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Children and sleep


Silver Member
S: 12st6lb C: 12st4lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 29.5 Loss: 0st2lb(1.15%)
My daughter is 10 years old. Yet agaun I am up with her. She panics and hates it if she is still awake when I want to go to bed. This is the 3rd week of her just not sleeping. I ahve finally given up tonight and let her come down for another hot chocolate. Every night i sneak quietly up the stairs, then hear her crying so come down again. I am finally getting to bed around 1am. I can't handle that. And some nights like tonight, it's ridiculous. I ahve tried what seems like everything. She doesn't play computer games, has no TV in her room, she reads, rescues sleep remedy, milky drinks. I try not to get irritated and make an issue, which is really hard. She doesn't seem that bad or sleep deprived which is worrying. SHe seems to be getting used to it. I'm ast my wit's end. Gonna make doc appoitment tomorrow. Today, we walked round Londond Zoo for 7 hours. SHe should be shattered. SHe wants to sleep. She just can't seem to do. Any ideas
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Silver Member
First off, I'm not a child psychologist and I don't have any children...

Thoughts are:

Some children don't like the sounds of an empty house, that feeling of 'no-one is downstairs, no-one is awake to protect me..'. Maybe try leaving the tv on quietly and the downstairs light on overnight?

Maybe if she falls asleep listening to some music, if she wakes up, she can just listen to that..

Try getting her to write a list of EVERYTHING that is worrying her. You might need to ask some questions to guide her, as she may not be able to think of anything... Such as: 'What were you dreaming of, before you woke up?' 'What worries you about the fact I'm in bed when you wake up?' This could also be she has something on her mind, that she would work out, but her mind needs to know that you are downstairs 'protecting' her, whilst her mind works it out?

Don't give her another hot chocolate/milky drink if she wakes up - sub-consciously she might be waking up now for the time alone with you.

About how long after she goes to bed do you try and go to bed? Try sending her up a little earlier and if you can, stay up a little later. Sub-consciously she might not be deep sleeping because she is listening out for you coming up to bed..

As your daughter goes up to bed, turn off the TV downstairs and just read/come on here/something quiet, that way your daughter won't be 'listening' for the sound of the TV going off and waking up.

Try going up and coming downstairs again a few times after she has gone to bed, but before you want to head off to bed.

Sorry, but that's it.... the extent of my thoughts...

Hopefully something might help..


Gold Member
S: 16st6lb C: 9st6lb G: 9st6lb BMI: 24.1 Loss: 7st0lb(42.61%)
I hope that your doctor can help. My son is 13 and is autistic and he has never slept.
It's not ideal but we cope now because at least he stays in his room and he watches dvd's (he can't read because of learning difficulties), he calls every 20 mins or so for some company but it's better than when he ran around the house all night and wouldn't let us leave him alone in his room.

If your doc can't help much (a general sleep difficulty is more difficult to deal with than a specific sleep difficulty) then you might want to find ways of dealing with the nights more effectively, like having a radio on in her room, or a television for her to watch dvd's. It is distressing for a child to be alone at night with no company.

We also have all the bedroom doors open at night and light on in his room and on the landing.


Silver Member
S: 11st3.5lb C: 10st9lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 25.6 Loss: 0st8.5lb(5.4%)
i have children but they havent got sleep problems but i do. its silly but if i manage to fall asleep before my hubby i sleep sound if he goes off first i lie awake all night and even though my body is shattered i cant drop off and it emerges into a pattern

i know it sounds silly but have you tried going back to basics and setting her a routine as you would a baby? i find that if i have a bath at a certain time and tell myself its time to wind down have a read and set a certain amount of pages then put the book down after a few days im sleeping again
try putting her in the bath reading to her a few minutes in bed then turning light out but sitting with her til she drops off.
i do find that i get over tired then cant sleep my hubby doesnt understand that but i get past the point of sleep then end up wide awake.
do get her checked out and tell her that if something is worrying her and she casnt talk to you its ok for her to talk to daddy, nan auntie ect as it could be one specific thing playing on her mind and its setting a routine of sleeplesness


Silver Member
S: 14st7lb C: 10st12lb G: 10st12lb BMI: 22.4 Loss: 3st9lb(25.12%)
It really depends on the reason for her not wanting to sleep. When my 5 year old was up multiple times a night we tried to talk to her and she always said she was ok, nothing was troubling her, she just 'woke up' or wanted a drink or wanted... ANYTHING just to be up. We ended up having to be hard on her and just say no. she cried, and at times woke my other two up, but once she realised that she wasn't going to get anything but sent back to bed, it stopped. It took about a week of ignoring her, and it was hard as a mum to not go and cuddle her, but it worked. HOWEVER.. You really need to find out if she is just waking for the sake of it, or whether something is bothering her, it wouldn't be good to send her off when she has something on her mind, as it would only get worse.


