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How to get an older child to sleep?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 03:17 pm
Now all I hear about is how to get your baby or toddler to sleep through the night or on its own. Well I have a harder one " a ten year old that will not sleep by herself. Now I don’t have a problem with kids sleeping with adults or what not " but she is a mover and shaker so that is out of the question.

She has always been a difficult sleeper. She likes to sleep with others and not alone. She was sleeping with her younger sister (younger sis sleeps like a log). Now the older one is interrupting her sleep so this no longer feasible as well. So we laid down the law and said she can’t do it any more " it isn’t fair to her sister as she is not getting a good night sleep.

Is there any way besides several sleepless nights until she can handle it? She finally does get exhausted and sleeps " just gets up many times and comes to “check on us”. I talked to her about it and the whys and she does understand, she just “hates” nighttime.
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Type: Question • Score: 15 • Views: 8,758 • Replies: 51
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 03:24 pm
@Linkat,
Have you tried the obvious? Night light? Radio on at a soothing volume? Absorbing book or a journal and pencil with a bribe or promise of reward if she stays quietly in bed from bedtime to wake up time--no pressure to sleep but she has to stay in bed and be reasonably still? The usual suspects that promote wakefulness have been eliminated after dinner--caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruit?

If none of that works it might be time for a discussion with her pediatrician.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 03:28 pm
I am evil, but have you tried cold medicine?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 03:39 pm
@Foxfyre,
Nightlight - check
radio - we haven't thought of that and I think her clock is a clock radio we could try that
book/journal - check
bribe - no I'll look into that as well

We haven't pushed it until last night so I will give it a go with some of the suggestions before talking with the doctor. But I think it is a personality type of thing. I did tell the doctor at her last appointment that she slept with her younger sister - the doctor said there is no concern with that as long as both are sleeping fine. The problem just arose as her sister started complaining to us that older sis kept her awake.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 03:40 pm
@littlek,
Yes you are evil - especially since cold medicine is no longer recommended for children well for helping colds any way.
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 03:41 pm
@Linkat,
I was that way Linkat - I think Mom and Dad finally did just start taking away privileges until I learned to stay there and be still. I can't remember - I will have to ask.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 03:51 pm
Have you tried getting her a special nighttime friend? Maybe she's scared of the dark. Does she believe in the monster in the closet or under the bed? Is she afraid of someone (a person) coming to get her?

Maybe you could buy her something you know she'd love and that she can sleep with. Or better yet, buy a tent that goes over her bed so that she can be "protected".

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HGJF9DYWL._AA280_.jpg

It's on Amazon for $50

This is how it looks on a bed.

http://www.pricerighthome.com/images/spongebob_bed_tent.jpg
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 03:58 pm
@Bella Dea,
That's cool but she sleeps in a bunk bed with her sister so neither the top or bottom would work. She has her American girl doll and her huge bobby jack monkey and monkey blanket that she sleeps with.

She is not scared of a particular thing - at least as she describes - she just hates nighttime. I did put one of our cats in be with her last night. The sweet cat must have known my daughter needed her as she stayed with her most of the night. I think that helped a bit - but as you anyone who knows cats - I doubt the cat will cooperate every night.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 04:53 pm
just wondering...
does she get up at the same time as you, or later?

maybe her getting her up earlier would cause her to be more tired at bed time?

She doesn't like "night time"? Does she get more specific? Is she bored? Maybe introducing a relaxation ritual, like bath salts in a warm bath? That could be her "special thing" that she gets to enjoy, something she can look foward to at night time?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 04:59 pm
@chai2,
Oh, she should be plenty tired - she usually gets up after me - I need that 45 minutes to myself.

The difficult part is to get at what she doesn't like about nighttime - she doesn't seem to be able to explain, but she definately does have aniexty around going to bed alone.

She is also at an age where she wants showers rather than baths and would prefer to forgo the shower as well. I do like and think she would to some sort of ritual and I think she is working on some - she does write in a journal and she recently adopted a manatee so last night it did help her reading the stuff about her new friend (and sleeping with her stuffed manny).
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 05:02 pm
@chai2,
I wouldn't put it past the boring part as well - she is a busy girl between school and athletics and friends so the calming down and doing nothing (which I find refreshing) must be a bit of an adjustment.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 05:22 pm
@Linkat,
Maybe warm milk while reading or writing in her journal?

