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sleep issues with 10 year old

(23 Posts)
tombee Mon 14-Feb-11 01:18:03

I don't know if anyone can help on here or wether this is the correct place to post but here goes.

Our youngest 10 year old girl has over the last 6 months found it increasingly difficult to get to sleep without knowing exactly where we are going to be in the house and how long it is going to be before we come upstairs.

When the time has lapst when we say we will be upstairs she calls downand we spend the rest of the night up and down stairs trying to settle her until we give in and go up to bed ourselves.

This has resulted in her going to bed later and us going to bed earlier to try and ensure she gains enough sleep.

Her bedtime is now later than her sister who is 2 years older and goes to bed at a time appropriate for her age and is happy to go to bed when she is tired.

The marked difference is that her younger sibling says shes not tired.

She is a very bright girl and is often saying we don't understand though she does not explain herself resulting in her becoming upset.

This often ends in her becoming very argumentative when we are trying to calm her down by not entering into long drawn out conversations. After shouting at us she becoming very opologitic and saying sorry to us both, often in tears which is really distressing for us all.

There seems to be a pattern emerging whereby after washing and tucked up in bed and a story is read to calm her down she seems fine, then becomes restless wanting to know exactly where we are in the house and how soon we're coming to bed. After settling her and we are both down stairs, the calls of she cannot get to sleep start, up stairs we go to try and reason with her, she becomes argumentative, sometimes to do with "you sai you were only going down for a little while and that was 30 mins ago", or something similar, she is then remorsefull, apologetic and when at least one of us is next door to her bedroom, upstairs in bed she settles down to sleep.

This series of events takes between 1-2 hours and his starting to have an effect on our family as to what we can do and impact unfairly on our oldest daughter.

As I menition she is a bright grade A level student doing course work a year above her age, taking this into acount that she is absorbing alot and forums stating of similar cases that some kids do go through stages like this.

She slept happily and soundly for the first 9.5 years hence this being quite a concern.

Is there anyone out there who has had similar issues that could help or give advice as this, although not every night, is becoming far more frequent.

Many thanks in advance

Tortington Mon 14-Feb-11 01:20:35

you tuck her in
soothe and rad her a story

shes ten years old for fucks sake

i'd tell my ten year old to stop whinging and close her bloody eyes.

BitOfFun Mon 14-Feb-11 01:25:46

I'm afraid it's a case of you explaining that you'll go to bed when you are good and ready, but she is ten and needs to sleep when it's time for her to go to bed, or else, really.

If she is an anxious child, you giving her so much power over you is probably exacerbating the situation. There is a time for softly softly, and a time for a bit of confidant authority. This is not a softly softly situation.

tombee Mon 14-Feb-11 01:30:56

See where your coming from and have thought on a number of occassions wether shes just being maniplulative.

Have done what you say on neumerous occassions which prolongs things even longer as she gets worked up.

Just want any advice on whats best. Both girls are quite different so what works for one doesn't work for the other.

tombee Mon 14-Feb-11 01:34:13


I see your point and do agree, and have expalined this on a neumerous occassions though the outcome if told to go to sleep and then is left just bulds and builds.

Talking, though exasperating does eventually get her to sleep though need feedback on what else we can do that we haven't done already

tombee Mon 14-Feb-11 09:29:24


We tried and do try this approach which ends in the arguments as mentioned above.

Looking at timings, it started when our eldest went to secondary school, though by rights it should be our eldest daughter who is apprehensive or concerned though this is not the case and she is really enjoying her new school and her new group of friends.

I think this may have something to do with our yougests insecurity?

Tucking her in & reading a story is often the last resort and is not as molly coddled as it sounds.

GnomeDePlume Mon 14-Feb-11 11:02:18

Hi Tombee

My youngest daughter is similar age though we havent suffered similar. I do think it sounds like you DD is being manipulative. The tears and apologies do to my mind indicate that.

Do you let her keep a reading light on? Could you let her fall asleep into a book stay awake until you come up to bed and switch the bedside light off? Could this be part of a deal - she stays quietly in bed with the light on & reading a book. Shouting down the stairs and trying to order you about in your own home will not be tolerated and will result in a stronger Custardo line being taken and all tears being ignored.

lemonmousse Mon 14-Feb-11 13:10:00

Has something frightened her that she isn't telling you about? My 12 year old DD went through a similar phase and eventaually we discovered that a girl at school had been telling spooky stories about a ghost in her room! Even though DD knew this was just a story it would pray on her mind when she went to bed.
Maybe your daughter has an overactive imagination - something she knows is 'silly' but is reluctant to tell you?

maryz Mon 14-Feb-11 15:07:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Trifle66 Mon 14-Feb-11 15:53:34

Try the book 'what to do when you dread your bed' - you can get it in Amazon (sorry cant remember the author) its very useful for children that age and has little activites to do.

Sonflower Mon 14-Feb-11 22:46:54

I think every one has been very harsh to the OP. I have a 13 year old DS who has had "sleep issues" all his life, and which are still unresolved.

At its worst he would get hysterical to the point where he would vomit at if I made him sleep in his own bed, without me.

Currently, he goes to sleep on his own before me, but sleeps on the floor with loads of duvets next to his bed, and I sleep in his bed when I go to sleep.
I know to a lot of people that will sound ridiculous, but it's currently the arrangement we have.
As a single parent, without a partner, this arrangement, though no doubt sounding very strange to many, works for us in that he gets to go to sleep at a reasonable time, and I have some to relax on my own after he has gone to bed, without him constantly crying/fretting about not being able to sleep.

I hope he will eventually grow out of it.
I had similar sleep problems at his age and earlier, and I grew out of it.

