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If My Son Wakes Up During The Night He Can't Go Back To Sleep Until Hours Later

My son is only 5 years old. He has issues sleeping sometimes after he wakes up in the middle of the night. If he wakes up to go to the bathroom then he sometimes stays awake for hours after that before actually falling asleep. In other occasions he will wake up way too early instead.

This has been an issue for a few years now but we didn't really think it was a HUGE problem until now, reason being because his pediatrician told us that we should just put him to bed earlier if he woke up early and since he wasn't taking naps during the day either (since the age of 2).

Now he is in kindergarten and we feel like he is not getting the proper amount of quality sleep he needs! My son's bedtime is 7pm daily, on school days he gets up at 6:30am (although he has been awake since 4am or 4:30am) and on the weekends we encourage him to sleep-in but he never does! When we ask him why he doesn't fall back to sleep he says he just can't or that he heard noises and those wouldn't allow him to sleep again.

By the way we don't allow him to turn on the light or start playing with toys or such - he must stay in bed until we tell him it's time to get up or in the case of a weekend he gets up when it's not dark out anymore if we aren't up yet. We don't know what to do! Please give us some advice!

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Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

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