Sleep Re-Imagined – A Hate Letter to 5am


January 30, 2015 by Katia

My kids watch a show called Shape Shifters. A shape shifter can shed its villainous human form and turn into just about anything:  a feather, a rocket ship or a slice of pizza but there is one revealing factor the shape shifters do not take into account – they will always maintain their original weight, thereby betraying their own secret time after time when the hunt for them begins, presenting endless opportunities to solve mathematical problems along the way.



My sleep is just the opposite of that. On the outside it may look exactly the same way it did before but it’s its original weight that’s been drastically altered. Life with kids often means sleep re-imagined. Here we are with our set of established expectations from Sleep: that it’s entirely ours. It belong to us. We are its owners and therefore control it. We navigate our sleep with the confidence of a ship’s captain and the delicacy of a glassmith and acknowledge that our path to a good or bad night’s sleep often lies in the choices we make. We painstakingly collect and analyze information about it and based on this life-long research we conduct, we each become an expert on the niche topic of our own sleep patterns. We even use sleep as a self definition tool in referring to ourselves as either “morning people” or “night owls”. And sure, we’ve all heard that some dramatic changes are to be expected when we become parents and we usually willingly surrender control over Sleep to an eight pounder but are we still as forgiving when our sleep is being hijacked by a sixteen pounder? This is when relativity comes into play. Relativity in our reaction. The one hour difference between a 6:30 and a7:30am rise does like a shape shifter and inflates to monstrous proportions when we’re talking 6am vs. 5am. Too often my night shape shifts into morning when I our toddler forces me to start my day at 4:45am.


Sleep is no longer what it used to be. You no longer surrender to Hypnos, the God of sleep, but rather turn yourself in, wondering what happens next. Sleep is no longer a monolithic entity, it’s broken into chapters:


Chapter 1: When you got kicked in the rib cage for the first time by Five Year Old Sleeping in Your Bed


Chapter 2: When You Realized that the Kick Was Actually Not “A” Kick but a Kicking Session


Chapter 3: When Your Toddler Called You 15 Minutes After You Fell Asleep When the Kicking Session Stopped


Chapter 4: When Your 5 Year Old Woke up And Asked for Water at 5am


Chapter 5: And Wanted to Pee


Chapter 6: And Poo


Chapter 7: When Your Toddler Was Like “It’s 5:15am, Slacker, Rise and Shine!”


Sleep reimagined is anything but a natural act. It’s a negotiation item, a battle, a goal. It comes with a set of terms and artificial aids.

ear plugs

In sleep re-imagined sleep becomes ‘despite’ instead of ‘just because’.


It is often said that young children refuse to take in food or adhere to their potty training because food consumption and bowel movement are the only things they have control over. We’re accustomed to think that as parents we are the ones with control, but is that really so?


Do you feel like your sleep is re-imagined too?

This post was a Netflix Stream Team post on the topic of Re-imagined. Netflix offers a variety of re-imagined shows based on stories that were adapted from literature. This month Netflix released the show Puss in Boots. Some of our personal favourite re-imagined movies on Netflix are: The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  What are your favourite reimagined movies or shows?

20 thoughts on “Sleep Re-Imagined – A Hate Letter to 5am

  1. Lindsay says:

    At my house, a 6 am wake up is a rare moment to behold & treasure. Most days, we’re up by 5:30. Today? 4:45. I miss my sleep. Beloved, desired, longed for, uninterrupted sleep.

  2. larva225 says:

    If I sleep past 4:30 that’s “sleeping in.” Little bastards.

  3. oh2bhuman says:

    ….and then when the wee darlins grow up and out of the house, you think “awww finally sleep…” but #1 you have become a light sleeper over the years and then #2 menopause sneaks up on you and the good ol’ hot flashes wake you up…cold, hot, cold hot……oh for those days of waking up to a little ones voice…if you get a chance, take a read of my post called “Childhood…the Last Time”…beautiful poem about your growing children.

  4. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says:

    My kids are older and, at my house, sleep is a double edged sword for sure. My girls are actually great sleepers and will even sleep in on Saturdays & days off school. BUT, this is disastrous on school mornings. I have to fight to drag them out of bed at 6:30 and everyone is grumpy and miserable. Believe it or not, I actually wish sometimes that they would rise on their own around 5:30 or 6:00 so our mornings would be a little easier. Then, Saturday rolls around again and I am so, so grateful that they sleep in!

    • Katia says:

      I complete believe you, Lisa, I’m sure that once they hit a certain age when they are more self-reliant, if doesn’t interfere with your own sleep if they wake up early, fix their own breakfast etc. I totally get how hard it is to try to get them to wake up! Hope you had a good sleep this weekend 🙂

  5. amycake76 says:

    Last night the furnace was making funny sounds. Not that we could hear them in our bedroom. But our five year old could in hers. And no one slept.

  6. jamisonstar says:

    My absolute favorite re-imagined movie based off a book, is Sense and Sensibility, an off the wall re-imagined one is Clueless based on Jane Austin’s Emma. My eldest daughter likes The Hunger Games movies my younger ones like The Harry Potter Series. As a child I loved the X-Men cartoon, but couldn’t watch it with people because they became annoyed with me pointing out the differences between the comics and the show, still stands true today with the newer cartoons and movies.

    • Katia says:

      Great choices! I think it’s really cute that you would watch X-Men as a child and point out the differences. I’ll tell this to my 5-year-old as another proof that girls are not just about Barbie, glitter and sparkles 🙂

  7. My 5yo’s newest thing is sleeping with his head on mine when he wakes up in the middle of the night hollering “MOMMY!” Also can somebody please explain why, on school days, I have to wake him up and we rush around and on non-school days he’s up at dark:30? I don’t get it. Great post, Katia!

    • Katia says:

      I know. Kids and Murphy’s Law are best buddies. Mine just never sleep not during the week not on weekends, but I get how super annoying it is when that week days vs. weekend scenario happens. Also, I didn’t know Tucker was sleeping with you too. Doesn’t your back kill you? I’m so tired from Ben sleeping in our bed and waking up so often. 😦

  8. Started our day at 4 am this morning so this was a great read for me. Love the idea of the weight of sleep changing when you become a parent. I think its even more so true for mothers. I don’t sleep nearly as heartily as ever did before. In some ways I miss sleep, but in many others I’m grateful that if I have to give it up, it’s for my daughter. I love your image of the difference between 6 and 7 and then 5 and 6. It’s so true. How does 1 hour make such a difference?! ahha, we may never know 🙂

  9. Oh there is such a difference between 4:45 and 5:45, isn’t there? 4:45 is cruel. Even 5:45 is nasty. I feel for you Katia. I used to take great comfort knowing that the light on in the house across the street was on because that mom was awake with a littlie just like me.

    • Katia says:

      Oh, I have an identical situation with one of my neighbours, Kelly! I always look at her window for comfort. When that light is off, though, that’s when it gets UBER depressing 🙂

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