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5 Year Old Daughter Is Always Tired and Whiny, Won't Nap

by ADJ

I am at a loss as to how to help our daughter. She has never been a good sleeper. She was a refluxer as a baby, and we were not able to sleep train her until she was almost a year old, mostly due to ignorance on our part. Since the age of 3 she has consistently refused naps, it was a battle every day until she turned 5, at which point we gave up and said she no longer had to take naps except on "church days". Sometimes she tells me she wishes she could fall asleep or "be a good sleeper" but that she can't. She tries and tries but can't. (her words)

Even on "church days" she rarely falls asleep for a nap, and on the random days she does take a nap, she can't fall asleep until at least 10 or 11 pm. Her regular bedtime is between 7-8 pm, and she wakes up every morning between 6:30 and 7 for Kindergarten. Every afternoon she rests on her bed for about an hour and half. This sounds like a reasonable amount of sleep to me, but she still seems so tired and whiny for a good hour after she wakes up. Also, by 5 or 6 at night she usually has dark circles under her eyes and starts overcompensating for her tiredness with hyper behavior. She usually has some kind of meltdown around this time too.

She doesn't have a super-busy schedule...just Kindergarten 5 mornings a week, and church on Sundays and Thursday evenings. Is her behavior normal? My 2 younger children have no sleep issues. I would so deeply appreciate any insight.

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