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9 yr old DS can't sleep.

(10 Posts)
RequestInUse Thu 26-May-16 23:44:27

Just that really.

Back story.
He has just got up for a wee and clearly hasn't yet been to sleep. This is despite a bed time, being a later one, of 8:45, usually 7:30/8, was 8/8:30 until recently when a spate of bad behaviour was attributed, by him, to being tired.
I took this to mean he needed an earlier bed time again but I'm now wondering if it's because he isn't sleeping for a long time after getting into bed. Until last May I would always pop my head in and check him, but in May we got him a bunk bed with a solid side and I can no longer see him and found I disturbed him if I tried to check he was ok/asleep so stopped.

Any suggestions?

I asked him why he couldn't sleep and if I could do anything to help him sleep now and better in future. He said nothing.

He used to have a book to read to settle but we found he just stayed up reading/looking at them. So gave this cooling down time a time limit with a timer but again he could stay awake for a long time after it went off. And then the timer just dwindled/proved to not be that useful I suppose as it's not used any more.

I'm worried as a child this young can't manage on such little sleep surely?

We always have a bed time routine of pjs, teeth and story btw.

BertrandRussell Thu 26-May-16 23:50:15

Is he bothered?
Is he showing signs of tierdness?

corythatwas Thu 26-May-16 23:50:51

Does he worry about not being able to sleep? I did for a long time, even as an adult, until my mother pointed out that if I was lying in bed and resting I would still be getting rest even if I wasn't asleep. Once she had pointed that out, I stopped worrying- and found it easier to fall asleep. I think this checking if he is asleep sounds counterproductive; it teaches him to worry if he can't fall asleep straightaway and it also doesn't take into account the different levels of sleep and how normal it is to wake up at regular intervals. I would settle for "you have to be in bed with all activities switched off" and then stop trying to find out what his actual state of consciousness is.

corythatwas Thu 26-May-16 23:51:44

I have occasionally spent half the night awake and still been rested in the morning- precisely because I was still relaxing and not worried about it.

RequestInUse Thu 26-May-16 23:57:25

I haven't checked on him for a about a year.

And yes quite happy with the restful awake ness, as that is better than awake and alert/busy (like me blush). I'm just conscious that 7.5 hrs seems like not enough sleep for a child his age.

Will ask him if he worries about trying to sleep in the morning. As the inability to go to sleep isn't particularly new for him, it's just not normally this late. He's has a physical week so far too so thought that would have helped him drift off easier.

RequestInUse Thu 26-May-16 23:58:49

In the night time! Haven't gone I. And checked he was ok sleeping soundly (old habit from baby I suppose) for a year! Lol not that I haven't cared for him, obvs lol.

corythatwas Fri 27-May-16 00:01:12

I just wonder if it is a good idea to ask him about this? Isn't that just telling him that there is a problem and that if he doesn't fall asleep straightaway he should be worried? And isn't that likely to make it harder for him to go to sleep?

If he turns up in the living room or in your bedroom then I agree that you should ask why. But just lying peacefully in his bed- I wouldn't even have known at that age whether mine were asleep or not.

KeepOnPlodding Fri 27-May-16 00:01:17

I agree that being in bed and 'resting' is fine. Worrying about not sleeping potentially becomes a vicious cycle otherwise.

Is it possible that he's just got out of a bedtime routine? DS is a similar age and whilst we usually have pretty consistent bedtimes there are occasional spells where we seem to have had a few weekends away (late nights), been out for dinners (late night) and let DS stay up to watch something special on tv (another late night). Before you know it bedtime is a bit all over the place and it takes a week of consistent 8pm bedtimes to get back to normal.

Could you re-establish reading time before lights out? I tuck DS in with a book and then come back at an allotted time to snuggle him down. We also got a lavender pillow that heats up in the microwave and that seemed to work.

RequestInUse Fri 27-May-16 00:07:12

I wouldn't have know he was awake and. Not been to sleep had it not been him going for a wee and not looking sleepy.

I will ask him if he would like to go back to settling down with a book again.

Also asking him if it's a regular thing doesn't have to make him worry if I reassure him it's ok to be restful awake. But it might also give him a chance to bring up if something is playing on his mind and genuinely keeping him awake.

RequestInUse Fri 27-May-16 00:07:48

He may really like a lavender pillow or similar too.

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