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9 year old DD and not sleeping

(26 Posts)
angelblue Mon 30-Dec-13 22:16:17

We are having huge problems recently with DD not sleeping, the problem seems to be she is awake and can't drop off, she then gets very difficult and won't just lie quietly. We have had a few nights where she is still awake at 2am.
Generally we have a good bed time routine, bit of quiet time in bedroom playing, reading etc, bath, teeth, loo and bed, mostly this is successful, but on the odd occasion and seems to be getting more frequent we are having battles. Starts with getting up to say I can't sleep, then goes back and forth a few times, numerous toilet trips, tummy aches, crying and then worrying about not being able to sleep and gets completely irrational and won't settle at all. Even after we have gone to bed she keeps coming into our room so we are not sleeping either.

We've tried calm and reassuring, shouting, last night I told her to read (around midnight), currently I'm sat upstairs close by...completely fed up and don't know what to do for the best. Anyone have any suggestions, hoping it is just a phase.

Earlybird Mon 30-Dec-13 22:19:36

What time do you put her into bed?
What time does she wake up in the mornings?
Is she a physically active child?

DD has had some issues with sleeping, but things seem to have improved by putting her to bed later (as they get older, they don't need as much sleep), and ensuring she does some exercise each day.

RestingActress Mon 30-Dec-13 22:22:06

9yo DD is just the same, problem is every time she gets up she is waking herself up more. She is very active so it's not like I'm not tiring her out.

Bach's Rescue Remedy works sometimes, even if it may be a placebo.

angelblue Mon 30-Dec-13 22:32:21

Thanks for replies, it is usually by 8 weekdays and 8.30 weekends.

She has not been as physically active just recently so I will look to up this.

I've just popped some lavender oil in her room and told her it will help her go to sleep so fingers crossed.

wfrances Mon 30-Dec-13 22:58:26

has anything happened prior to this starting?
how many hours is she sleeping?
is she tired?
I have 4 dc and they all have different sleep patterns.

angelblue Mon 30-Dec-13 23:02:46

No nothing changed, just gets herself all worked up and can't get through to her, I've suggested she just lay quietly and day dream if she can. Hoping it's just a phase.

angelblue Mon 30-Dec-13 23:06:06

Normal bed time and up at 6.30, if she can't sleep she's up an hour or so later in the morning

LastingLight Tue 31-Dec-13 11:51:27

Have you tried warm milk, melatonin, chamomile tea? Something to help her relax before bedtime.

mrscog Tue 31-Dec-13 12:04:34

Does she like reading? I always found it difficult to sleep as a child but just used to read until I couldn't stay awake anymore. At 9 I would nearly always be asleep by 10-11 with this method. I'd give her a lamp, a pile of books and leave her to it!

yourehavingalaugh Tue 31-Dec-13 12:08:07

8/8.30 sounds really early to me. Give her an extra hour?

angelblue Tue 31-Dec-13 18:38:29

Thanks, yes she normally has warm milk. I agree reading is probably the way to go, my DS does this successfully but DD prefers to play.

I had not considered the bedtime to be too early but she is growing up fast so maybe we do need to tweak it.

Last night didn't seem so bad, albeit after 11 by time she was asleep, NYE will be late one anyway so hopefully she'll be nice and tired by the time head hits the pillow, fingers crossed!

purpleroses Thu 02-Jan-14 08:31:43

My Dd is vety similar. I eventually took her to the Gp in desparation. She recommended a warm bath and a cool bedroom. But also gave pyratin (antihistimine) as a last resort as it does make them drowsy. I usually give DD half a pill just at times when I think she's particularly likely to have trouble settling.
I also encourage her to read a book for a bit if she does find herself unable to sleep and not to come waking us up.

angelblue Thu 02-Jan-14 18:54:38

Thanks, I'd considered taking her to doctors, need some improvement as DH back to work Monday and has early starts.
Started a reward chart last night for staying in bed, being quiet etc and let her read til 9.30. Last night was slightly better in behaviour but still awake when we went to bed at 11.30 ish eek!!

angelblue Thu 02-Jan-14 18:56:02

She has had v busy day today so hoping she is worn out!

shebird Fri 03-Jan-14 08:45:52

My DD has gone through a similar phase and a later bedtime has worked. It is probably more difficult over the holidays with maybe less activity and getting a bit older she might not be as tired.

angelblue Fri 03-Jan-14 09:43:47

That's reassuring shebird, had a step forward last night, she read until she was tired, settled down and then only got up once. Went to sleep around 10.30 we think, yay!! She is pleased with her self too so everyone happier this morning!

