To take my 7 daughter to GP because she starts the day at 4:30(34 Posts)
Dd is 7 and has always been a rubbish sleeper. I took her to GP last year about something else and mentioned her lack of sleep and very early rising. GP uninterested and said oh she probably just needs to go to bed later. This has no effect on her waking i fact we went to a wedding recently and she didn't go to bed until midnight and she was still awake befor 5! I'm on my own alot as Dp works away and after 7 years of no sleep I have had enough. I have tried the firm approach, rewards, sleeping on her floor, putting her in bed with me but nothing works. She is so tired and subsequently picks up everything going. On the rare occasion that she falls asleep in the car she is much sunnier child. Any advice really welcome.
well i've had chronic insomnia for as long as i can remember.
have you tried tiring her out before bed? go for a walk after dinner?
speak to your gp though, as her sleep patterns will affect her concentration at school eventually.
No advice but ds7 is the same. He's not allowed up before 6 but he finds it very hard to wait in bed so long. Bedtime makes no difference. I try to Jake sure he's asleep by 8 to reduce the inevitable tiredness. It drives me mad as from 6 he's not exactly quiet.
I would go back and perhaps ask for a referral to a sleep specialist? We were offered this due to DD not being a great sleeper (she's nearly 6) but tbh we declined as we know the reasons - she has eczema.
Even if they won't refer, definitely go back so it's noted on her records and mention it every time she is at docs so her history can be seen.
My DS was the same at 7. He's just about to turn 11 and even now he's awake at 6 most days. We've tried everything. Guess he just needs less sleep
I've got one like this. 8 yr old dd. She can be up all night and still start the day at 5 or before. Dh affectionately refers to her as 'the crypt keeper' because she haunts the landings.
I have no advice op, it doesn't matter what we've tried, nothing seems to work with her. It's very frustrating because she's a bright and clever girl, there's just no rhyme or reasoning!
Oh and we told him he had to lay in bed and read until we wake up which he does and has done for a long time now
If she is 7 and is waking up at 4.30am, she is old enough to be shown a clock and told that she doesnt start disturbing the rest of the household until xam. My own 7 year old is an early riser but 'gets it'
If my dd is awake earlier than that she has the choice of lying in bed quietly, playing with her teddies or reading a book (with a lamp, no main lights on!). Any fannying around from my daughter such as being noisy, putting the main light on, waking other people up because she is bored and she gets 'baby privileges' as a result i.e. if you want to act like a baby that's fine but expect to be treated like a baby e.g. early bedtime e.t.c
I come from a long line of insomniacs. We just don't need the amount of sleep others do, however we aren't tired. Google melatonin it is often very helpful with sleep issues.
At 4.5 my dd knows that if she wakes before her gro clock is orange she must lie in bed quietly and read or close her eyes and go back to sleep. Like drbeeching , if she makes any noise and wakes us/her brother then she loses privileges. Some people just don't need as much sleep but worth checking with a gp. In the meantime, could you work on her staying in bed and quiet? Maybe get her a little lamp she can turn on without getting out of bed?
DS2 is an early riser. He has just turned 6 and knows not to disturb anyone else until the sun is up on the groclock. During the week DH is up at 5:30 so it's not too much of a problem.
I have found though that after a long period of late nights he will eventually sleep later. During the Christmas holidays he wasn't going to bed until around 9-10 and although at first he was grumpy after a while he started waking up at 8-8:30.
Part of my job is dealing with sleep problems: Three questions
a) what time is bedtime ?
b) does she also wake in the night or does she sleep through to 5?
c) on a scale of 1 to 10 how much do you want to change this (given things may get worse before they get better)?
Don't take her to the GP please (unless they are a sleep specialist)
My son also has a gro clock although he isn't a bad sleeper. He is 6 and for a good year he has known not to come in until his clock was on day. He would never make a noise anyway, but just lays playing on ab iPad. Now he tells the time and takes it a step further, he knows not to come in as early on a Sunday. People do need different amounts of sleep and I've got friends with children the same but I think the issue is, how it is dealt with. It is clear to my son that just because he is awake, everyone doesn't need to be awake. Perhaps you need to work on that.
No wonder there are no GP appointments for the unwell! Sorry this is a basic behavioural issue not a medical condition. What on earth would you expect a poor frazzled GP to do about it? A grandparent might give better advice but nobody seems to value or trust granny anymore.
