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My DD is nearly 8 and is driving us mad with her bedtime/sleep anxiety. Need advice please.

(7 Posts)
sandyballs Mon 15-Dec-08 11:51:33

This seems to have started when she went into year 3 in Sept, yet she seems to love school and has said that nothing is worrying her.

Basically, she worries that she will be unable to get to sleep so she asks me to promise her that she will, which I do. I've told her to lay quietly, stay calm and she will eventually drop off. I also have to promise that she won't be sick and that I will come up and see her every two minutes hmm. I've started to tell her that I can't promise that she won't be sick as no-one knows if they are going to be ill, but it is highly unlikely, and I've also started to increase this 2 minute checking to 5 and am trying to increase it each night, as it's driving me and dh to distraction and I think it is keeping her awake, waiting for us, so its a vicious circle.

Has anyone else experienced this with a child this age? I'm trying to stay calm with her as getting cross will just upset her even more and keep her awake, but it's driving me nuts, she was awake until 10.30 last night, having been put to bed at 8.00. She is tired out with big black rings round her eyes. I did end up shouting last night when I was called up for the 15th time - I told her that she was better at bedtime and sleeping when she was 2 than nearly 8.

YeahBut Mon 15-Dec-08 11:56:31

Both my girls have trouble getting to sleep and anxiety issues. Our doctor suggested trying melatonin - ask your pharmacist - which has been a big help. They take it about an hour before going to bed.

Pawslikepaddington Mon 15-Dec-08 12:01:32

Why is she so scared of being sick? Has she been ill recently? Have you seen the doctor about her sleeping habits? I know you have probably thought about all of this already, but thought I would ask. Is it the fear of illness that is keeping her awake?

Cammelia Mon 15-Dec-08 12:07:06

I used to send dd off to "fairyland" or "dreamland"

Tell her the bed is a carriage pulled by 2 white unicorns and that the duvet is a mummy swan keeping her warm. There will be fairies at fairyland to play with and she will come back in the morning. Dreamland can be anything you like, like a beach or a lovely playground. All she has to do is close her eyes and drift off as the unicorns are impatient to be off.Then say she will be able to tell you all about her lovely nighttime adventures in the morning.

You leave the room saying a few neighs as you go downstairs.
Worked every time.

sandyballs Mon 15-Dec-08 15:55:34

Thanks for replies. I might ask the doc about melatonin. Is it a drug though?

She has a phobia about being sick. She has very rarely been sick in her life and the couple of occasions she has been, it has freaked her out.

That's a good idea about dreamland or fairlyand, worth a try!

SleighGirl Mon 15-Dec-08 16:01:02

melatonin is a chemical our brains produce naturally to send us to sleep, if you don't produce enough it is very difficult to get to sleep.

sandyballs Mon 15-Dec-08 21:56:01

That's interesting, I didn't know that. I don't think it is a question of being unable to sleep with her, just that she gets anxious and it makes it difficult.

She has been really good tonight though, bless her, she's really trying hard and was asleep by 9.00. Still too late for a 7 year old though.

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