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My 4.5 yr old wakes up at night and takes 2 hrs to get back to sleep

(5 Posts)
SarahDe Thu 30-Jan-14 09:21:21

My youngest has always been a good sleeper but since 2 she has woken up in the night and takes 1 or 2 hours to get back to sleep. It's far less now but recently gone up to 2-3 times a week. I have tried going in with quick reassurance but this doest work, so I go and lie with her until I know she is asleep. I can snooze so I'm not losing a whole 2 hrs. I'm worried about her sleep loss. She finds it hard to get up next morning. It's not about nightmares and I have stopped itchy skin with cream and fish oil. Should I give her music to go back to sleep to? I do praise her if she sleeps well but maybe a reward chart? Or should I just keep getting up and not get into bed with her?

tanimbar Thu 30-Jan-14 20:32:36

Oh, I do sympathise. My 4yo struggles to fall asleep in the evening, and wakes at night pretty often too. She'd like to sleep late in the mornings, and is tired and grumpy during the day, but sleeping late only makes it harder the following night. She went through a long period of doing just what your DD is doing, and it was incredibly frustrating. I've not had much luck with reward charts, but maybe music, or an audio book, or a relaxation CD (you can get them specifically aimed at children)? Tbh, if only getting into bed with her works, that's what I'd do. My DD gets very anxious about her inability to sleep, which of course simply exacerbates the problem...

SarahDe Fri 31-Jan-14 09:42:40

Thanks Tanibar, going to give music etc. something she can turn on herself. Thanks for tip about relaxation tapes. Her sister is on the top bunk and always thought this would avoid this problem. Luckily she sleeps through it all. Will report back...

tanimbar Fri 31-Jan-14 21:28:30

Good luck! Yep, DD's older brother can sleep through anything as well, thankfully. I've come to feel that at this age, they are really going to need to learn to deal with the non-sleeping themselves, to a certain extent, so I agree, some music/relaxation, whatever that she can switch on herself would certainly be worth a try.

Basketofchocolate Fri 31-Jan-14 21:45:00

DS does this regularly, though thankfully not for so long. I don't lie down with him as don't want to lose sleep myself, or set (what I believe for me - no judgement) is a bad habit that I might not be able to get out of (I don't sleep too well myself these days so want my own space in my own bed.)

For us, it seemed a security thing. He'd wake up and wouldn't sleep until he knew we were around and everything was ok - no nightmares or anything though. Mostly it is when we are going to bed, so usually if it looks like going straight back to sleep isn't going to happen, he comes into us. I leave the lamp on, he chats to DH a bit or sits there while we do a crossword or something (not too interesting and a little bit brain taxing) or we discuss something tedious like decorating. He gets comfort, sees he's not missing much and after a while his eyelids get heavy I suggest I take him back to his bed. He's usually compliant after 20 mins or so.

I find that letting him wake up properly somehow helps him start again in the getting to sleep process somehow. He doesn't suffer nightmares, but sometimes I think there is something sometimes that upsets his sleep cycle.

Not sure it would work for you, but a suggestion.

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