I assume she can tell the time? Buy a clock, as others say and tell her sleep time is until 7am and she better not appear until then. No iPads definitely as they stop sleeping boredom is much more effective. As are dark, blackout curtains. Lying quietly in darkness tends to make sleep more desirable. One of ours was a 5am person (and is still a morning person) we went through the Open University maths at 4.30am on the end of our bed stage waiting for Sesame Street before we realised we were being ridiculous and needed to ensure she realised who was the parent and who made decisions about getting up time. A few days of teras and tantrums, a few very firm cross words and no indulgence meant longer term benefits for rest of family.
Thank you for replies. GP suggestion was I guess because I wonder if there is any medical reason- low iron( very fidgety legs in bed) melatonin etc. Maybe I just need to suck it up. To be fair if she wakes after 5:30 she will just put on her lamp and look at books quietly but I just worry as she is permantly tired.
Ask for a referral to a sleep clinic or go private and arrange it yourself
What on earth would you expect a poor frazzled GP to do about it?
Seriously? I imagine she'd expect a referral to an appropriate specialist.
Gp can refer to a sleep clinic. The op wants a referral not for the gp to eave a magic wand, perfectly reasonable
OP I have a DD who is similar. Simply will not sleep long enough at night, but is always tired. Gets every bug going. Very stroppy especially later in the day. A nap works wonders. Like your DD she will look at books in the mornings till her gro clock shows the sun (mostly) so the issue is not her waking us, it's that she is tired herself.
Please let me know if the GP does refer you - I'd love to know if this is something that can be helped.
The only advice I have is that with my DD it's a vicious cycle - the less she sleeps, the more overtired she is, and then she sleeps even less. So early bedtimes and frequent naps (using car/buggy - my DD is 4) really help.
OP, my son was always like this and got up even earlier with late nights. He's 7 and has started sleeping later because he's struggled more with school as ke's joined KS2 and the work got harder. He also does more after school classes.
Do you find that screen time affects your DD - if were out all day and home for bed would she sleep better for not having the time to watch tv or use a tablet? Does she sleep better in other places - we replaced DS' mattress with one with a memory foam top, and put a teddy bear mattress cover on top, and that has helped him. Check if her pyjamas are thick enough as well - we found DS was waking up from light sleep early morning if he was cold or if he'd got too hot earlier in the night and kickec his blankets off and then got cold but didn't recognise it as such.
Do ask for a referral to a sleep clinic. University hospitals will certainly have one to investigate issues such as yours. The issue is that her lack of sleep is affecting her immune system, so it is not a behavioural issue.
I would stop the reading and the light, she may need to learn the routine of rolling over and going back to sleep. If she is tired she needs more sleep. Eldest used to wake early complain he was not tired enough to sleep after a month of trying he was told to just lie in bed and he learnt to fall asleep again. DS2 Has severe learning difficulties he only needs 5 hours a night but shows no symptoms of tiredness at night.
I would go to the GP with this, as long as you have already thought about Stillwishihadabs' questions and can answer these properly. My sons were horrifically early wakers and I did talk to the GP about it. You can always have a phone consultation - it takes far less time for both you and the GP.
There are sometimes underlying issues that cause poor sleep and tiredness.
Melatonin will NOT keep her asleep, trust me on this.**
What it can do is help her fall asleep earlier if she is struggling to fall asleep, but if you're going to attempt to get melatonin (and they wont prescribe without a good reason) is make sure she has good sleep hygiene... so no screens from at least 30 mins before bed time, an established routine and a good dark, quiet bedroom.
**my son has autism and is awake from 3.30am every morning, he takes melatonin, and even the CAMHS drs said it doesn't fix early waking, only late sleeping.
because of DS's early waking, my 7yo DD is usually awake from 5am, we have a strict 7.30pm bedtime for her, its habit, not medical unlike DS.
My ds was like that, it was awful! He wouldn't go to sleep until really late. Up until he was four he would occasionally wake at 2-4am and not sleep again until late the next night but his usual waking time was 4-5am. He stopped having naps during the day a 6 months. From around age 9 he got a bit better and would wake around 5 with the occasional 4am but started to sleep from about 9pm. He is now 11 and is usually asleep by 9:30pm and wakes between 6am and 8am thank goodness! He has been diagnosed as autistic recently but it's very 'hidden'. It was awful when he was younger and i thought maybe he had ADHD or hyperactivity but these were ruled out. I don't know why he was like that or why it changed but it has got so much better. I tried every method going to get him to sleep (issues started all at about 3 weeks old and I was feeding on demand at the start and wonder if that didn't help) I read every book, spoke to drs, health visitors etc etc and nothing helped. The cry himself to sleep effort went on for six weeks before I gave up.
I hope that your DD grows out of it like my DS but I think it is perfectly fine to go to your gp about it and ask for a referral.
Join the discussion
Please login first.