4yo dd struggles to fall asleep at night

(15 Posts)
Honesttodog Tue 25-Jun-13 21:48:53

4yo dd has always seemed to need less sleep than the average kid but she really struggles to fall asleep at night. Every evening she gets upset and says she isn't tired, often yawning as she tells me. She is busy and v active. Nursery every day and no scheduled extras during the week except 2 days where she is at nursery till 3 or 4. Today she was playing at a soft play centre all afternoon. She really ought to be sleepy. Normal routine is supper, bath, bed around 730. Ds has to go down before her as she really cherishes time alone with me. Reading a shared story to get her down earlier would be hard. Ds is 21 months so he needs to wind down quietly with just me. Dh works late so cannot help.

Going to call gp tmw but wonder if anyone has any experience or advice. Obv concern is that she starts school in sep And will really need her sleep then.

Any extra vitamins? Supplements?

I have used my osteopath in the past to help with this but that was quite expensive. Wondered if others had any solutions.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 25-Jun-13 22:01:04

My older DD is the same...she's 8 now and still struggles. I wish I had the answer...music has helped us...I put classical music on low....busy minds sometimes find it hard to turn off and the music can be hypnotic. We also got some Relax Kids CDS which are like meditation for kids...

Basketofchocolate Tue 25-Jun-13 22:05:52

Nope, but if you find one, let me know!

I do find that whenever DS has had a really tiring day he sleeps worse than usual. I dread when my Mum says 'We've really worn him out, he'll sleep well tonight!' as this is usually means he'll not settle til after 9pm and then be up a few times in the night.

No idea why. Drives me crazy and I hardly ever get a full night's sleep. We have tried in these lighter evenings to leave him with a few books on the bed and tell him a time say 830 or 9 to make sure he's snuggled down by. During that time he can read if he wants (only with light through curtains) or do whatever as long as doesn't bother us.

I love my sleep but often have trouble getting to sleep. I read with a torch under the covers as a kid til was tired or listened to classical music on the radio. I know someone who has a CD for their child that they listen to every night. They usually have it on once (relaxing music) but if she's not very sleepy she gets another play of it (or two, depending on agreement). It sort of programs her (mind & body) that it's now sleep time and it's okay to start winding down.

PoppyWearer Tue 25-Jun-13 22:11:22

If it's any consolation, my DD is like this. Still like it. Almost at the end of her first year at school.

I find that towards the end of the week she goes to sleep more easily/faster.

I have tried earlier bedtimes to no avail.

We also have a younger sibling to deal with. Who is the same.

I think it's just the way my DD is!

PoppyWearer Tue 25-Jun-13 22:13:19

One thing might be cutting the bath some nights. I find it wakes/winds my DCs up sometimes. Some nights we go upstairs a bit later and just have a quick wash, PJs on, brush hair and teeth, story, bed.

Honesttodog Tue 25-Jun-13 22:19:40

Wow, that's pretty depressing! So relaxation CDs only a minor success then? I have looked at them before but in the past music has just become another thing to stay awake for, when it ends she wants it on again....

Am just desperate to have a full evening to myself.

I will have a look into some yoga classes for kids over the summer. I want someone to teach her how to relax !!!

Oddly, she does seem sleepy when she is in bed, it's like she can't drop off tho.

I struggle to fall asleep but even when little I always stayed in bed, whereas dd likes to colour, which I think she finds soothing - but she gets out of bed to do that then I have to confiscate the pens etc...

dancemom Tue 25-Jun-13 22:26:07

I remember reading that children of that age can have trouble processing their day and the recommendation was to chat about what they did that day, any new experiences they had etc during wind down time so their mind has a chance to "file away" that day - never had to use it myself though as dd loves her sleep!

My now 4 year old struggled from the age of 3 until we got audio books, she still takes a while, but will lie there quietly without me or DH so we can get on with our evening.

Cut out any tv for a few hours before bedtime too as it stimulates them.

The light evenings at the moment do not help, do you have black out curtains?

Sorry I don't have any suggestions but am feeling slightly worried now as DD is 2.6 and for the last two months or so has been taking longer and longer to settle down to sleep.

I think the 'processing the day' point is quite relevant in my case. We do play before quiet time, and have a bedtime story etc. but once she's laying down she'll just blather on and on and on and on.
We are in the process of putting up blackout blinds but have UPVC windows so having to fix to concrete walls (difficult).

Maybe I should ditch the story as it is for a chat about the day, and then do a story once she's in bed.

PoppyWearer Tue 25-Jun-13 22:32:48

My DD often wants to talk about what she's done that day as she lies in bed, so the idea of them processing their day then makes sense to me.

jeniz Wed 26-Jun-13 08:30:25

My grandaughter aged six would never go to sleep before ten until I brought her a cd player and some story cds its worked like magic.
She is asleep within half an hour of being in bed can't believe something so simple would help.
Ps it has to be storys as any music keeps her awake.

elfycat Wed 26-Jun-13 08:41:05

DD1 is 4.5 and is an owl and sleeps 9-10pm to 8am ish. At night she just can't switch off.

I've been reading to her, then lying next to her in the dark for 5 minutes or so. I do a countdown. The last week we've been listening to any sounds. Cars passing, people talking birds tweeting, me tapping on the bed, her scratching the cupboard next to the bed. At the end we have a one minute hug and then I go to bed.

It's not perfect. Last week I got up at 11.30 pm as something wasn't quite right and I couldn't sleep. Her light was on and she was quietly playing with her toys. grrrrrr.

Basketofchocolate Wed 26-Jun-13 15:51:10

I think daytime processing is good thing. I try to do this during the shower time as it is just us and he's not got much else to focus on. That way, that's out of the way before story time.

We try to say what our best part of the day is and sometimes the worst. I do find he comes out with some random stuff that passed me by during the day. Still, nice to know what's important to him and what he notices.

I think there are times when I don't do this though and perhaps they're the times when we have more trouble with him.

Bumpsadaisie Wed 26-Jun-13 17:07:41

Are you me?? My two are same gender and same age! My DS goes off to sleep like a dream but dd finds it hard to wind down. Tbh by the time lights are off and I say goodnight it is always at least 8.15. She's up like a bright spark at 7am. Perhaps your dd needs a later bedtime?

Mine goes up to her room to potter about while I do DS story and put him to bed. Then I tidy up a bit and then do dds story. If I turned lights off at 7.30 she wd mess about for ages.

DiscoDonkey Wed 26-Jun-13 17:10:55

DS was a lot like this he has a variety off supplements for various reasons but the ones that seem to help sleep is the magnesium supplement.

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