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To expect my 11 year old to sleep through the night?

(38 Posts)
noisewithdirton Wed 21-Dec-16 17:35:24

Seriously, every night he is up once or twice... he is shattered by 8pm and up about 6.30-7 irregardless of time of going to bed. Often doesn't come in to us but I hear him going to loo, or being restless in his bed. He says he hates sleeping. Is it ever going to change?

whyohwhy000 Wed 21-Dec-16 17:43:14

Has he said why he doesn't like sleeping? Can he just "not get to sleep"? DS is ONLY able to sleep if for the first 10 minutes (ish) he has a video playing.

scurryfunge Wed 21-Dec-16 17:48:00

Talk to him about what is keeping him awake. Is it light, noise, school issues, friendship issues, etc? I remember resisting sleep as a child as I thought it was a waste of time and I could have been doing something else. I wasted a lot of sleeping time reading under the covers.

noisewithdirton Wed 21-Dec-16 17:51:03

Not really - just sees it as a negative thing rather than a lovely snuggly end to the day (which my second born does). He used to say it was because he has bad dreams but hasn't said that for a while. I think he struggles to switch off but usually fine falling asleep at start of the night.

noisewithdirton Wed 21-Dec-16 17:53:19

I think it is the opposite - he falls asleep ok when we are still up, making bit of noise, tv is on downstairs, hallway light is on etc but when it is quiet and dim light he gets spooked or something! He also sees it as a waste of time I think!

I had horrendous insomnia at that age, plus (thanks to the early 80's obsession with nuclear war) terrible anxiety about my Mum dying. It meant that I was up in the small hours checking she was still breathing - it drove my parents up the wall, even though they were sympathetic! I did eventually grow out of it, but in the meantime a night light helps, also having a radio playing softly so you don't feel like you're so alone.

I have two minimal sleepers myself, DS2 (16) and DD(13) but they aren't particularly anxious with it, they just don't seem to need the sleep. As long as they're fine getting up for school I'm happy for them to read quietly until whatever time. DD's current in bed project is learning Korean!

noisewithdirton Wed 21-Dec-16 18:18:25

Thanks for your replies. He is quite highly strung and a bit of a worrier but he really needs more sleep as he is shattered all the time and that makes him really uptight! I wouldn't mind if he didn't need the sleep!

NerrSnerr Wed 21-Dec-16 18:22:40

I have always had to get up at least twice a night to wee- it's just me. As a teen my mum used to make a big thing about it, she was worried there was something emotional wrong and make me feel bad for doing it. There was a time I used to wee in a jug in my room just to stop her constant questions.

I still wee twice a night (well, a million at the moment as pregnant). It's just me and my bladder. It might just be normal for him.

Nodney Wed 21-Dec-16 18:24:17

My 9 yr old DS os just the same. I can't figure out if he's anxious or if like he says he just doesn't like sleeping. Instead of closing his eyes he just keeps them open as long as he can. He is quite a highly strung boy anyway. Trouble is, he wakes early and won't just turn over and go back to sleep and is often very tired

AuroraBora Wed 21-Dec-16 18:27:19

If he likes the background noise then maybe let him have a radio on low in his room.

An ex used to not be able to sleep in silence and did this. At first it drove me batty, but I did get used to it.

Namejustfornappies Wed 21-Dec-16 18:29:55

Fuck. My 5yo seems to be an insomniac and i was just assuming shed grow out of it. But if they can still do this at 11.... shock

marvelousdcomics Wed 21-Dec-16 18:30:32

I uses to be the same, from about 9-12. I was worried something would happen to my parents (grandad had died recently) and was scared of dying myself, so had to get up and go downstairs several times a night to make sure they were still breathing and that I was too. I grew out of it eventually though.

Namejustfornappies Wed 21-Dec-16 18:31:27

Is there a child friendly version of radio 4 that could be put on in the background? Just burbling voices but no scary content or news bulletins? Anyone know?

Namejustfornappies Wed 21-Dec-16 18:32:49

My 5yo is highly strung and a worrier as well. And we've had a couple of older relatives die recently sad

eddiemairswife Wed 21-Dec-16 18:45:31

I was never tired at bedtime, and used to lie awake waiting for the adults to come up so I could shout ,"Goodnight", which really irritated them. My school recommended bedtimes, which for a 12 year old was 8.15!!!!! I was allowed to read for 15 mins, then my book would be taken away. To put it into context, my parents were abroad for about 3 years so I was living with my childless aunt and uncle, and they were very concerned to do the right thing. Apart from the bedtime rubbish I had a good time living there. I now go to bed at about 11.30.

BertrandRussell Wed 21-Dec-16 18:47:50

Audiobooks. He can lie and rest and listen and it will help him not to worry about not sleeping.

I

Merriment Wed 21-Dec-16 18:48:54

I've had trouble sleeping my whole life, 2 of my dcs are the same, as is my mum. I have concluded its genetic fgrin

december10th Wed 21-Dec-16 18:55:38

8pm til 7 am is a heck of a long sleep for an 11 year old.Maybe try pushing his bedtime back a bit at a time .It is better that he gets into the routine of going later and sleeping through.rn

Sirzy Wed 21-Dec-16 19:01:15

I'm nearly 33 and still don't sleep through the night most nights!

Assuming no special needs though he is old enough to understand to be as quiet as possible when going to the toilet and not to disturb anyone else unless he has a real problem

Candlelight123 Wed 21-Dec-16 19:10:49

Your ds sounds like mine. He basically feels like sleep is a waste of time and wants to be doing 'something'. He's a teenager now so can't see it changing either.

BarbedBloom Wed 21-Dec-16 19:29:16

I have woken 2-3 times a night for as long as I can remember. Nothing helps. It is a type of insomnia and I find the more I focus on trying to sleep, the worse it gets. I have no problem getting to sleep, but staying asleep is an issue

MistyMeena Wed 21-Dec-16 19:32:03

My DS was just the same and had a bit of a 'sleep is for the weak' mentality grin however we've just moved into teenage territory and although he is often still awake fairly late he does sleep well and I usually have to wake him. If left he will sleep until at least 10! So it may change.

DearMrDilkington Wed 21-Dec-16 19:34:42

Oh God! My 4yr old is still a horrific sleeper and I've been telling myself for months she must be getting closer to the end of the phrase..

You've panicked me now!shock

missyB1 Wed 21-Dec-16 19:42:55

Im afraid this was me from about 11-18. As soon as i got to high school i seemed to lose the ability to sleep, looking back i think it was a mixture of anxiety and hormones. I think insomnia is very common amongst this age group.
OP You and him could do some reading together about sleep and good sleep habits. Also look at what hes doing in the daytime and evening, is he getting enough physical exercise? How much time is he spending on devices?

DotForShort Wed 21-Dec-16 19:46:23

He may simply be following the first sleep/second sleep pattern that was the norm until a few centuries ago. People would sleep for a few hours, then wake up for an hour or two, followed by another period of sleeping. Apparently this pattern is more natural than an unbroken night of sleep, according to various studies. Unfortunately, it isn't particularly practical in the modern world.

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