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To resort to "magic" to help dd sleep?

(38 Posts)
SooWrites Tue 17-Jan-17 21:05:37

She's been having "nightmares" (I don't believe she is having nightmares, I think this is just an excuse to stay awake and pester me) since before Christmas. I've done all the usual checking she is not worried about anything, asking what the nightmares are about, looking into what she is reading/watching, talking to the school etc.

We've changed routines. Earlier to bed, hot milk and story, wind down time with no tech. I've even tried walking her once a day. It's getting worse. It was 3:30am by the time she slept last night.

We have docs app next week, in the meantime I am desperate.

We have a "cast a magic spell" we found in a spellbook at nana's house. The spell will "summon an angel" to help her sleep and chase away any nightmares. The angel is her great, great, grandma. She's sprayed "nana's hanky" with some of nana's "lucky heather" perfume and put it under her pillow asking nana to come to her while she sleeps. Nana will smell the perfume and know she is needed and come and watch her while she sleeps.

She's ten. Monster spray stopped working years ago. This is just a more grown up version of monster spray, is it not?

Did I mention I was desperate. I need her to sleep tonight.

OnTheUp13 Tue 17-Jan-17 21:20:00

You have all my sympathy. FWIW I think that's a lovely idea!

Rachie1986 Tue 17-Jan-17 21:22:31

Worth a shot.

Feel for you. No advice or experience but tons of sympathy x

clairethewitch70 Tue 17-Jan-17 21:25:47

Awesome idea, hope it works.

Katy07 Tue 17-Jan-17 21:27:47

If it works....
Have you tried just letting her stay awake and read to herself? That way she might tire her brain enough to want to sleep, and at least you could be sleeping!!

cherrycrumblecustard Tue 17-Jan-17 21:29:59

Is she NT? flowers

SooWrites Tue 17-Jan-17 21:30:29

Have you tried just letting her stay awake and read to herself? That way she might tire her brain enough to want to sleep, and at least you could be sleeping!!

Yes, we've even bought her bucket loads of secret seven and famous five books. She can't read with only her lamp on and she can't be in her room alone in case she falls asleep and has nightmares. I can't sleep with the big light on sad

harderandharder2breathe Tue 17-Jan-17 21:34:29

Hope it works! You must all be exhausted

fuzzywuzzy Tue 17-Jan-17 21:39:45

Have you tried a night light type thing?

My youngest was suffering from anxiety a while back, I got her a light up pillow pet and she used to lay in bed and count the stars it generated and would fall asleep like that. She's ok now but likes the light occasionally.

What if your DH goes to her when your dd has nightmares, does she calm down for him?

Or you could try a dream catcher above her bed and tell her they only let good dreams thro.

I'm so sorry you're all going thro this.

Ilovecaindingle Tue 17-Jan-17 21:41:08

Have you tried worry dolls?

yaela123 Tue 17-Jan-17 21:43:04

Poor you! flowers

Sleep deprivation is the worst so I guess anything is worth a try.

Good luck

WashBasketsAreUs Tue 17-Jan-17 21:47:08

Does she go to sleep then wake up with nightmares/night terrors?

SooWrites Tue 17-Jan-17 21:48:47

Is she NT?

IDK. The school say she is, but most of her family think she is not. My sister who has a degree in childhood development thinks she is on the spectrum. My other sister who's son is in the process of being diagnosed says she has a lot of the things they are looking for in her son. Another parent I know politely enquired if she a dx because she was the same as her Aspie son when he was her age.

The school won't refer her. They say she doesn't need it. My mother (a regular conspiracy theorist and reader of The Fail) says she's been told this is because if she is diagnosed as SEN she won't count towards their results so they want her left as she is for their OFSTED rating confused

I'm going to mention our concerns at GP app.

What if your DH goes to her when your dd has nightmares, does she calm down for him?

I'm a LP. Ex-H says she sleeps okay at his house. She says the nightmares are worse there. I also happen to know she is still on her ipod after midnight at his house because she is messaging me from it. He is trying to help out and has offered to have her extra nights so me and older dd can get some sleep.

ohidoliketobe Tue 17-Jan-17 21:51:09

Is it maybe a growth/ hormonal thing? I went through a stage when I was about 11/12 where I just couldn't sleep. Being awake meant my mind was whirling and that in turn didn't help. It passed after a few months. In conversarion a few tears ago s couple of my friends mentioned that they'd also suffered a similar bout of insomnia around the pre teen years.

ohidoliketobe Tue 17-Jan-17 21:53:01

Sorry for the typos and random words. Freshly applied handcream & typing on a phone screen is a disastrous combination

Heirhelp Tue 17-Jan-17 21:53:14

Ask your GP to refer her to CAMHS for an assessment.

