If there is anything about having an au pair — or anyone, really — in the bedroom on the third floor that bothers my DH, it’s noise after 10:30 pm. He is a fussy sleeper, and it drives him nuts to be able to hear a tv, or a phone conversation, while he’s trying to fall asleep. So, we have ‘quiet hours’ (when you turn the volume down), and rugs on the floor, and ask our au pair to close the door of her room and at the top of the steps so that sound doesn’t float downstairs, and that usually does the trick.
Well, actually, let me restate that: The sound-reducing strategies solve the problem of us not being able to fall asleep, but it doesn’t make sure that our au pair herself gets enough sleep.
For PAHM, her au pair not getting enough sleep has become a serious problem. She writes:
I have a request for a topic….SLEEP!!!
My au pair stays up until all hours of the night and into the early morning. She is usually on the internet. Occasionally I hear her speaking German. At times she is VERY noisy on the phone and it wakes me up and i have to remind her to please be more quiet. Thankfully my kids are sound sleepers and her being up all hours has never woken them
She is often too tired to interact with the kids during the day. I often catch her sleeping on the couch while she is on duty. My boys are 8 and 5 and very active. They get really disappointed when AP is too tired to engage with them, which seems to be nearly everyday.
I have a curfew in my handbook, but it really only applies to going out… it would seem a little too controlling to have a “bedtime”. After all, she is an adult.
I have suggested to her that she need sleep for good health, to enhance her mood, and even to help her sustain a healthy weight, but none of those arguments has gotten her to go to sleep earlier.
She has been with us for several months, and this has been going on for a long time. Any ideas what I should try next?