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To think that my teen shouldn't be waking up all night

(129 Posts)
BlitheringIdiots Mon 11-Feb-19 23:32:27

DS13 has always been a good sleeper. Head hitting pillow and going straight through until I wake him for school. However in the past 3-6 months he's been going to sleep as usual and then waking up an hour later complaining he can't sleep

Take tonight as an example. Lights out 9pm. Asleep almost straight away. Then 10.15pm the tell tale creak of the stairs and he's at the lounge door. Back upstairs and a cuddle and a pep talk and I thought all good. Just about to get in bed myself at 11.15 and here he is again complaining of a headache and saying been awake for the past hour. Sent back to bed again with me sitting on bed quietly talking to find out what's wrong. Turns out nothing and headache goes.

We can then have this for a few nights before maybe a week of good sleeping again

IS this normal teen sleep issues? He can't go to sleep any later than 9pm because he's yawning as it is

Screens off by 8pm and then he reads for about 45 minutes before he calls me to say goodnight.

At wits end here and don't know how to help him. Anyone?

BlitheringIdiots Mon 11-Feb-19 23:34:17

Can hear him yawning away in his room now but he's not asleep yet. I can't go to sleep til I know he is because chances are he will come down and wake me up which means interrupted sleep for me. DH is fast asleep and oblivious to all this (or pretending to be asleep!)

Cheerbear23 Mon 11-Feb-19 23:34:48

Why Does he get up? Does he need the loo ? Is his phone in his room?

BlitheringIdiots Mon 11-Feb-19 23:38:15

Nope no loo. Phone is downstairs after getting back from school. Laptop on block from 8pm. He just says either can't sleep, tummy ache, head ache. Basically every excuse under the sun! Then when he finally drops off again he's out til I wake him 7am. Mystery. From Wednesday to Sunday he was fine. Then tonight it starts .....

peachgreen Mon 11-Feb-19 23:41:10

When this happened to me as a teen it was because I heard my parents having sex. Sorry to put a weird idea into your head but it gave me horrendous anxiety and insomnia. I was so desperate to be asleep before they came upstairs so I would never hear it again, but because I was so anxious I couldn't sleep and so then I'd have to get up so that they knew I was awake. It was honestly one of the most awful times of my life! Earplugs helped soothe my anxiety.

FlibbertyGiblets Mon 11-Feb-19 23:45:16

Left field but eye test recently? He might have vision changes that are subtle but enough to give him a headache after reading?

Timetobookaholiday Mon 11-Feb-19 23:45:30

Isn't 9pm a bit early for a 13 year old?

BlitheringIdiots Mon 11-Feb-19 23:45:58

No sex here I should be so lucky!

He's got this thing about not being the last awake - but that doesn't match the waking up issue does it. If he stayed asleep he would be the first awake

Resisting urge to go check if he's asleep as I know he may just be dropping off. Gone very quiet but that means nothing because I thought he was asleep over an hour ago!

BlitheringIdiots Mon 11-Feb-19 23:46:51

We actually have an eye test booked for half term week so maybe that may be something

9pm isn't early when he's yawning. He's fast asleep within minutes of head hitting pillow. It's staying asleep that's the issue.......:-(

Sparklesocks Mon 11-Feb-19 23:47:21

Maybe a slightly later bedtime might help?

BrizzleMint Mon 11-Feb-19 23:47:22

9pm does seem quite early, mine went about half nine at that age.

BlitheringIdiots Mon 11-Feb-19 23:49:03

What do they do if they go to bed later? Screens off 8pm. So reading for two hours? Not sure I could do that myself.

But it's the randomness of it. Last night usual lights out 9pm and I went to bed 11pm and he was fast asleep and had to wake at 7am and he was in deep sleep.

It's so odd

FlibbertyGiblets Mon 11-Feb-19 23:49:50

I wonder if something is going on at school that is bothering him a bit? Might be worth a call to his tutor if he says nah mum all fine?

Eye test booked for half term, that is great well done.

