the week/month
 

trampolinemom

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That is quite a difference they have to overcome. I would try and change their sleepinghabits a bit because of what ldw4mlo says, not being safe when tumbling sleep deprived.
We did some rearrangement here with our boys with 10 minutes difference a day. So each day, get up 10 minutes earlier and go to bed 10 minutes earlier. Than you can adjust without too much difficulty an hour in one week.
You have a lot of difference to overcome so maybe start by waking them up at say 10 am. First days will be a bit hard but they might get sleepy a bit earlier. And then firther adjust with the 10 minutes a day if necessary. If they are used to get up at say 8.00 they will easily survive the one meet day of getting up at 5.45.
 

OzZee

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I'd go for the they will be tired thing.
They are likely to just be up lying in bed if you try to make them go to bed too early.
Well that's what would happen for me.
Hopefully they'll sleep in the car to gain a bit back.
 
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emorymom

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Melatonin supplements help with this (as "jet lag" is one use), and caffeine in the morning. This may be an unpopular response but they are teenagers. That's a parenting decision. I wouldn't want them tumbling on beam etc. without having a rested and then alert brain.

My son had a 6am call time 1 hour away one time when he was 10 and I blacked out his window and with newspapers and started moving his bedtime earlier about four days prior. It was rough but we pulled it off and he got to sleep by 7 or 7:30 on the night.
 

GymnsticsLife

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I have a similar issue. I have a report time of 7:45 in the morning for a meet 3 HOURS AWAY. It is not possible for us to wake up at 4:00 am. We are driving out the night before and sleeping in a hotel.
 
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triplethreat+1

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I would also roll back their schedule. One thing that can help is a light box- used for treating SAD- using it for 30 min when they first get up will help adjust their circadian rhythms. I also found it made me more alert (and cheerful of course, that's what it's for).
 
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Mish

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Is going the night before and staying in a close hotel an option? We do this when we have the 7:30-8 am start and the drive is more than an hour. We are not morning people ;)
 

MILgymFAM

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Role back their bedtime. It's kind of a life skill. We can't always go to sleep and wake when we want. Very rare is the person who can do that all the time. And it's a safety issue. Tumbling is not something you want them to plow through, sleep deprived and with low blood sugar.

From the varied shift working Mom, who deals with a plethora of wake and sleep times, during the week/month

I'm not sure if it's sender or receiver, but I have to be honest; your post comes off judge-y. I guess I'm lucky that I've managed to get by all these years without said valuable life skill. I've worked a myriad of shifts in my life too, and I have never gone to bed before midnight unless I was sick or recovering from surgery. I am just not someone who can fall asleep early. I am someone who can get by on very little sleep, if needed. Like right now for instance. I am reading replies after driving my husband to the train to save him from a wet bike ride. I went to sleep at 1:30am and drove him at 5:30. I'll survive, but I couldn't go to bed at 10 if I wanted to.

Funny thing is that once I stopped fighting my natural circadian rhythm with my work schedule, I pretty much stopped getting sick. I basically never get sick and haven't in years. It's generally healthier imo to listen to your body. I would say that having a work/life schedule that isn't a good fit for you is something that is absolutely within your control.

As for the girls, my YDD was sleep deprived in public school with a 7am start because we never did figure out how to will her to sleep. Also, I would (conservatively) estimate that about 75% of the teenage gymnasts that we are personally acquainted with tumble while sleep deprived. Teen + gymnast = chronically sleep deprived in our experience. My question just came from wanting my DDs to have an enjoyable day, knowing that they will want to stay all three sessions and cheer for their teammates.

Melatonin supplements help with this (as "jet lag" is one use), and caffeine in the morning. This may be an unpopular response but they are teenagers. That's a parenting decision. I wouldn't want them tumbling on beam etc. without having a rested and then alert brain.

My son had a 6am call time 1 hour away one time when he was 10 and I blacked out his window and with newspapers and started moving his bedtime earlier about four days prior. It was rough but we pulled it off and he got to sleep by 7 or 7:30 on the night.
My YDD already takes melatonin and both girls have blackout curtains. YDD has just always had a lot of trouble sleeping. She wakes up if you even look at her bedroom door! Ha! I asked them about the issue last night after posting and they were both dubious of rolling bedtime earlier than 11:30- on meet weeks (and sometimes random weeks), we don't get home from practice until around 11. Going to bed before 11:30 would be hard unless they sleep in the gym. My DD did joke that it will be a caffeine for everyone type of day!

I would also roll back their schedule. One thing that can help is a light box- used for treating SAD- using it for 30 min when they first get up will help adjust their circadian rhythms. I also found it made me more alert (and cheerful of course, that's what it's for).
I honestly haven't heard of this- going to google. Thanks for the suggestion!

