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4-Year-Old Daughter Wakes In The Middle Of The Night Wide Awake For Several Hours

by Elizabeth

My 4-year-old daughter has never been a good sleeper. Her latest quirk - almost every night she wakes up in the middle of the night wide awake not sleepy enough to go back to sleep. She wakes us up to let us know she can't sleep, and we sleepily tell her to play in her playroom or with her LeapPad. She stays up for several hours before she goes back to bed - all along waking us up for different reasons.

She doesnt nap during the day, and she doesn't go to bed until 8:30 or 9:00 because she's "not tired". On a normal morning (when she sleeps all night) she sleeps until 7:30, but on mornings after she wakes in the night for several hours I have to wake her at 8:15 for preschool. Her dad isn't much of a sleeper either - is this hereditary? Or is this a sleep disorder of some sort?

Comments for 4-Year-Old Daughter Wakes In The Middle Of The Night Wide Awake For Several Hours

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Nov 08, 2014
Did she stop doing it
by: tracey

My son is 5 he goes to bed at 7 he listens to books and normally goes to sleep at 8 or 8.30 but he wakes most nights at at around 2am and plays for hours.he then sleepy about 4.4.30 sleeps then wakes again around 5.30 6.30, help

Feb 18, 2015
Desperate Gma NEW
by: Anonymous

I am desperate to learn what you have found out about your child's sleep disorder. My grand daughter is being pulled out of kindergarten, because her sleep disorder is so severe. It takes her hrs to fall asleep, then she wakes at 2 am is awake until 6 am, and then can't make it thru the day. Desperate Gma.

Mar 01, 2015
Andwers NEW
by: Judy

If you got a reply can you please share it, my 4 yr old grandson wakes between 3:30 & 5 every morning,,,,,,we so need help....please email me at

Many thanks & regards


Mar 01, 2015
Andwers NEW
by: Judy

If you got a reply can you please share it, my 4 yr old grandson wakes between 3:30 & 5 every morning,,,,,,we so need help....please email me at

Many thanks & regards


May 19, 2015
Any answers NEW
by: Anonymous

We have the same problem with our 3 year old. She stays in her cot and amuses herself but is so noisy

Jul 06, 2015
My 4 year old wakes up most nights for several hours NEW
by: Rachael

Has any1 found a amswer to this? My 4 year old soes this almost every night ot is very worrying and very stressful. Email answer to of possible please

Jul 14, 2015
Awake for hours NEW
by: Anonymous

My 4yr old son has been waking in the night for 2-4hrs nearly every night for the last 5 months. Just tonight he went bed at 7.30 fell asleep 7.45. Woke at 11pm. Did not sleep again till 3am! What can we do to help him sleep. Please.

Jul 18, 2015
Idea NEW
by: Anonymous

The last 2 nights we've put our daughter to bed at 8.30 to see if we can break the cycle. Both nights she's slept until 6.30. It's not much fun in the evening but hoping is we could get her to sleep through maybe we can move bedtime gradually.

Jul 23, 2015
Solution? NEW
by: Laura

I have had the same problem with my soson for the past few months. It started with him waking up because of a nightmare, then awake for an hour or two. He was tired and cranky during the day and I'd have to wake him in the morning. It has happened the past 4 nights in a row so I Google searched. After reading comments, and talking to my son, who just turned 4, I have decided the problem is he is hungry. I asked I'd he was tired. Yes. Were you scared? No. Were you hungry? Yes. Alluiah! He didn't eat hardly any dinner last night, and hasn't eaten well the last few days. I know around 3 year birthday, he would go to sleep if he was hungry. I know a lot of ppl tthink "Oh you shouldn't force your child to eat, they know what they need; if they are hungry they will eat.". That is BS. I will try making sure he eats well this next week and has a bedtime snack and will report back. Blessings on everyone! I hope this helps!

Nov 07, 2015
4 year old wakes up at night and not sleeping for a few hours after NEW
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem with my 4 year old daughter. She was a good sleeper until maybe a year ago she would wake up some nights she tells me she is hungry other nights it might be a dream or scarred it is so stressful she keep my husband and me up sometimes for 3 to 4 hours. I wonder sometimes if there is something wrong with her as she is so terrible hyper and also can get terrible angry which is not a normal behavior I feel like im failing in so many wyes but im just not sure anymore what to do. Please an answer would be awesome I need help and advise.

