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Please help me solve this sleep issue

(5 Posts)
popperdoodles Fri 17-Feb-17 08:13:53

We have 3 ds and a 3 bedroom house. Dh and I obviously share, eldest ds17 has his own room and other 2 ds aged 14 and 10 share the biggest room which is divided into separate spaces but only one window and light.
Now the issue is youngest ds needs the light on to fall asleep and it's driving middle ds crazy as he can't sleep unless it's dark. Until recently this wasn't a problem because usually younger ds would go to bed earlier and be asleep by the time other ds was ready to turn the light off and go to sleep. Trouble is now youngest is getting older he is going to sleep later which is now impacting on other ds getting to sleep.

In an ideal world they would have their own rooms but this is not an option. Their room is really big and zoned with furniture so each has a clearly defined space and an illusion of privacy. The light issues is the problem.

Last night we insisted the light went off. Obviously youngest needs to learn to sleep in the dark. Trouble is he was still awake at 1:30 am. He cried at first but then just was too alert, sat up in bed, kept getting up. Was sat on the stairs at one point.

Any advice on how to help him? He's 10.

skankingpiglet Fri 17-Feb-17 15:52:37

Well, you two options are obviously either a) teaching the youngest to sleep in the dark, b) split the room so the light can't shine from one half to the other, or c) compromise.

a) Would be my preference due to only one window and as presumably DS3 will need to learn to sleep in the dark at some point anyway. As to how to make it happen... I'm not full of ideas unfortunately, but how about giving him a torch to keep under his pillow so he has a light source easily to hand if he wakes up scared? Could you stay with him for the first few nights until he falls asleep then sit outside the door etc? Would he be motivated with the promise of some kind of reward if he managed a week in the dark?

In the shorter term, as DS3 is now going to bed a bit later, could DS2 not also push his bedtime back a bit to give DS3 a chance to get to sleep? It's kicking the can down the road, but DS3 may be more ready by then to go without the light.

b) Is the window on one boy's side, and the door on the other's? If so would a 'borrowed light' panel be possible above the door? That could enable you to put in a better light shield between the two halves? If the room was split in this way it would be easy enough to overcome the one ceiling light issue by either dropping a second pendant into the room or using lamps.

c) Would DS3 accept a much dimmer nightlight, and DS2 be willing to accept a low level glow?

popperdoodles Sat 18-Feb-17 08:31:07

Thank you for the reply. Teaching him to have the light off has to be the best thing to do. Could kick myself for allowing it until now but it just hasn't been a problem until recently. Being older I should be able to reason with him and reward him etc but also the habit is very deeply ingrained.

fabulousathome Sat 18-Feb-17 09:43:08

How about wearing an eye mask in bed? You can buy silk ones on Amazon or in travel shops. Very cheap and blocks out the light.

Shootingstar2289 Sat 18-Feb-17 18:59:16

This must be difficult. It reminds me of me and my partner. I am petrified of the dark but my other half likes it pitch dark. We have compromised. Instead of a lamp next to the bed, we leave the light on in our spare room to let light though and he has got used to a 'little' light coming in.

I don't know what to suggest tbh. But I do feel for your youngest. Being scared of the dark sucks! I've never got over it fully! confused

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