Help needed - 11 (almost12) year old DD is "frightened"to sleep alone

(3 Posts)
Lisaannb Mon 21-Nov-16 10:04:24

Our daughter has always been a great sleeper and never had any problems at all. Suddenly about 2 months ago she has had a major problem almost every night getting to sleep. She goes to bed at her normal time then as soon as we head to bed, usually around 11pm she creeps in with the pretence of something wrong, bad chest, headache, feeling sick, the list goes on. If I lie in the bed with her she falls to sleep quite quickly but as soon as I move she is awake and gets really upset when i try to leave. If she stays at grandparents no problem at all goes to bed and sleeps through. Eventually after a long talk last night she says she is frightened in her room alone as she can hear noises. We did have a major holiday this year and were away for just over a month when we spent most of the time in hotel rooms as a family so she has someone with her every night. It is only since returning that the problem has started so not sure if this is related. We are now totally at a loss what to do as I just never get a full nights sleep and she is getting more and more upset as time goes on. It is at the point where she is asking to sleep at her grandparents every weekend or always asks for a friend for a sleepover. the temptation to give in and have a good nights sleep is great but I know we can't give in to this as the problem will never be resolved. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.

FATEdestiny Mon 21-Nov-16 13:20:16

she says she is frightened in her room alone as she can hear noises.

So first of all, believe her.

If you were afraid in the night and could hear noises that scared you, what could you do to help yourself?

A light on would be my first suggestion. A night light might not be bright enough and to take this you want to go with things feeling as "safe" as possible, so that may mean plenty of light.

Consider a lamp left on all night. Or get a dinner summer switch and leave the overhead light on, dimmed down, all night.

Landing and bathroom light left on all night. So if she does get up, it's not scarey and maybe she'd be ok going back to bed.

Ask her if door open or door closed feels safer. Go with her choice, all night.

Then hearing scary noises. These might just be general house noises, but she's scared by then. So she needs background noise to block out the scary sounds.

Bedside fan is a great sound-blocked. Poibt Point it away from her in winter. The radio on low. White noise. Relaxing CD music playing on repeat all night. Whatever she chooses needs to be on loud enough to not hear other noises.

You could also consider ear plugs, but she may not like the feel and not being able to hear may scare her more.

When you've done all of this - ask what else she needs? Would a cheap baby monitor help so you can hear her / she can hear you at all times? What about changing the curtains? Some curtains and blinds throw odd shaped shadows around at night.

It's about doing everything she needs to feel safe and not scared in her room, so that she had no reason to need to come into your room. So she doesn't feel scared any more.

Lisaannb Mon 21-Nov-16 15:10:19

Hi there thank you so much for that. She already has a light and we have tried various combinations of this and she now has a nightlight that she has chosen and prefers. Have tried a fan and it was too loud so last night offered some low volume music so have sorted a speak in her room for tonight so this is the next thing we try. It is awaful seeing her so upset as I say she has always been such an amazing sleeper and so settled. We will try everything we can to get her happy again.

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