Silver Member
S: 12st6lb C: 12st4lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 29.5 Loss: 0st2lb(1.15%)
She's not waking up, she's not sleeping at all. I've tried getting at what's worrying her, she says nothing, and to be honest I do beleive her, you can usually tell with her cos she's like an errupting volcano all day. She goes up at around 9, and I usually try to go up about 11pm the first time. I have only let her come down about 3 times in weeks, so she doesn't expect it I don't think. I sneak up, I even manage to sneak to bed, and then I'll hear her sobbing, so I'll go back downstairs, read, surf, and keep trying. Last night I finally gave up around half 2, cos she was quite distressed, and let her have a milky drink. She has a routine at bedtime. SOmetimes bath. She always reads. She's an avid reader. I let her for 15 minutes, but have let her read when she has tried to sleep but can't for a while. I don't want a TV in the bedroom. I don't think TV just before bed is the best thing to aid restful sleep, and never wanted her to have one anyway. Rotten Mother I know. She really never had a problem til around 3 months ago, and she's now 10. She now gets anxious about not being to sleep and has become a vicious cycle and I can't see how to get out. I have thought about leaving the TV on and going to bed, but just seems really deceitful, and worried she won't trust me then, and will ahve to get out of bed to check I'm still there.

AAGHHH!! I can't live with no sleep. I need it sooo badly


Mad old Bat with Attitude
S: 14st5lb
First of all you're not a rotten mother! You sound eminently sensible to me. Something must have triggered this, has she had a nightmare? Is everything ok at school? Do you have a grandma handy who could come at this from another angle? Sometimes children will open up to somebody else. It must be really distressing for you. I hope you get some joy from the Dr.

kerry b

Silver Member
If she seems ok while you are downstairs could you try sleeping on the couch for a few nights? Not a longterm solution but might help til you get to the bottom of it


Silver Member
S: 12st6lb C: 12st4lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 29.5 Loss: 0st2lb(1.15%)
Granny is coming back from a few weeks in Australia tomorrow. She ahs come back early to attend her sister's funeral, and My Dad was in hospital whilst there, so really don't want to burden her with my problems. I'm on my own, so down to me!! I ahven't thought of sleeping on the sofa, it's very uncomfortable, i need a new one, but might be better than no sleep for a while. Just don't understand why she just doesn't go to sleep. She hates it herself. It's mad. I have questioned her today about what she was dreaming about or lying awake thinking about. She told me that she was thinking about having a taratantula. She has wanted one for months. Hardly seems like the world is on her shoulders!


Silver Member
S: 12st7lb C: 10st8lb G: 9st11lb BMI: 27.1 Loss: 1st13lb(15.43%)
oh god someone in the same situation as me!!! my daughter is too 10 and does this every so often,,she hates us going to bed before she slleps and will come into our room hysterical crying if we do!!i know whwt it is tho,,she's scared. her bedroom is first room at top of stairs and i think she thinks she's the first room that someone would go to if they broke in.It started a few months ago after watching something scary on tv.then we heard last week some houses were broken into so up half the night again,,all i can do is give her a cuddle tell her read her book for a while,,eventually she drops off but it's so distressing for everyone


Silver Member
S: 12st6lb C: 12st4lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 29.5 Loss: 0st2lb(1.15%)
God, she does get hysterical at the thought of me going to bed before she's asleep, and she's not falling asleep. Here I am again waiting! It's bonkers! It's been nightly for around 3 weeks now. Was always ocassional, but now every night!! I'm at my wit's end. I need sleep. She's got so anxius that she'll still be awake when I want to sleep, that she's not going to sleep, and I don't know how to break the cycle


S: 13st0lb C: 12st12lb G: 9st0lb BMI: 30.9 Loss: 0st2lb(1.1%)
My daughter has never been a good sleeper she has no tv in her room bi
It has a portable DVD player that she has on each nigh with a DVD that she has seen rime and again it gives her background sound she also has her iPod with relaxing music on to help her wind down, has your daughter seen any thing on tv that is affecting her it could be something she has even seem on the news or heard at school do hope your gp can help xxx


Full Member
S: 20st0lb G: 11st0lb
I remember being a really bad one for going to sleep when I was your daughters age, mum bought me some of those tapes (ok ... this was 17 years ago!) but she got me some story tapes and they were actually Stephen Fry reading out stories and doing different voices.

I actually listened to these every night, knew the stories off by heart, inside out but it was just something in the background for me to lie in bed to, listen to and concentrate on. I'm one of those who's mind's don't switch off :p

You could try after the doctor's visit, taking her into town and seeing if you can find some kids stories on CD or something like that. That way it isn't a TV in the room and I've always been a bookworm and always will be, audio tapes were just another way of me to 'read' without having my eyes open :D