13 Things Kids Do When They Should Be Sleeping


My kids love their sleep – usually. Sometimes, they come up with a myriad of excuses why they aren’t tired, they don’t need to go to bed, and they can just hang out with me instead. When I ask them to please rest anyway, they find a wealth of other activities that are more fun. Or at least less sleep-inducing. Here’s a list of 13 things kids do, and the inexhaustible opportunities my kids take advantage of when I think they’re sleeping…

1. Pooping. This is the most-used excuse for not napping I’ve ever heard of, in my house or other parents’. “Go to sleep!” “Nope, gotta poop.”
2. Playing dress up. Costumes are more imaginative than pajamas.
3. Doing puzzles. Apparently it calms their minds. Or something.
4. Meeting up with siblings. In the bathroom. Like 12-year-old girls skipping math class.
5. Reading. I’m not usually upset at this one, but still. Reading isn’t sleeping.
6. Blowing their noses. Or using annoying amounts of tissues for whatever other purpose they see fit (read: a pile on the floor).
7. Shining flashlights. Or any other toy that has flashing lights. Or a random fiber optic wand that was a wedding favor.
8. Staging a coup. My son has a knack for pretending his “snuggle buddies” are saving the world.
9. Singing. Loudly. Confidently.And I don’t mean lullabies. They’re typically blasting out the latest Disney ballad at the top of their lungs, complete with dance moves. I have dreams of Broadway.
10. Thinking deeply. I can always count on a profound statement or existential concern when I ask the kids what they’re thinking about when they aren’t sleeping.
11. Changing clothes. Their pajama pants were itchy or the tag in their shirt was scratchy.
12. Eating. They’ve either hoarded some fruit snacks, or pilfered some candy from the last holiday.
13. Making messes. To be fair, the kids make messes all day, every day. But it’s that particular time frame where they’re in their rooms and I’m nowhere in sight that they perform the epic toy box explosions.

So if your kids are doing any (or all) these things instead of getting their recommended 14 hours during a 24-hour period, know you’re not alone. You’re in a good, sleepless company.

Whitney Hsu is a wife, mom of three under 5, Jesus follower, worship leader, and writer. She writes about her journey, praying and laughing through motherhood at her blog, We’re Only Hsuman. You can follow her on Facebook, or find her on Twitter or Instagram, @OnlyHsuman.


If you liked Whitney’s post, you might also like my post 15 Things To Do Every Day To Show Your Kids You Love Them.

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  1. This is so cute! My kids tried all kinds of shenanigans to keep from going to sleep. They still do and my youngest is 8 now! It is a great study in tactics. Children are the best at getting what they want regardless of the circumstances. It’s really quite hilarious. Someday they will look back, like all of us, an wonder why they didn’t want to sleep because now we would pay someone to allow us to go to bed on time!

  2. I do have huge troubles trying put them to sleep, that’s because a 11 year old girl and 3 year old boy that doesn’t go to school yet …plus she s getting older like almost teenager which means that she does &likes so much different things than him does ,that make so difficult that moment.


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