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To ask for help with DS (5) sleep

(107 Posts)
catgirl1976 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:32:31

DS is 5.

He has never been a good sleeper. He was 3 before he slept through the night and after that it was sporadic.

He generally sleeps through now but getting him to go to sleep is a nightmare.

He is currently hysterical.

Every night there is a different reason why he can't sleep. (Tonight he wants the cat - the cat has heard the hysterics and run a mile)

It ranges from general messing about and shouting to hysteria and sobbing. He will not go to sleep. He fights bedtime.

We have tried everything - all the usual stuff. No screen time, calming routine, bath, lavender spray, staying with him, controlled crying, white noise, earlier bedtime, later bedtime. you name it we've tried it. And nothing works.

He can go on till gone 11pm. It's exhausting for him and for us.

He wakes between 6:30am and 7am

Bedtime is normally 7pm to 7:30pm

He's active and gets lots of exercise

Some nights he sobs becuase he's tired and wants to go to sleep but can't

He says he can't switch him mind off and he also legs his leg will never stop moving

He's distressed, I'm distressed and we are all exhausted. If you could hear him right now you'd think he was in physical pain. It's horrible

I am at my wits end. If anyone has any advice. I'm even thinking of going to the GP but I think they'd fob me off and not get how bad this is

Any advice at all would be really welcome

stella23 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:38:08

I don't have an answer, but understand, while mine doesn't get hysterical, he does get upset sometimes. He's 6'and finds it really hard to sleep. I can hear him now fidgeting and moving about. He can take hours to fall asleep sometimes. He can wake up very tired in the morning.

teacher54321 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:40:13

Ds is nearly 5 and bedtime is amazing when grandma puts him to bed hmm and varies from bearable to horrific when we do... If it's really bad there's usually a trigger-with Ds it is invariably an issue at school/friends Tonight we had running around, screaming, raspberries, sobbing etc etc etc. He was throwing all his bedding out his bed blah blah. Finally got to the bottom of it, he'd decided that his bedding was 'babyish' and didn't like his duvet cover. Being babyish is currently a big deal in his class and he's become very sensitive about things being too young for him. Is he ok at school?

PotteringAlong Mon 20-Feb-17 20:41:22

Overtired? What happens if you put him to bed at 6?

catgirl1976 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:43:00

He loves school though he did seemed subdued at pick up so maybe something has happened to make him worse than usual (but it's pretty much every night, just the level of hysteria is worse tonight)

That's a good point which I forgot - at grandmas house he goes to bed no problem

So it's clearly something we are doing or not doing sad

If i don't reply much it's because I'm dealing with him - sorry

catgirl1976 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:43:28

We tried 6pm bedtime for about 10 days - no change except he woke earlier

catgirl1976 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:43:40

But he is over tired - permanently

Kahlua4me Mon 20-Feb-17 20:46:23

What is your usual bedtime routine? Could it be changed at all?

Sometimes it only takes a slight change to sort it out.

Coulddowithanap Mon 20-Feb-17 20:48:50

Does he behave the same for you as he does for your partner?

I used to mainly put the kids to bed but after realising DS went straight to sleep for my husband we agreed to take turns.

Have you tried a star chart? That worked for our 5 year old when he kept getting in our bed in the middle of the night. There were months where he only earned 1 or 2 stars but gradually he got more (bribery of new dinosaur toy at 10 stars helped, then he had to get 10 in a row to get a special present, etc)

If he is tired why not start bed time earlier if you can?

catgirl1976 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:49:49

Routine is bath (with lavender oil)

2 stories

Wee and Teeth

Cuddle and down with lights out but corridor light on and door ajar so it's not too light

catgirl1976 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:50:27

He's the same for DH (but not the GPS)

Star chart worked for a while but he lost interest sad

teacher54321 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:51:08

When Ds gets in the overtired hysterical stage it takes something to almost surprise him out of it. Once he threw a sock in the loo accidentally mid-tantrum and then cried and cried and cried because he knew that you shouldn't put stuff down the loo and then went to bed quiet as a lamb!

MrsPatrickDempsey Mon 20-Feb-17 20:51:15

When I did my HV training one of my colleagues really advocated guided imagery which is really a form of positive mindfulness focussing on calm relaxing things. Could this work to calm him down? Works wonders with my son. But agree that overtirdness will be making it worse.

emma6776 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:51:31

No advice but placemarking. My 5 year old has the same problems but also wakes during the night. She slept through constantly until she was 3 and hasn't since! It's dreadful.

TalkingofMichaelAngel0 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:53:46

I have a matching 5 year old boy. Currently shouting for daddy as daddy is a soft touch. We could form a club!

catgirl1976 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:54:54

We haven't tried something like mindfulness. I did think some sort of meditation type thing might help him

He's right when he says he can't switch his brain off - he's over thinking and not relaxing so that might be a good plan

I'll have a google

catgirl1976 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:55:26

If we form a club we could take it in shifts whilst the others go and drink gin and rock in darkened rooms - I like it

minipie Mon 20-Feb-17 20:58:12

Watching with interest. DD age 4 is also permanently overtired though in her case due to early waking (and sometimes awake for ages in the night) rather than staying awake at bedtime.

OP, things we find help:

1) occasional naps help. But can't nap too late or too much or sleeps less at night <sigh> it's a difficult equation to get right.

2) sleeping with them. Of course going to sleep by himself is the ideal but if DD is really worked up I will stay with her and cuddle/shhh/breathe sleepily until her body gives in and relaxes. Back to newborn days basically <sigh again>

emma6776 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:58:35

I'm in!

minipie Mon 20-Feb-17 20:59:17

Oh there is a meditation/story CD for kids which gets great reviews on amazon. I haven't tried it as bedtime isn't our issue. Will find the link.

emma6776 Mon 20-Feb-17 20:59:51

Currently in bed with DD & the cat listening to the Trolls soundtrack as it's the only thing that will help her sleep (allegedly)...

minipie Mon 20-Feb-17 21:00:35

bedtime meditation cd for kids

maryelizabeth71 Mon 20-Feb-17 21:00:45

What happens at grand parents that differs from your routine?

Is it possible that he is suffering from restless leg syndrome?

Poor chap, it sounds miserable for him and you

catcatcatcat Mon 20-Feb-17 21:03:47

Can he read? My 6 yo HATES bedtime - reading is our saviour. She still gets cross about the act of going to bed but me getting out of the room is very successful now she reads on her own with a night light for a short time.

Molly499 Mon 20-Feb-17 21:04:03

Audio books were a lifesaver for two of mine. Tuck in as normal bedtime routine and then play the story, somehow removes some of the anxiety about going to sleep.

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