I've not really offered any real solutions to your problem tombee, but just wanted to share my experience so that you do not feel so alone.
Also, while it may well be manipulative behaviour, it is extremely difficult to just ignore a child behaving in this way- as like you say they become angry and agitated and won't take no for an answer.

I can empathise tombee sadwith your situation.
And yes, before you ask, he does have "anxiety issues", and has had counselling at CAHMs for it.

I have tried absolutely everything over the years believe me, but at the moment it's a case of anything for a quiet life

QOD Mon 14-Feb-11 22:50:37

DD is 12 and similar. I still come upstairs when she goes to bed, she gets hysterical if the threat is made that I won't. She comes and gets in bed with me in the night (I sleep in the spare room in a single bed already!) or makes a bed on the floor.
SHe is simply frightened of being alone upstairs. It sounds ridiculous until you are the one dealing with it.

maryz Mon 14-Feb-11 23:06:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

seeker Mon 14-Feb-11 23:13:06

Could you enlist the hepl of big sister? Would she mind if they shared a room for a while? That might break the pattern the younger one's got herself into.

My dd used to be very anxious at bed time and in the end we made an arrangement where I would set a timer to go off every 15 minutes and I went tup to see her whenever it went off. Knowing tht I would be back in a set time made it possible for her to relax enough to sleep .

Enchantica Tue 15-Feb-11 16:48:43

Hi there, I don't have kids but here is a couple of suggestions. I couldn't sleep too well when my brother turned 18 and used to go out driving and come home around midnight/1am (not drinking, just spinning around the time with his friends). I just wouldn't feel settled until he was back in his room beside my room. It was a comfort thing I think, knowing someone is nearby if I need protected.

I wonder if a story on cd would help send her off to sleep? A girl I used to babysit would always have one on at bedtime and it would help her drift off. Or maybe some soft relaxing music? It would buy you some time possibly before she shouts down to you again.

What about putting a photo of you and her dad beside her bed and let her know that you are watching over her always, sorta thing?

I dunno if that helps. Does she sleep with teddies etc? My mum used to tell me to cuddle my stuffed rabbit and try to sleep and that usually worked.

tombee Tue 15-Feb-11 20:11:03

Many thanks for all your positive responses and it is good to here of others who have had the same issues and how you have delt or are dealing with it.

Last night we decided to not continually go into her bedroom when she called out resulting in her becoming really upset.

After settling her down again and talking with her she said she was getting fustrated, angry and upset as we would interject before she had finished speaking at night time, after discussing her attitute and wha we can do to help her she also admitted to being scared of being by herself at night time and of the dark.

As the firm approach hasnt work in the past we now have something to work with and it is really helpfull your comments and what you have done to ease the situation.

Enchantica, I'll try the music or CD storybook approach.

Thanks all for your help and I'll keep you posted


happygolucky0 Thu 17-Feb-11 22:14:47

I would probably dig abit deeper to find out why she is scared of being by her herself in the dark. Maybe she has had a nightmare and needs explaining about stuff like that. Can she not a light left on in the hall or night light on a plug for a while. It sounds like phase even though that doesn't help right now!

bazil Sat 16-Jul-11 10:22:41

Hi there, we too are going through similar issues. Our just turned 10 yr old has been having problems falling asleep for 6 months. We have tried everything from co sleeping with us and her younger sister (neither worked for more than 2 nights), being patient saying it doesn't matter what time she goes to sleep, shouting and getting very angry but nothing seems to work other than a relaxant medicine which obviously we cannot do indefinitely but have resorted to in the past for a few nights to get us all a good nights sleep and to try and break the pattern (didn't work). At present we are waiting on seeing a doctor although I am not very hopeful about the outcome. We have tried reflexology, homoepathy and are now looking into hynotherapy, anything is worth a try. We tried a night light, music and white noise but so far nothing has helped and our daughter is now getting to sleep around 11pm each night (if we are lucky). She doesn't seem to be worried or scared about anything it just seems to be a reassurance thing. Any thoughts would be very welcome.

tms1992 Sat 16-Jul-11 14:29:59

Hey there! Im not sure if you have heard of Melatonin but its great for children when you want them to get back on track with their sleeping habits. Here is a little info on what Melatonin is and what it does.

Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland , a small gland in the brain. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Very small amounts of it are found in foods such as meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables. You can also buy it as a supplement.
Your body has its own internal clock that controls your natural cycle of sleeping and waking hours. In part, your body clock controls how much melatonin your body makes. Normally, melatonin levels begin to rise in the mid- to late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then drop in the early morning hours.

Light affects how much melatonin your body produces. During the shorter days of the winter months, your body may produce melatonin either earlier or later in the day than usual.

Natural melatonin levels slowly drop with age. Some older adults make very small amounts of it or none at all.

I hope this works for you. You can buy Melatonin at pretty much any store. Wal-mart, walgreens, ect. smile

bruffin Tue 19-Jul-11 02:26:44

this was my thread nearly 3 years ago (I was christywhisty in those days) It has some useful information in it.

bruffin Tue 19-Jul-11 02:28:35

I will say she is 13 now and puts herself to bed when she is tired and gets up before 7 and gets the early train to school, and has never missed it grin]

dexter73 Tue 19-Jul-11 09:47:49

tms1992 - melatonin is only available in the UK on prescription.

mumsamilitant Tue 19-Jul-11 12:01:28

Hi Tombee. Totally sympathise with you. My DS was "BORN" with his eyes open! And still doesnt shut them much at 13.5! I also did the lot and ended up drugging him! lol. Gave him Finigan (not sure of the spelling) which can be bought over the counter. Obviously only did this for a few nights to try to get him in a pattern.... NO! Didnt work. I have come to the conclusion that some kids just dont need as much sleep as we think. He was always bright during the day. It affected ME far more than him!!!!!

I ended up just letting him read until he fell asleep!

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