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DD9 not sleeping in her room... Ever!

(37 Posts)
MrsWhirly Thu 27-Apr-17 20:41:15

My DD9 started having trouble sleeping alone at about 4yrs when my idiot DH let her watch a cartoon she found scary. She's now 9 1/2 and will not sleep in her bed. She said she's scared of the dark, nightmares and often is hysterical. She will get up 10, 20, 30 times and be exhausted in the mornings.

We have tried everything, I mean everything. Even giving in and letting her sleep with me whilst DH sleeps on the sofa! She is currently in her room crying so I am sitting in my bed waiting for her to sleep which she won't. Me and DH both work full time so never, ever spend any time - not even 5 minutes without her. I just don't know what to do ??

FATEdestiny Thu 27-Apr-17 21:31:06

Could she leave the light on in her room all night?

If she doesn't ever sleep in her room, what are her current usual sleeping arrangements?

FATEdestiny Thu 27-Apr-17 21:31:50

She must be missing out on sleepovers at that age. Poor girl.

Ecureuil Thu 27-Apr-17 21:33:06

Where is she usually sleeping?

SwirlingCockatoo Thu 27-Apr-17 21:34:54

Can you stay with her til she falls asleep?

SwirlingCockatoo Thu 27-Apr-17 21:35:36

Then at least you'll have a bit of time to yourselves of an evening.

Wolfiefan Thu 27-Apr-17 21:36:24

Oh bless her. Is this her only anxiety?
Light on outside room and door open?
Soft music on?
Special cuddle toy?
Torch?
Nightlight?
Sit in her room and gradually withdraw?
Worry box to put concerns in?
Change decor? Fairy lights?
Pictures to watch over her?
Running out of ideas and I bet you've tried the lot!

Wolfiefan Thu 27-Apr-17 21:36:54

What does she do when you go on holiday?

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Thu 27-Apr-17 21:38:38

I've had this at age 9 with my dd. I was the same, my silk was the same. We tried everything, CAMHS, hypnosis, everything. Nothing worked. It was just hell for all of us. Unbearably stressful.
I researched on the internet about ir. it's quite common with anxious children. The solution? A mattress on the floor of our room. She feels safe, we get rested and we're all sorted. It was very telling when she said to me, she wanted to sleep near us as she wanted to be protected😟

She has gone back on her own room some nights. But l figure, based on my experience and SIL, that when she becomes a teen she will just go back to her own bed.

Now we've sorted it,I just can't believe how the stress had totally disappeared from our life.

Hth

cakeandeatit Thu 27-Apr-17 21:42:01

You may need outside intervention at this stage. It sounds like she's developed quite deep rooted anxiety which may take some unravelling. I'm sure the help is out there for you it's just a case of getting that ball rolling with a visit to your GP. I don't think it'll be a quick fix but a permanent one will be better for you all. Good luck with whatever you try xx

steppemum Thu 27-Apr-17 21:47:13

I really agree with the last 2 posters, you need to either give in and accept her anxiety and let her sleep in your room, or get some outside help to work this out.

I think which one you do depends on you and your family, especially as outside intervention will probably not be available on NHS

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Thu 27-Apr-17 21:51:27

This is free floating anxiety that your dd has. Mine is the same, it was ANYTHING that triggered it. Scary clowns on Halloween, something on TV, a shadow in the room. These were all just symptoms of her general
high anxiety levels. Dds anxiety has all but gone, but at one stage was just horrendous. School,sleep, shadows. It was just anything.

It's the same with your dd, it's not really about an old film or nightmares, it's about high level anxiety. Some people are just more anxious than others. I was terrified of sleeping alone until about 12, and putting me with my sister made not one jot of difference. I wanted my parents.

When dd was at her worse, dh and I were arguing and shouting all the time. I was crying, dd was being sick with anxiety. It was just shit.

Now it's like a different house . Good luck op xx

TheElephantofSurprise Thu 27-Apr-17 21:54:17

Stop.
Put her bed in your room.
Let her sleep there, with you, no questions asked or comments made.
If you and DH need time alone, slip out to a bed in another room.
Ideally, keep a bed ready in her own room, too, in case she decides she'd like to sleep there.
Meet her needs. Take the battle and stress out of it. She'll grow up and want privacy eventually.

Pastaagain78 Thu 27-Apr-17 21:55:41

Let her sleep with you. Take the pressure off. Mattress on your floor or DH sleeps in her bed for a bit. Just say ok from now on you sleep with us. It will restore her confidence.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Thu 27-Apr-17 21:55:47

Absolutely agree!

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Thu 27-Apr-17 21:56:19

Once the pressures off it all spins back into place x

imip Thu 27-Apr-17 21:57:13

We leave a small mattress under our bed for our dds. That way dh and I keep our bed and get some sleep, but our dds also feel safe. We have bad times with our dd8. She has ASD and often is v scared to sleep on her own. Maybe then moving to having a soft toy on the mattress, then eventually taking the soft toy with her - like a transference object. A process that would take months is fine.

MrsWhirly Fri 28-Apr-17 02:34:24

Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your replies and suggestions. Unfortunately my room is too small for either her bed or a mattress and she would refuse it anyway. For example, we recently stayed in a hotel with a double bed and bunk bed for her& DS in the same room, yet she was scared and wanted to be in bed with us. Tonight she's been up over ten times, last time at 2am!

Wolfiefan I really have tried all of those things. Thank you though.

I'm wondering about anxiety now. I wouldn't have said she was anxious or an anxious child.

FATEDestiny her current arrangements are that she sleeps with me while DH sleeps on the sofa/her bed. She's never been invited to a sleepover actually but she is keen to go on residential school trips when they start at her school next year, or so she says.

What would the outside intervention be?

SwirlyCockatoo I've tried sitting with her until she goes to sleep and it makes things worse. She won't sleep in case I leave. I end up sitting at n the floor of her room for hours.

I work full time, so usually end up falling asleep at 9pm and waking up early hours.

Thanks again so all your help.

befuddledgardener Fri 28-Apr-17 02:50:13

I would make her feel as secure as possible and either take a mattress into her room and sleep on it or set a bed up next to your double bed. It won't last forever but maybe just go with it for a year.

MrsWhirly Fri 28-Apr-17 03:00:23

Thanks, she's back in my bed now. I was going to swap and let her sleep with DH but he woke up and is currently sulking on the sofa after throwing a hissy fit. Twat.

Supermagicsmile Fri 28-Apr-17 03:12:42

I agree it might be time to seek some outside help or therapy to help her address her fears and move forwards.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Fri 28-Apr-17 07:29:18

Could you fit in a camp bed?

Dd used to want to be in bed with us, even in the same room. Eventually, once she knew we were always there, she started to settle in the mattress.

MrsWhirly Fri 28-Apr-17 07:34:17

Thank you.

I was thinking a camp bed might fit at the end of my bed just now actually. Would you still insist she goes to sleep in her own bed?

imip Fri 28-Apr-17 07:37:55

No. Restart the process. Can she fall asleep in your room on her own? I'd prefer that to sitting in her room).

No I'd take all the pressure off for a while that she goes up to bed and sleeps in your room that being the status quo for now.
Ds1 is quite an anxious child and have learnt that the best starting point Ian just taking the pressure off completely. If she insists on sleeping with you I'd possibly flip my pillows to the other end of the bed if the camp bed at the bottom of it so that you can say that you are there and she can see you but she isn't in bed with you anymore. Her behaviour has tipped over in to the realms of anxiety now so you need to peddle it all back for now and just go with it.

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