You can tell her that's how all the cool kids are doing it.

Does she do all the getting ready for bed stuff right before she goes to bed?

I know if I'm really relaxed, I hate the thought of brushing my teeth right before getting into bed. It wakes me up. I'll brush them a while before I go to bed, before I start to wind down.

Would you be ok for a while with letting her go to bed, teeth brushed prior, but after she drank milk? Maybe just let her swish her mouth out?

In the short term, how much harm can it do?

Oh! I just thought of something. You can buy music specifically made to make brain ways go into delta sleep. I bought some off of Amazon....just search for delta sleep.

It didn't put me to sleep, but I don't sleep if there's anything playing. However, it is very relaxing. Don't expect top 10 music. It's tones and notes that replicate the rythym of delta brain waves.

You can listen to clips, some I didn't like, others, even the 20 or so seconds the clip would play, would persuade me to close my eyes and relax into it.

Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 05:32 pm
@chai2,
Thanks some great ideas.
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 05:52 pm
They say that teenagers have something in their brain that gives them a "second wind" and it happens about 10 p.m. Your daughter may be experiencing the same thing.

For sure: NO pop, chocolate or other caffeine drinks after 5 p.m.

NO computer games or other stimulating activites at least 1 hour before bedtime.

Is she anxious during the daytime? I would worry about sleep deprivation, too.

Get a complete physical. The Dr. may give her a child's dose of Ambien. Something as simple as having pin worms can keep a child from sleeping, too.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 05:57 pm
@sullyfish6,
No she is fine during the day - it is just a night time thing.

She gets plenty of exercise - she is extremely active (on 3 basketball teams - her favorite sport) and on the math team - she insisted - I told her I thought it was too much. But in her defense she still gets good grades and although is busy during the day - she does get downtime - I ensure that.

So she is fine and happy during the day just nighttime - since she is a busy girl I wonder if the free/slow time at night kind of throws her off. I will try some of the relaxing stuff before she goes to sleep. Usually we let her have a snack (usually somewhat healthy) and watch one of her favorite tween shows to wind down. Then I allow her to read or write in her journal in bed. I do ask her brush her teeth during a commercial during her tween show so she isn't doing this sort of stuff right before bed.
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 06:05 pm
Whatever you decide to do, please remember: this is not normal for a child.

She is either over-wound up or anxious, over-tired, or it's someting physical.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 06:07 pm
@sullyfish6,
I agree - I will test out to see how she does - if she doesn't improve I will discuss with her doctor.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 06:21 pm
@Linkat,
How's she feel about reading before bed?

I know every kid is different but that's one variable that could maybe be changed. Sozlet always needs extra calm-down time if she watches TV too close to bed. It hypes her up rather than calms her down.

Reading seems to help.

She's always been kind of an iffy sleeper, and has her episodes still. One thing that helped a lot recently was to darken her room at night. Something about winter -- snow maybe but not just snow, no leaves on trees maybe? -- has made her room brighter and more annoying for her. She didn't even notice, I just noticed that it was especially bright and did it (put a blanket over the window nearest to her), that seemed to help a lot.

Just a couple of ideas, not sure if either would apply to your daughter... hope she's sleeping better soon...
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 08:49 pm
@Linkat,
Perhaps you could start with some home remedies:
a glass of warm milk with honey (milk contains natural L-Tryptophan)
spray some good English Lavender on her pillow (Lavender is soothing)

If she doesn't want to sleep alone, there are these lifesize pillows
she could lay next to Pillow

Get her some cozy flannel sheets for the wintertime - my daughter loves
them!

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 08:57 pm
@sozobe,
My life long personal sleep inducer is a non-best seller type (pump, pump, pump) book - I can nod off within one paragraph, say, on history, much as I'm interested.

But I'm odd, tv shows can put me to sleep. I remember one about north africa that I was interested in and conkedout within, um, six minutes. Pedantic voices do that to me.
0 Replies
 
 

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