Nov 09, 2015
My 4yo is nocturnal, will not sleep till 7am then wake at 2 NEW
by: Sarah

I am so at a loss. Im a single parent. When my daughter was born she set the tone with her being up all night & sleeping all day. It took me 2 months to turn her around. There's always been a battle with her sleeping but it was still somewhat regular, but about 2 weeks ago she went nocturnal again. She doesn't go to sleep till 7 in the morning. She constantly wakes me up, wants my phone anything with stimulation, and when i say no, this is time to sleep she hits, and screams, waking up my neighbors. Now all of my neighbors think im not the one whose sleeping and im spanking her. Im exhausted. Then one called cps. So now i have to give her my phone then i can get a little rest but im at a loss. I need some help. Please email me any advice will help


Dec 03, 2015
2 am troubles NEW
by: Danielle

My son is 5 he has always been a great sleeper and always slept through the night. A few months ago my son started waking up at around 2 am wide awake all night and he won't wake me up, instead he gets into everything including things that could hurt him. He climbs the 3 ft night safety gate's attatched to the wall's. I can't take it anymore!!! I am very sleep deprived. He has been diagnosed a yr ago with adhd, but I also had that as a child and I likes to sleep. I am concerned with his safety but I can't just not sleep for months. I need help
Please if anyone knows what may be causing this pls email me angelchick_42053950@

Feb 12, 2016
my 2.5 year just started witht he same thing... NEW
by: Danielle

I am on night 5 of my 2.5 year old little boy waking up after a night terror and not being able to go back to sleep. This usually happens before 2 am and than awake until 5am and then wakes up at 8 because that's the time his older brother is leaving to school. He is still full of energy through out the day and wont nap. But i can see it in his eyes that he hasnt slept! I dont know what to do... Please if you have gotten answers or any tips please email me at

Mar 17, 2016
Going to try iron supplements NEW
by: Monique

Ok so I read threw a few posts and this is a real struggle to say the least. My son was born very premature (25weeks) and since we brought him home he never really slept that well. I thought it was from the nurses picking at him for three months and monitors going off all night. I have tried homeopathy (which helps a ton). I have also tried melatonin which also helps but the bottle says to not use for more than two weeks.. So I end up having to switch my tactics. Most recently I have used essential oils which also helps (doterra serenity). I actually just ran out a few days ago!! Yikes! That's why I'm here posting.. My son woke this morning at 5am.. Which is about two hours too soon for him. All of these methods have helped him fall asleep but nothing helps him sleep through the night. I do take him to the bathroom before I go to bed to help him not wet the bed. But he will usually come to my bed around 3am-5am anyway. My homeopath told me that it may be related to his liver being overworked. My son had been on a lot of medicines as a baby.. So I continue to give him homeopathy to gently cleanse his liver. I don't self medicate with homeopathy. You should speak to a professional when it comes to that stuff. When I'm consistent with giving him the homeopathy, I do notice a difference in his behavior and sleep habits. Anyway. I read another post about 5 year olds who don't stop moving while trying to fall asleep and my son does the same thing. He constantly wiggles his toes and legs. I read that their children might have an iron deficiency which causes leg discomfort. I have actually been been meaning to get him some good quality vitamins but haven't got around to it. I'm very interested to see if it helps because I asked my son if anything hurts him and he just told me yes, his legs! I'm going to make sure the vitamins are made from whole foods because I have also learned that artificial vitamins are not always absorbed well by the body. So some do more harm than good.

Mar 22, 2016
I need rest for work.... NEW
by: Paula in NY

My 4 year old daughter HATES going to bed. And when we are able to get her to bed....usually very late at night, around midnight. She awakes at around 1 am and cant go back to sleep until after five. I get up at 6am for work and am exhausted by the end of the day. She hates to wake up around 7am because she is tired. Sleeps very little at daycare and I am at my wits end. She has never been a good sleeper but it is getting worse. She will be starting kindergarten in the fall and I am concerned about behavioral problems. She is very smart, alert and observant but says she doesnt know how to go to sleep. Hates the dark....I cant take it anymore.

Aug 24, 2018
Update NEW
by: Anonymous

Did anyone come up with a good solution. My daughter is awake from 130 am on and I am at my wits end. She had her tonsils and adenoids removed and I’m having the same sleep issues.

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