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9 year old really bad sleeper any advice

(17 Posts)
Eggs Wed 07-Sep-11 15:40:15

Dd is 9 and is a really bad sleeper, she doesn't seem to be able to wind down to sleep. She goes to bed at 10 , but could still be awake at 12. I have tried putting her to bed earlier - at 9 still awake at 12 also. We tried later at 10.30 and she did sleep around 11. I think this is too late for a school going child. She gets up in the mornings and does take a lot of exercise, no computer games and reads a lot. She dreads going to bed as ahe knows she will just be lying there waiting for sleep. I know how frustrating this can be.

Any advice would be great,


Bangtastic Wed 07-Sep-11 16:21:48

10pm is far too late for a 9 year old in my opinion, especially on a school night. Whack it down to 8-8.30pm. Lead up to it with a nice long bath, a hot milky drink followed by some quiet reading time in her room with the lights low. Even if she is awake for a couple of hours, it will still only be 10pm, 11pm the latest by the time she gets to sleep. Then wake her up at the same time each morning.

Stick to the routine. It should, in theory, work.

Is there anything worrying her that could be keeping her awake at night? Being so anxious about going to bed certainly won't help her drop off either, so you need to explain to her that it's normal, and whilst it is stressful not being able to sleep, if she sticks to this new routine it should sort itself out in time x

RoundOrangeHead Wed 07-Sep-11 16:37:33

wish I could help, my dd is the same and has been since a young age

she has the same routine every night

she is a worrier though

RoundOrangeHead Wed 07-Sep-11 16:38:10

I agree though, 10pm bedtime is late

Eggs Wed 07-Sep-11 21:35:54

Thanks for that, it is all quite difficult at the moment as we are not back to school yet as just moved to a new area and waiting to get accepted at schools etc. She has always been a bad sleeper but since we are not yet back to the school routine it is harder.

inchoccyheaven Wed 07-Sep-11 22:53:25

Eggs I sympahtise with you. My ds1 is 11 and can be like that, in fact monday night he was awake until 2.30am because he was thinking about starting his new school. He was a sleep by 10.45pm last night and I was so pleased. He is defintely worse during school hols as his brain isn't being kept occupied.

I just tell him to listen to music or read as it is frustrating to be lying there for hours not able to sleep. I think taking the pressure off trying to get to sleep is important. it is like saying don't think of orange buses ( or anything really) as soon as you say don't, you just can't help it.

Hope she gets better once school starts.

Francagoestohollywood Wed 07-Sep-11 23:07:54

I sympathise. Our ds is 9 and roughly once a week finds it very difficult to fall asleep.
He gets really anxious and the more he frets the more he struggles to fall asleep.

I can understand that your dd might feel a bit more apprehensive than usual, with the move and the wait for the new school. I'd try to be understanding but firm with the bedtime. I'd probably let her read a bit longer, after all not all children need to sleep 12 hrs, we are all different sleep wise!

WoofToYouTooLady Wed 07-Sep-11 23:11:22

have you discussed this with a GP?

Eggs Wed 07-Sep-11 23:16:57

Will discuss it with the gp once I can establish where is my local gp is. I only moved to the uk from Ireland 2 weeks ago. Some one suggested relaxation CDs to listen to in bed at night - anyone used these?

InmaculadaConcepcion Thu 08-Sep-11 14:05:43

I remember seeing a documentary with a (school-age) child who was a nightmare when it came to going to sleep at night. In the end, a sleep expert advised the parents to put her to bed at midnight (yes, midnight!!) for a few weeks and also used a reward box to discourage getting up.

Then they brought bedtime gradually earlier until the child was going before 21.00 and she slept through fine.

If your DD associates going to bed with lying awake unable to sleep for hours, a much later bedtime (initially) might actually work better than an earlier bedtime because she will be more exhausted and fall asleep much faster. It's a classic CBT technique for insomniacs. Another technique is to ban all sleep-distractions from the bedroom: TVs/computers etc., books, toys. The idea is to re-train the brain to associate sleep with being in bed.
Then, if she falls asleep within 15 mins of getting into bed with the later bedtime for a week, bring bedtime 15 mins earlier and keep repeating the technique as her sleeping improves.

Eggs Thu 08-Sep-11 15:17:19

midnight - this seems really late however at this stage i am willing to try anything. i have ordered the relaxation cds so will see how these go once they arrive.

InmaculadaConcepcion Thu 08-Sep-11 17:05:59

It sounds like 23.00 might work as the start-off point for your DD from what you said earlier, Eggs - and remember, it's only a temporary bedtime. The aim is to progressively move that earlier once your DD has adjusted her mindset to reliably dropping off to sleep within 15 mins of going to bed.....

Good luck! smile

RoundOrangeHead Thu 08-Sep-11 17:18:31

InmaculadaConcepcion, that sounds like an interesting idea

may try that with my non-sleeping dd

good luck, eggs smile

InmaculadaConcepcion Thu 08-Sep-11 18:53:10

I've had similar problems myself and used this book to help me sort them out.

Previously I had been going to bed earlier and earlier trying to compensate for my nocturnal wakefulness. When I started going to bed later instead, my sleep improved a lot.

Good luck everyone - sleep problems are a bummer, speaking as a recovering insomniac and mother of an intermittently good/bad sleeping DD....!

LunarRose Thu 08-Sep-11 19:07:47

Actually I was going to approach it from the other angle.

Is she tired during the day? Does it effect her school work when she is at school? And you says she gets up in the morning....

If the answer to the above is no, she isn't getting tired during the day, no it doesn't effect her school work so it isn't impacting on her negatively at all, does it matter?

If she quietly reading or listening to the radio in her bedroom, her body is resting anyway. Everyone's body needs different amounts of sleep, wasn't it Maggie thatcher who was quoted as never having had more than 4 hours.

I'd be really worried about instigating a later bedtime for a night owl just in case that stuck!!

Eggs Thu 08-Sep-11 20:37:31

Lunarrose - I kind of agree with you, she is never tired during the day, and really active always jumping around, dancing etc. I do think that if she is in bed she is resting but she does get so frustrated.

LunarRose Fri 09-Sep-11 11:06:42

Perhaps the answer then is more what she can do in her room when shes awake that will help her feel less frustrated? Radio on quietly, book etc

I have one like that except the other way round, DD 5 usually up at 5.30 and on the go incessantly until she stops and goes to bed at 7. Has always been the same. tried putting her to bed later but she still wakes up at the same time but is grumpier. Tried trainer clocks everything but to no avail. I gave up. Now she has a video in her room which she watches, and she plays in her room until everyone else is awake enough for her to come in for a cuddle. Shes happier. everyone else is happier.

Our house seems to be full of conflicting body clocks, have never managed to substantially alter any of them. but we have learned to live round them.

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