The following is a visitor-submitted question or story. For more, you can submit your own sleep story here, or browse the collection of experiences and questions other visitors have shared here.

My 4-Year-Old Daughter Wakes In The Night Distressed And Saying Odd Things

by Supriyo Roy
(Kolkata, West Bengal, India)

My 4-year-old daughter wakes up in the dead of night and scolds us as an authority would. She gives peculiar instructions such as "Put your hands behind your back, and, I will tie them up" or "Move away from me, and do not look at me," and cries incessantly.


Before that she generally is distressed for a few minutes with a clogged nose, and sometimes urinates after waking up.

It is difficult to reason with her. It's also very difficult to comfort and console her with soft words. She will not listen to her favorite songs, music, rhymes, or watch animation films she would not miss during the daytime.

She looks confused and half-awake with sleepy eyes. Sometimes she has to be scolded and the lights have to be turned on to break her sleep.

She then coughs and asks for some food, usually for some milk. She then wants to get out of her bed, and sometimes even has to be taken downstairs. After around half an hour she begins to calm down and then it's about another hour or more before she can be put to sleep again. She obviously misses school the next day because she is so exhausted.

Her mother is working, and has a 9 to 5 routine. My daughter stays at home during the day with her uncle, aunt (my elder brother and his wife), and a caregiver. She is otherwise happy, soft natured, and imaginative, maybe a little over-imaginative. Her favorite past times are singing songs and rhymes, play acting before a mirror, and drawing.

She has left her play school and will be going to primary school. In school she, by her own admission, is becoming just a bit less attentive in doing class work.

She tells us simply: "I was slow in writing, and so the teacher asked me to sit on floor and finish, but I was still talking to friends", in a tone that I feel she takes pride in such happenings.

Can someone help me with any advice?

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Experiences With Sleep Disorders In Children.




Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

About This Site

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

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?


A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

More Questions:

Ask | Answer

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

Important Disclaimer

Please Note:

The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.

For more info, see our
Terms of Use.