Is going the night before and staying in a close hotel an option? We do this when we have the 7:30-8 am start and the drive is more than an hour. We are not morning people ;)
I considered it, but then I was weighing the lower quality of sleep in a hotel bed against an extra hour of lower quality sleep in a hotel bed. Ha!

and if you are trying to get them to sleep, no screen time for an hour before bedtime, and avoid LED's the blue light causes wakefullness
We do this already, thank you!
 

skschlag

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I think that kids do what they need. I could try to get mine to sleep earlier but it's not going to work. I think you talk to them, wind them down a bit earlier. They will get up and function fine imo. They are more resilient than we think. They will get hyped up and excited, and may crash after..

Good luck
 

mommyof1

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I considered it, but then I was weighing the lower quality of sleep in a hotel bed against an extra hour of lower quality sleep in a hotel bed. Ha!
This cost-benefit calculation has led us to avoid staying over the night before a meet whenever possible.

Sometimes I will do my daughter's hair in the car on the way to meets. Can your daughters do each other's hair in the car to allow for a slightly later wake-up time?
 

GymDad9.9

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This cost-benefit calculation has led us to avoid staying over the night before a meet whenever possible.

Sometimes I will do my daughter's hair in the car on the way to meets. Can your daughters do each other's hair in the car to allow for a slightly later wake-up time?
Definitely something to be said about sleeping in your own bed!
 
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MILgymFAM

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This cost-benefit calculation has led us to avoid staying over the night before a meet whenever possible.

Sometimes I will do my daughter's hair in the car on the way to meets. Can your daughters do each other's hair in the car to allow for a slightly later wake-up time?
My ODD can do the beginnings of both of their hair (braided ponytails), and maybe I can sew the buns in quickly on arrival. That buys about 20-30 mins of extra sleep, so seems like a solid plan to me!
 

dancingimmie

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Have you ever tried sleepy time tea? When my dd is having trouble sleeping I make her a small cup and it does the trick. I'm not sure if it really does anything but the important thing is she believes it does so it works!!
 
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MILgymFAM

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Have you ever tried sleepy time tea? When my dd is having trouble sleeping I make her a small cup and it does the trick. I'm not sure if it really does anything but the important thing is she believes it does so it works!!
We have- my girls now drink it in the morning because they like the flavor! We have also tried calms forte back when they were in school.
 
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duyetanh

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Ok, I will play.

I was in a very competitive sport back in the day....and my coach did all these studies on sleep. I clearly remember his words and they stick with me today: The amount of sleep the night before an event does not have nearly as much impact as the two nights before that. He was and still is a very knowledgeable man, and it definitely held true for me...I hardly ever slept much the night before a meet!

So....if they are getting plenty of sleep the days prior to the event, as long as they are getting SOME sleep the night before they will be fine. Yes they might need coffee to help stir the senses at a higher level, but they will be OK. I do also remember my coach mentioning how a day to free the mind up also helps if possible, and this held true for me....so I do the same with my kid and it helps her too (I am lucky though, she is homeschooling, and I did not even think of doing this until she hit optionals, because she didn't need prior "meet downtime" then).
So my two cents is to rest up beforehand, get as much as you can the night before, do the hair anyway you can, and to have fun!
 

l.c.o

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Have you already tried a diffuser and lavender? I'd been stubbornly against trying essential oils until DD spent the night with a friend who had one and loved it. It actually seems to help my DD relax and fall asleep to some degree.

(I'm still not nuts about them, but DD can run with it if she wants).

My DD also has a bit of a later circadian rhythm... To bed at 10:30-10:45pm, but rarely falls asleep before 11:15-11:30, and if she has her way, sleeps until at least 10:30am. We finally stopped fighting it a couple of years ago. When we'd send her to bed at 9:00, she'd just lay in bed for hours. (I mean, even as an infant she'd be up until 10:30pm, then sleep through the night until 7am or so... sounds glorious until you learn that in exchange for this, she did not nap).

If it were me, I'd try to get DDs to bed a bit early and let them sleep as late as possible. Is there anything that might help them sleep... Like reading or a lavender bath? Extra activity? Being lazy? I'd also do the minimum required for hair, etc, in the morning while she wakes up, then hop in the car and hope they somehow sleep on the way. Then a light breakfast quick as she walks into the venue... But that's just me. ;) I say that one day of limited sleep shouldn't be too hard on them.
 

twinmomma

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So, this last weekend DD's meet call time was 8am. Meet was over an hour from our house, and my DD is also a night owl. Now, she is also in traditional schooling so maybe this doesn't translate as well, but home or not she wouldn't have gotten a ton of sleep that night. What I didn't want was to have to wake her and get her ready at 5am and rush everyone out of the house with mad stress. I made sure she got plenty of sleep the night before that, and we took our time getting out that way (as you know LOL). You're right, hotel sleep sucks, for everyone, but for us it's worth the lack of rushing in the morning and the added stress that causes. She still only got probably 7 hours of sleep at most, nowhere near enough, but she was fine. She was anxious and looked at your photos of the venue so she had an idea of what she would be walking into, but that would have happened at home too. I think a huge part of it is personality of the kid and the lesser of evils when weighing staying over vs. the early wake up.
 
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