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Six year old unable to go back to sleep at night: help!

(6 Posts)
RooTwo Tue 16-Oct-12 09:40:22

My six year old DD has started waking in the night and being completely unable to go back to sleep. She is usually a very good sleeper and I don't know what has brought this on. She is happy at school, and generally a very happy little thing. I'm also having to sit in her room at bedtime until she falls asleep; then she woken up a few nights this week at around midnight or one a.m. and not been able to go back to sleep for a couple of hours. She gets herself really worked up and very upset ... I've just been going in and out to reassure her (though TBH last night I got pretty fed up and very firm) and eventually she goes to sleep, but not after lots of crying. POOR THING. I don't know what to do - am massively playing it down as I don't want to make it into a big thing, that'll get her even more anxious, but I feel like I need to do something or at least have some sense of the right approach. I thought I'd left the no-sleep era behind sad Any advice would be SO welcome.

bonzo77 Tue 16-Oct-12 09:49:11

I had terrible insomnia at that age. I thought I was ok. My parents thought I was ok. Actually I was being bullied but didn't recognise it, and was very anxious. sad however my parents did get me a great relaxation tape and it usually had me back to sleep in 10-15 minutes. I really don't know how you delve deeper into your DDs mind. I'm sure someone will be along soon.

RooTwo Tue 16-Oct-12 09:55:36

Thanks bonzo77 - she did used to listen to peaceful music when going to sleep so may reintroduce that. Looking forward to any more feedback ...

CarpeJugulum Tue 16-Oct-12 09:57:04

I did this at about 5yo - it coincided with me starting proper school as opposed to reception/nursery. Not bullied (at that point!) but very anxious about things changing.

My parents bought me a Walkman and audio books (very grownup and posh back then, it was more like a brick!) so when I couldn't sleep, they didn't force me to sleep, I just lay and listened to my audiobook - and fell asleep without stress.

Technique still works for me today as my brain is listening to the story, not thinking IYSWIM. There is even one book I listen to now and I now don't make it past the third track.

I would still try to find out why she's upset, but I'd reassure her that it's normal - but her body still needs to relax and recharge so lying quietly is still a requirement, even if she can't sleep.

RooTwo Tue 16-Oct-12 15:56:01

Thank you Carpe - I do wonder if her little brain is just buzzing too much with all that is going on - school etc, even though she seems very happy. I have asked her if she is worried about anything, and she's said no, but I know they can't always articulate things that may be bothering them. Am going to try to be as patient as I can and will try the music tonight ... with luck this is a brief phase that will pass!

shomes Thu 18-Oct-12 07:07:05

I have the same with ds 4 at the mo, just started school and slept so much better before. I try to get everything off his ind before bed but I think his head is still swimming and he has a fear of being alone. I'm trying my best but 4 months pregnant ad exhausted at attempts to get him back o sleep at night! X

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