Timetobookaholiday Mon 11-Feb-19 23:49:53

13 year olds need about 9 hours sleep..what time does he need to wake up in the morning?

BlitheringIdiots Mon 11-Feb-19 23:50:16

Maybe will try a later lights out time of 9.30pm for a few nights and see if it helps at all. Then eye test next week

You've all been very helpful thanks :-)

Singlenotsingle Mon 11-Feb-19 23:50:44

Why does he have to come downstairs just because he can't sleep? Is he looking for his phone?

BlitheringIdiots Mon 11-Feb-19 23:52:05

Wake him 6.45am. So assume lights out 9pm and Asleep by 9.30pm maximum so just over 9 hours Sounds about right? He wakes between 6.30 and 8.00 on a weekend naturally.

His dad needs about 11 hours sleep
Me about 5. Maybe he's taking after me?!

BlitheringIdiots Mon 11-Feb-19 23:53:09

Nope not looking for phone. Looking for me. Gets anxious if I go out but I still go out. When he's here with DH and I'm out late he doesn't do it.....

MitziK Mon 11-Feb-19 23:54:14

Headaches and not sleeping, but tired enough to be thinking of bed by 8pm?

I'd take him to the GP (after the optician) just in case there's a cause for it - most 13 year olds are up half the night because they just aren't tired.

Might also be worth checking if he's getting a crick in his neck from too many pillows/not supportive enough ones or his posture is out of sorts - a headache/migraine triggered by neck strain tends to start at the back of the head and the muscles around his shoulders might be tense - especially if he's got the common teenager stance of pushing his head forward. And if he's got PE and a fucking imbecile like one of ours who was dispensed with last year a sports coach/PE teacher who is still getting them to warm up by doing full neck rolls, that could be straining the muscles; as he could be if he's poking his head forward because he can't quite see the board clearly.

BlitheringIdiots Mon 11-Feb-19 23:54:14

I've told him not to wake me up if he can't sleep but as I'm always awake til this time it doesn't matter. He does however sometimes wake me 3am to say he can't sleep
He gets short shrift then I can tell you!

NerrSnerr Mon 11-Feb-19 23:56:52

Does he need an official 'light out' time? At that age I used to go up to my bedroom anytime from 8.30 and then probably sleep from about 9.30. There wasn't an official time though

user139328237 Mon 11-Feb-19 23:57:23

I wonder if he is suffering from anxiety. Obviously, it's impossible to diagnose over the internet but struggles to get to sleep, stomach aches and headaches are all symptoms of it. Many boys with anxiety also outwardly present as overconfident as a coping mechanism and may not feel able to discuss the issues with their parents so just because he isn't obviously coming across as anxious I wouldn't rule it out.

BlitheringIdiots Mon 11-Feb-19 23:58:09

Thanks yes will try GP after opticians. If it was every night then maybe I could find a reason but is random. Exercise doesn't help. Tuesday's he does after school activities for couple hours but he then sometimes also wakes up after a couple hours asleep

He did have a persistent stomach ache last spring and summer (caused by drinking crappy drinks with seeeteners in but don't get me started on that) and I don't think now he can differentiate between that stomach ache and maybe hunger?

He doesn't eat much for a 13 year old (never has eaten loads) so I did wonder if he's waking hungry without knowing it's hunger if you know what I mean, and then falling back on 'oh my stomach pain is starting again? Maybe he needs a snack at 8pm and then see if that works?

It's so hard isn't it this child rearing lark!

Fatasfook Mon 11-Feb-19 23:59:14

Maybe anxiety.

BlitheringIdiots Tue 12-Feb-19 00:00:18

I wonder if he is suffering from anxiety. Obviously, it's impossible to diagnose over the internet but struggles to get to sleep, stomach aches and headaches are all symptoms of it.

Yes I did wonder if it's that. Anxious about me not being here. It isn't school I know that. We have a very good relationship where he can tell me anything and we have a deal where he can offload without me always trying to solve it etc.

How to deal with anxiety though. Hmmmm

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