LikeTheShoes Tue 17-Jan-17 22:05:22

would white noise or an audio book help?

EineKleine Tue 17-Jan-17 22:23:36

My worry would be that by encouraging a belief in the supernatural, it'll come and bite you. How will you deal with it if she decides a bad spirit is visiting? That could totally freak her out and you'd have no way to dispell it. Telling her they don't exist won't really work if you have been carefully building her belief.

Have you tried a sensory approach - fleecy pjs, soft cushions, build a nest kind of environment for her. Or the white noise thing as PP suggested. Download an app and get her to pick which noises she likes. I guess you have tried everything or you wouldn't be asking.

What works with our DD is letting her fall asleep in our bed and then walking her through. She is too big to carry but it doesn't matter, she doesn't remember the transfer.

SooWrites Tue 17-Jan-17 22:25:27

An audio book might work, actually. Do you just buy these on itunes? She has an ipod touch. I know nothing about i-thingies.

She has, so far <touchwood>, stayed upstairs after our "spell" this is an improvement. She's usually up and down like a yo-yo until I go to bed. She is still awake, I can hear her shuffling about up there and singing to herself.

I want to go bed but I daren't in case she remembers I exist and leaves her room and starts yo-yoing around the house again.

Ele13 Tue 17-Jan-17 22:40:14

I used to be hideously anxious around that age, my parents never really worked out why and I couldn't tell it was anxiety- I just felt ill and generally terrible. I also had and still do have (occasional) terrible nightmares about people killing my family. It took a while but I did just grow out of it.

Being understanding, having a routine (set things that were said etc) helped, but my parents would never stay in the room with me, so it had less of an active effect on their sleep.

I was ok once asleep, unless I actually had a nightmare. Could you get her a brighter bedside light so she could read by it? It won't help her sleep either if she has to be in bright light to read. I was always reminded that nightmares aren't real and told to sit up, read for a while and then try to sleep again. If the nightmare cane back, rinse and repeat.

For both bedtime and nightmares: I also learnt alphabet games to stop my mind spinning so I could sleep: e.g. Allow 5 objects beginning with a to slowly dryift through your mind, then b. Or a food beginning with a etc.

Good luck!

throwingpebbles Tue 17-Jan-17 22:44:21

Totally fine! At least I hope it is as I had to "abracadabra" a nappy last night because my 3 year old daughter rejected two others on the grounds they were itchy grin.

How about slightly more soothing /less exciting books? Stuff like ballet shoes etc? Just rather than adventure books I mean

There's a huge amount to process at her age, hope you find some solutions.

Thethingswedoforlove Tue 17-Jan-17 22:46:35

We saw the gp today as our dd2 who is 9 has been having very similar issues. Someone on mn kindly suggested using an audiobook. It seems to be working! You can buy a book from the App Store or Amazon and download it. You can then (on most recent iOS anyway) set it to play for a particular length of time. Our dd2 doesn't fall asleep listening to it but nearly always does straight after it finishes (we find 45 mins of listening better than trying to do 30). Michael morpurgo was recommended and is working for us. Got to be worth a try... also we said we wd come up to her every x minutes rather than her coming down to us. At least it kept her in her bed. We were at total end of tether too.... all the best. Feeling your pain

throwingpebbles Tue 17-Jan-17 22:46:48

And totally don't believe your ex-H re her sleep! Mine is the same, 3 year old dd is a terrible sleeper, always has been, yet he would claim she had no issues sleeping at his. Thankfully my older child would occasionally let stories out when chatting (I never questioned him) that made it clear dd was just as bad a sleeper there!

jay55 Tue 17-Jan-17 22:47:12

Could you try a heavy/weighted blanket?

I do stupid things like count backwards from ten thousand when its the small hours and I can't sleep, which often winds me up more.

SooWrites Tue 17-Jan-17 23:05:53

She has a heavy weight duvet and a synthetic fur throw - she likes the feeling of the fur on her skin.

I don't think not sleeping winds her up. She has a jolly old time hopping from room to room and raiding the fridge when everyone is in bed (and slamming doors)

We've done star charts, coin jars, treats etc. She has not earned a single star or coin since we started it at the begining of this month. I've removed tech and stopped clubs all to no avail.

Once she is asleep, she is fine. The issue is getting her to go to sleep. She just doesn't seem to have an off switch. Prior to xmas she would still be awake until after midnight most nights but would be quietly awake reading or listening to music. It's the roaming the house and waking me up to chat to me that I need to stop. I accepted long ago that she just doesn't need as much sleep as me and older dd.

It all went quiet about half an hour ago. Perhaps tonight will be the night she earns her first star.

Unfortunately, older DD who was kept awake by her until 1am last night had a long nap after school and now cannot sleep. She is fifteen though, so I think fine to leave in the sitting room reading while I go to bed.

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