DS (12) complains he can't sleep

(17 Posts)
oneofthegiantsisme Mon 23-Jun-14 15:16:28

DS has never been a good sleeper. Where we are now is that he regularly complains that he can't sleep at nights, so he reads until he falls asleep through sheer exhaustion - some nights he's still reading when we go up to bed at 11.30. He says he's often pretending to be asleep when we come up (he's quite good at shamming, so I can't really tell any more), and says he wakes up and reads again in the middle of the night.

He also says that he's scared of the dark, so has a night light and will often turn the main light on as well.

The upshot is that he tends to crash every few weeks as he runs out of fuel.

It's hard to tell if he really can't sleep, if he just won't give himself the chance (it's "boring" just lying there, apparently - I've tried to point out to him that that should make it easier to sleep), or if it's just his perception that he doesn't sleep. The crashes suggest it's not just perception, though.

Any suggestions, anyone? I've tried teaching him the usual relaxation techniques, but he doesn't have the patience for them!

PeterParkerSays Mon 23-Jun-14 15:38:01

How much exercise does he do? It might help him to do regular exercise earlier in the evening.

oneofthegiantsisme Mon 23-Jun-14 16:39:51

Apart from the walk home from school, which is quite short, he does water polo, Scouts and trampolining, so that's three evenings when he's had a reasonable amount of exercise. I haven't noticed that it makes a difference, but perhaps I should keep a note for a few weeks. Screens go off an hour before bed, but that doesn't seem to help much.

bruffin Mon 23-Jun-14 16:50:52

I think its very normal before puberty. I wrote a very similar post when my dd was 11. Once they hit puberty they need more sleep again although they dont feel sleepy until later.

bruffin Mon 23-Jun-14 17:16:26

my old thread. I was christywhisty in those days A year later she was taking herself off to bed at 9 grin

oneofthegiantsisme Mon 23-Jun-14 19:27:14

Thanks for the link. I have suggested the radio to him, as that's what I used to do, so I'll mention it again to him. Other than that, I will just hope he grows out of it.

oneofthegiantsisme Mon 23-Jun-14 19:27:33

Thanks for the link. I have suggested the radio to him, as that's what I used to do, so I'll mention it again to him. Other than that, I will just hope he grows out of it.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 23-Jun-14 19:30:51

I know lots say to ban screentime but I went through a lot of changes and stresses during my teenage years and sticking a box set on helped me forget everything.

Friends (tv series) on nightly, as a habit, and it got to the point where id be asleep halfway through the episode.

Maybe something like that will help.his brain switch off enough?

nomoretether Mon 23-Jun-14 19:32:00

We tried all sorts and had to get a prescription for melatonin in the end...

Hakluyt Mon 23-Jun-14 19:33:17

Audiobooks are your friend. Have a look at Audible. If you have the light off and your eyes closed listening to something you are far more likely to fall asleep than if you are reading or watching. We all listen to audiobooks- they are fab.

TheSarcasticFringehead Mon 23-Jun-14 19:34:53

I have sleeping problems, had it from around 11. My friwnd's DS, same age as yours, also has- he's on melatonin, Circadin if iirc.

TheSarcasticFringehead Mon 23-Jun-14 19:36:59

Not circadin, that's wrong, I think that's for the elderly. My mind is fuddled today.

Ledkr Mon 23-Jun-14 19:44:15

It's his age. Testosterone counteracts the natural melatonin we produce to sleep. There's no easy answer you are doing all the right things. If you are really concerned it's affecting him see your gp.
My dd was awful at around 11-12 now she's ok.

TheFairyCaravan Mon 23-Jun-14 19:50:02

DS1 was terrible at this age too.

This Works Pillow Spray is brilliant. It is expensive but it does work and you sleep really soundly.

bananasandchocolate Mon 23-Jun-14 20:26:11

Milk and comfy pillows always seem to help!
Otherwise, maybe keep electronics or entertainment somewhere downstairs, which would make them harder to occupy him during the night. My dd is much the same, she cannot sleep during the weeks, and then crashes every now and then. She usually finds something more entertaining to do than sleep, such as read, surf the web, or text friends. Maybe your ds finds it hard to just lie still and relax?

oneofthegiantsisme Mon 23-Jun-14 21:15:17

I think you're right, bananas, he's a fidgeter, always on the go, and just can't switch off when it gets to bedtime.

Hakluyt what technology do you use for audio books? DS has an MP3 player with speakers, and a clock radio, but I don't like the idea of leaving the player on all night, and headphones are out of the question (paranoid about wires and strangulation).

bruffin Mon 23-Jun-14 21:35:22

I used a cd player as our library did audio books on cd. Bit you can get a dock for the mp3 player.

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