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8 Year Old Has Trouble Falling And Staying Asleep

by Tina

My 8 year old daughter has had sleep issues for almost one year. We have always had a solid bedtime routine. She has always had a night light and soothing music, no electronics or TV before bed.

We take turns laying with her for books and prayers. She sleeps well if another adult is beside her all night. Otherwise she either falls asleep quickly and is up an hour later saying she can't sleep or it takes her up to 2 hours to fall asleep and she is up again several times a night.

We have approached it many different ways, sleep charts with incentives, nurturing, yelling, punishment, all ineffective. My husband and I are well aware that some of our approaches are completely ineffective, however, when we are tired and frustrated we just don't know what to do or say.

This problem occurred 9 months following the birth of our son, whom she adores. In the last few months her grandmother has been critically ill. There has been a great deal of tension and stress and we realize these are all contributing factors.

She has typical peer problems at school, so and so won't play with me, etc... We always listen to her concerns regarding things that happen at school.

She is very bright and appears to be happy most of the time. She takes swim lessons and piano and she appears to thoroughly enjoy these activities. She is doing very well academically (2nd grade). She has an excellent diet, no processed food, dyes, etc... She enjoys sweets but certainly does not eat them daily.

I am finding myself becoming very resentful and am not always pleasant in the morning as we are getting ready for our day. I just scheduled an appointment with a local counseling service, hopefully we can get the help we need.

We love our little girl so much and we want to help her!

Thank you

Comments for 8 Year Old Has Trouble Falling And Staying Asleep

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May 31, 2015
Not alone NEW
by: Anonymous

I wished there was an answer to your story or at least a suggestion I hadn't tried. Our 8 year old (youngest) child is a nightmare (pun intended). Ever since she learned to talk, she chats and refuses to go to sleep at night. She chats to herself, cuddly toys, pictures on walls, imaginary people, inanimate objects ... you name it. Like you, we do all the 'right things' - calming regular bedtime routine, plenty of love, cuddles, reassurance, time to get thoughts off her mind. Sometimes she'll just appear downstairs at 10:30 or 11:00pm having been in bed awake since 8:00pm, with "I can't sleep." I just want to yell at her "I'd have more sympathy if I hadn't had to listen to you talking endlessly for three flipping hours!" Can't suggest anything as nothing has worked for us. But I will tell you that it's not just you.

Jul 15, 2015
Illustrated book for bedtime fears NEW
by: Anonymous

This book was great to help my 7 year old manage his bedtime fears. Same issues you are describing. The book put us on the right track but, of course, there was a lot of work to finally overcome the fears. My friend wrote it so we got it for free before it was published.
The book is funny, compassionate, and short. The illustrations are entertaining and it is easy to read. It is meant for parents to read to children and discuss their fears as you read.

Nov 18, 2015
5 year old can't fall asleep or stay asleep NEW
by: Anonymous

We're all the way over in Scotland, Edinburgh and my 5 year old is the exact same she sometimes lies in bed for hours before falling asleep and I feel extremely guilty as we all know there is nothing worse than lying wide awake. I've now started giving her story tapes on the iPad with a cover over it sitting on a shelf so she can't watch it and the rooms dark. This way her she's listening to something but not watching it. She can listen to these for up to two hours says she's not tired but falls asleep a short time after. After about 3 hours she shouts on me saying she can't sleep again and physically can't. I feel so sorry for her so end up taking her into my bed and stroking her head until she nods off. I'll sometimes leave her in her bed thinking she's chancing her luck but she definitely isn't as she will lie awake tossing and turning. At such a loose end :(

Dec 05, 2015
same NEW
by: Anonymous

My son is 12 and we still have same issues - it sucks the life out of us

Dec 07, 2015
Our 9 year old has always had trouble falling asleep NEW
by: Anonymous

Our 9 year old son takes 2-3 hours every evening trying to get to sleep, he begs me to give him something that will help him sleep . He struggles with anxiety and has done for some time , we went to the doctor today because I'm so over seeing my poor son being sad and anxious and we really need support but the doctor was useless and said our son is just in introvert and we need to give him time.... I have never wanted to punch a doctor in the face more than that moment!

Dec 23, 2015
too tired NEW
by: Anonymous

This kind of stuff has been going on with my son since he was 2 ( now he is 5 ). He doesn't get any type of sugar after 5 and is usually in bed by 8 or 8:30. Sometimes we leave the tv on just so we can get some kind of normal sleep. Now my daughter just turned 2 and has begun the whole cycle all over again. My wife and I are totally wore out constantly.

Feb 10, 2016
That's Us Too NEW
by: Patricia

This post reads like it is about my 8yo daughter. She is bright, a great student, lots of friends, happy at school, very active in clubs and sports, no abuse or trauma in her life, no problems with our family at home, very loving people around her. So why can't she sleep!!!!????
Happy to go to bed but slow to fall asleep, then wakes between 1 and 3 times a night, upset, saying she has had a scary dream or something hurts. One of us has to lie with her until she falls back to sleep, or she comes into our bed. Poor husband leaves for work at 6am every day and is soooo tired himself from years of broken sleep. What's the answer?

Apr 20, 2016
Ditto NEW
by: Anonymous

I read this and thought your talking about us. Every night my usually resilient daughter complains of a new aliment before popping up 2-5 times before often going to our bed to finally fall asleep. She constantly tells us that she's awake in the middle of the night.
Cumulative nights if this result in a meltdown of epic proportions every so often. Aside from the uncontrollable meltdowns there is the daily grind of argument/discussions every night which I feel take a toll on our connection.
I'm worried it's our parenting. Sleeping is an issue she's had since she was as baby. I'm just wondering where to turn. Sleep specialist,psychologist, osteopath for her, or getting professional help as parents?

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