Jel02 Mon 06-Jan-14 20:50:49

Same issues with our DS (7yo) despite always having a bedtime routine. I tried using the 'when I dread my bed' book which looks as how much sleep they generally should be getting. It suggests lots of good bedtime routine activities with the aim being that you finish the routines half an hour before the time they currently go to sleep, to avoid the lying there and getting more and more anxious about not sleeping.
The idea then is to bring everything forward by a few minutes each night to lengthen the amount they sleep. I found initially it enabled him to get to sleep fairly quickly at a later time but was never able to bring it forward.
He's never needed much sleep but I am exhausted as once I'm woken I can't get back to sleep. It was 1am this morning and he was drawing in bed - I feel your pain!! I'm now aiming at trying to get him to stay put, but still hard to sleep yourself when they're still awake. So no answers but plenty of sympathy smile

Orangeanddemons Mon 06-Jan-14 20:56:54

My dd is like this. She's a night owl, and has never settled easily at night, but will sleep for England in the mornings. We don't let her sleep late though, as then she is even worse when going to bed.

I give her a couple of sppons of phenergan when I think she is going to have trouble settling, eg when she starts a new term.

Starballbunny Mon 06-Jan-14 21:02:06

STOP stressing about it as long as she's upstairs by 9.30/10 PM and lights out by about 10.30-11 she will be fine!

Not sleeping preteens are like non eating toddlers, you can do nothing about them.

angelblue Mon 06-Jan-14 21:42:44

Reluctant to speak too soon but I think we are turning a corner! Whole household feeling better for a few nights proper sleep. I guess things are always changing and certainly at my Dd's age hormones are playing a part too. I did speak to doctors and they have said they would like to see her if it continues so slways an option for anyone else having the same problem xx

Starballbunny Tue 07-Jan-14 19:40:46

I'm glad you had a better night, now honestly stop worrying about it.

It takes time, my total night owl DD2(15) was never normally asleep before midnight from 11-14y. However she would always throw in the occasional early night. Now with GCSEs she throws in a few more.

Went up to bed at 5pm (with orders to wake her for food, in 15 minutes from now)

And was in bed by 10pm yesterday.

She'll sort herself out in a couple if weeks when she doesn't have to get up in the dark and Christmas and mocked, just before have worn off.

SuperCathy Wed 22-Jan-14 08:41:59

I had very similar problems with my eldest DD at a similar age. She's now 11, and not always great at getting off to sleep, but we've both got to a point neither she nor I stress if she's still awake at 11 - this has become normal for her and she copes fine at school the next day.
We bought a book, available from Amazon, called 'what to do when you dread your bed' which was a big help. It's written directly to the child, and certainly made my DD feel that she was not unusual or alone in not being able to get to sleep. It gave us lots of practical things to try and made her feel back in control I think. I recommend it.
Good luck

OldBeanbagz Wed 22-Jan-14 11:10:23

We had similar problems with DD when she was in Y5/Y6 (it was taking her 3-4 hours to get to sleep) and i bought this cd.

It had an amazing affect on her sleep, it worked from the first night and within a week she was in a routine of sleeping well.

Now Y7 she still uses it if she's having problems drifting off. Though with the early starts for high school she's normally worn out by 8pm.

Starballbunny Wed 22-Jan-14 11:19:20

Thinking about it, DD1 got her walkman at about 9 and used the Celtic lawn folky New age music that was one of the freebee tracks to get to sleep. I ended up buying her the whole album.

I suspect she still does sometimes, along with Owl City and the Twilight sound track.

She also went through a phase of GO and Twilight audio books from the library.

Starballbunny Wed 22-Jan-14 11:20:35

HP (sorry phone ignores abbreviations, Kindle tries to be clever)

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