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My 9 year old won't sleep!

(13 Posts)
Azft35 Sat 18-Dec-10 23:39:21

This is my first time here and I just don't know what to do.

My daughter is 9. She's shared a room with her little sister since she was 5.

We've moved house 5 times now in 3 years and she's never had a problem with sleep. She generally goes to bed at 9pm and sleeps till 7am no problems. She has never had any emotional/behavioural problems during any of these moves and has settled well (we changed school once as we moved out of the area but she returned to her old school and settled again within days)

Our latest move was 4 weeks ago and we moved to a bigger house (hopefully a more permanent one too) and decided it would be good for her to have her own room. She was initially very happy with this.

She was ok for the first week or so, no problems at bedtime. But then she started getting up in the night, saying she couldn't get back to sleep and kept having bad dreams and she couldn't stop thinking about horrible things (when questioned further she said she kept dreaming that she was a giant in a world of tiny people) and she couldn't get back to sleep.

After a few days of sending her back to her room with her then crying until she woke the other children up, we decided to ask her little sister to share her room again, which they both agreed to.

It is now a major problem. She refuses to sleep in her own bed at all! She climbs into bed with her little sister and practically clings to her all night. She is fine in the day but when it comes to bedtime she cries, says she feels unwell and refuses to sleep. I've tried everything, bribing, shouting, cajoling, playing, music, stories, cuddles. Even when she's fallen asleep she'll wake up in kind of a daze and become almost hysterical when we send her back to bed.

I don't know what to do, should I take her to a doctor or is it just something she'll grow out of?? She's absolutely fine in the day (moany, probably because she's tired) but no other problems until bedtime.
Thank you for reading if you got this far.


Azft35 Sat 18-Dec-10 23:49:01

Just as an additional. I think that she may be starting to 'develop'. She seeems to be budding and I have noticed that she needs to bathe a little more often. Perhaps its a hormonal thing?

FairyChristmas Sun 19-Dec-10 00:47:32

My 6yo has been waking up in the middle of the night recently (and he shares a room with his 8yo brother).

Last night he took a liitle egyptian statue we have up to bed as a talisman - worked a treat - he even came down for it tonight!

Good luck x

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 19-Dec-10 01:04:22

9 is quite an imaginative age. I also started "budding" at that age, and was worried it was because I'd swallowed bubblegum. (A friend had told me it stuck to your ribs...)

Could it be something like that which is unsettling her?

purplepidjbauble Sun 19-Dec-10 14:26:50

Are there monsters under the bed in the new house? Or a ghost? Maybe a tree branch outside throws a shadow that looks like a hand onto the wall... Friendship issues at school, especially if she's developing first, combined with raging hormones could quite possibly be playing their part.

Try moving the bed so it faces a different direction, choosing new bedlinen with her, a nightlight, a drink of hot milk and a story at bedtime, a cuddly toy or hot water bottle... Radio 4 on very quietly works for me, as does the smell of lavender.

She probably will grow out of it, but that could take a while and be heart-wrenching while you wait for it to happen. Understanding why she doesn't want to sleep/be in the room alone is probably a lot quicker wink

Azft35 Sun 19-Dec-10 16:10:10

Thank you. I'll try some of those ideas. I have talked to her, nothing seems to be bothering her. We're about to move the rooms around because the two girls are now in the small bedroom (fine for one but not two) so will ask her to pick new bedclothes in the move about.

Oh I hope she grows out of it. Another friend suggested a dream-catcher so I'll try that too.


Takver Sun 19-Dec-10 16:33:36

DD used to have a very calming kids meditation cd which we were given by a friend when she (dd) was having problems sleeping. The specific cd (the princess one here ) would be too young for a 9 y/o, but I don't know if there is anything similar aimed at a slightly older age group.

Despite the fact that the blurb made all my hippy-shit-alarm-bells ring, it did genuinely seem to help dd, essentially a calming relaxing voice as she was laying in bed with gentle suggestions of pictures to see in her mind.

wannabeglam Sun 19-Dec-10 16:49:34

There must be something bothering her if she has to cling to her sister all night. I'd talk to her again.

Azft35 Sun 19-Dec-10 20:30:18

I agree with you, that's what I thought but if there is anything then she's not telling me or her Dad. She's sleeping at my sister's tonight so she's going to see if she will talk to her.

The thing that puzzles me is that she can sleep through when there is something in it for her. Like the other night when I said that she could have her new dress if she sleeps through in her bed and she did. Tonight, I'll bet she won't be any trouble for my sister either.

I hate to think that she's playing me or that I'm being unsympathetic but it leaves me wondering.

Azft35 Sun 19-Dec-10 20:34:54

Thank you, there is an older range called Chill Skills. They've look worth a go.

wannabeglam Sun 19-Dec-10 21:04:28

Hopefully your sister will get to the bottom of it - great idea.

homeboys Mon 20-Dec-10 10:17:40

Message withdrawn

Azft35 Mon 20-Dec-10 18:27:26

She slept ok at my sisters. She said our daughters were chatting until about 10pm though! She said that when she spoke to her she just said that she's tired! I know that.

I took her to the docs this evening as she kept asking to be taken (even though I told her a doc won't do anything because she does sleep once she gets to sleep). We saw a locum who diagnosed separation anxiety and recommended that I sit in with her until she falls asleep. I wouldn't have thought I'd need to do that with a 9 year old!

I spoke to her again as well and asked her what she wanted us to do and she said she didn't know.

I guess we're just going to have to wait it out :-(

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