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Getting Our 5-Year-Old Daughter To Sleep Is Hard Work!

by Caz

My daughter has always been quite hard work! Bedtime has never been very easy. I can't remember a time when we said goodnight, left her room and she went to sleep.

We always have bath, milk and stories but she cannot wind down. She shouts us in and out wanting one thing or another....
tonight it was that her bed was itchy! If you don't respond she just gets out of bed.

We have tried star charts, taking things away for constantly calling for us, getting cross, being nice!

We don't "make" her try and sleep...we've given up getting cross. We let her look at books or play with her dolls because she just cannot get to sleep.

It's usually gone 9.30pm before she's asleep and she's up at 7am. She's in full time education and leads an active life and has a good diet. Really starting to get to our wits end.

Kevin: Hi Caz, Thanks for writing in. Another strategy to consider is just to push back her bedtime. In other words, you could shoot for her time to be in bed to be closer to the time that she has been actually falling asleep (9:30pm). Perhaps she doesn't actually get tired before then (and it's tough to sleep when you're not tired!). Have you tried that?

Even in adults, insomnia is often an issue to do with perception and timing. If I fall asleep at midnight but get in bed at 10pm, I'm going to complain of insomnia. But if I get in bed at 11:55pm, boom, suddenly I'm a good sleeper!

Good luck with her!


(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

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