6 YEARS OF NO SLEEP!!!(21 Posts)
My DD is nearly 6. She's never been a 'good' sleeper but for the last 2 weeks she's been waking at 0100 and shouting for me/ getting out of bed to come to our room.
She stays awake for around 2 hours.
So we usually finally get back to bed around 0300. I then have to get up for work at 0430.
I've tried taking her back to bed silently again and again but she just lies in bed shouting/screaming. (Waking up our 3 year old)
The problem is getting worse. Now she is starting to refuse to go to sleep at bedtime. (730 ish)
I end up getting engaged in conversations about back rubs/ water/ wees etc and 80% of the time I manage to keep my cool but sometimes I lose my temper which is something I HATE doing and spend the rest of the night/ next day at work feeling horrific about.
She is not having problems at school - I have checked with the teacher and spoken to her about it at a time when she's relaxed.
She doesn't have any particular worries, she's happy and chatty in the day time.
From what I can work out she just wants me to be in the bedroom with her all night. I've tried sitting there til she falls asleep but it's almost like she keeps herself awake to check I'm still there.
She has a regular bedtime routine which includes a bath and around 30 mins or more of stories. She doesn't eat a sugary diet and her tv time is very restricted (currently non existent)
I've tried reward charts, I've tried reasoning, I've tried explaining in the day when she is awake. We've sat down and troubleshooted the problem, come up with lists of things for her to do like read/ do stickers until she feels sleepy again.
I've also tried lifting her for a wee at 10 ish in case that was waking her.
I do work every day but because it's shift work I am there to pick her up from school every day and we spend lots of quality time together.
She's seen me EXHAUSTED by it all but nothing is working. I'm ashamed to say it's making me feel cross towards her.
I get up for work at 0430 so for the past fortnight I've been averaging around 4 hours a night. Though that's not ideal I'm mostly worried about the impact it's having on HER, her health and well being and how is she going to manage at school.
Seriously any advice MUCH appreciated.
Much sympathy. I have 2 non sleepers
DS is grown up now. His was due to ADHD and AS and he still doesn't really sleep
DD is 10 and can only sleep with melatonin
She has SN so we get it prescribed
Do you have paed involved or could you get a referral
Sour cherry juice
White noise machine (or a fish tank with a filter in her room)
Two kiwi fruit an hour before bed
Just give up trying to get her to sleep alone for now, buy a small double bed for her room and sleep with her every night.
I have an awful memory of being really angry with dd when she was doing something similar and if I could go back and do it all again I would simply sleep with her all night until she was happy to sleep alone.
I second the idea of sleeping with her. As adults we know how hard it is to suffer from insomnia - if a warm cuddle and company helps her to sleep its worth it. I always reassured myself that they'd have grown out of it by their wedding night!
Sorry that wasn't meant to sound brusque, it's just that if you get up with her every time you're giving her an incentive to keep waking.
Similar problem here. We stuck a children's bed next ours. Wish I'd done it years ago and saved all the fruitless battles!
I would also get in beside her. I guarantee it'll be less than 2 hrs before she falls back asleep.
And no talking. Just ignore her. You getting engaged in these conversations is a reward for her. "Shhhh..... nighttime".
THANK YOU - to be honest just typing it out made me feel better
I could try sleeping in her room and it may come to that.
My big problem is that I get up at 430 and so have to set an alarm - which might wake her! Until now she has managed to sleep in her room alone albeit with the odd night every few disturbed. I feel very reluctant to start down that path.
Also what would my other child think/ feel if I'm sleeping with one not the other.
MoominFlaps don't worry you don't sound brusque! yes I totally agree and I have tried leaving her (tried it last night) but the problem is she shouts so loudly she wakes up the 3 year old who then gets distressed.
Oh I am in a pickle!
Do you think I can speak to the doctor then? Surely they'd laugh me out of the surgery for wasting GP time...!
No you leave when she falls asleep. Get back in your own bed.
Loads of people I know have bed-shared at times like this. It's much more common than I thought and I've always said I would do the same if any of my children ever developed a sleep issue. What about trying a mattress on your floor for her tonight and see if it helps?
You sound, understandably, at the end of your tether. At 6, she could probably go downstairs away from the 3 year old - mine can be trusted. Let her go downstairs and play alone. Not great but desperate times...
Get a cheap Fitbit or equivalent- they have silent alarms which buzz on your wrist. I'm a terribly light sleeper and DH has to get up at funny times for work-he got one of those and it didn't disturb me
Been there, done that. What "solved" the problem with ds1 at a similar age was having a sleeping bag on a
deliberately thin and uncomfortable camping mat beside our bed. Once he'd had a few nights of that, waking up to come into our room inexplicably lost its appeal - but he knew that if he ever felt that needed to be in with us, there was always the option, which I think was very calming and reassuring for him.
Not sure why I put solved in quotes - it did actually work.
Oh OP, it's so difficult. I had a terrible sleeper recently it also started getting much worse again. She's almost four.
What finally worked for us was cutting out ALL cuddles and all talking during the night. We never felt comfortable leaving her to cry so I would go in if she called out, but say nothing and give no cuddles. Do anything practical that is needed but otherwise absolutely no attention. I mean NO talking. Not even 'back to bed now', nothing even if she asks a question or it's all too easy to slip back into negotiation.
We actually did combined this with a reward chart so I could explain to her what was happening and give her lots of praise and positivity every time she went the whole night without getting us up (wee wees didn't count).
I also stopped my partner going in - we had split the night work equally until then but I realised that to crack it we needed one consistent approach and DD needed to realise that she couldn't play us off against each other.
Sometimes, if I had gone in and made sure everything was ok, I would leave for a few minutes and she would cry. I would wait a couple of minutes and then go back in and repeat (so I suppose it was controlled crying). She got bored in the end!
It took about ten days although it got much much better after three days. I so sympathise. It's a killer and sorting it out has been life changing for us. Good luck.
Ok am feeling really bad now that I haven't just slept with her!
But maybe if her sleep is the priority - which it IS - it's something to seriously consider.
I will try the Lazydog mattress / sleepign bag on floor in our room approach first and see how it goes.
again - THANK YOU I really appreciate your feedback.
My prob with this Imogen is that when I go in she starts screaming and crying if I try to leave. Even if I say nothing.
Last night i went up, said nothing. Sat on the stairs outside her room til she feel asleep half an hour later.
15 minutes later she was awake and shouting again - and woke up the 3 year old.
She may not sleep quietly in your room - it may be your attention rather than your presence she's looking for. She sounds quite vocal. Worth a try though.
If it doesn't work out, definitely go into her room with her. Try not to get your arm stuck under her neck and you should be able to retreat once she's asleep.
I have done some serious Ninja retreats in my time! Holding my breath and taking 10 mins to slither out from the bed muscle by muscle and and then trying to remember where the creaky floorboards are!
Ninja retreats are like a badge of honour for parenting. It's similar to the skill of stealth closing a bedroom door so as not to wake the occupant - a millimetre at a time, to make no noise.
Ive been know to ninja on my hands and knees at snail's pace to get out of the child's bedroom.
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