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My 5 Year Old Child Won't Sleep

I don't know what to do or where to look for help. My son was a great sleeper until this year. He routinely slept from 8 until 6 or 7, no problems!


His sleep has since deteriorated and he not only has issues falling asleep but staying asleep. He goes to bed at 8 but won't fall asleep until 9 or 10 and is up *for the day* at 3 or 4...without fail.

As a result, he is a wreck during the day. Overtired, can't focus or pay attention, and hyper!

On the few nights that he does get a full sleep, he is a completely different child. Happy, we'll behaved, effective at listening... we also have issues with bed wetting. But that has hit the back burner with this new development.

I don't know what to do anymore. I try getting him back to sleep but he will just lay in bed and play until morning arrives.

Help!!! My mom has suggested using melatonin but I'm not sure it's the answer. His pediatrician isn't listening to me and I have no idea what to do next. At first we tried giving him more to do with extra curricular activities but it seems to amplify the problem as well. I am so lost.

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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?


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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.

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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.

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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.

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