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My 5-Year-Old Daughter Wakes Every Night

by Katherine Griffin
(Atlanta, GA)

My 5-year-old daughter has had trouble falling and staying asleep ever since she was about 2 1/2. It's evolved over time and taken different forms, but basically she just never seems well-rested and hasn't for 3 years.

It started off as confused arousals and screaming tantrums. We suspected she was just overtired because it was nearly impossible to get her to fall asleep so she wasn't getting the necessary hours. Melatonin helped a lot in that area and we got her on a much better schedule, but the night wakings have not stopped. They have gotten better though.

She used to get up for hours on end and just could not fall back asleep, but now it's just once a night and she usually falls back asleep within an hour or so.

As far as I know, she is getting 10 to 11 hours per night now, but she still acts like a child who is obviously sleep deprived. I feel like she is just not getting the deep sleep that she needs. She also has no control of her bladder during sleep and never has. She fills a pull-up, which often leaks from being too full. She produces a lot of urine through the night which has always seems strange to me. We limit her fluids and she only gets one 8 oz watered-down juice after 5 PM.

She is always crabby, and has trouble saying focused and listening in Pre-K. She won't fall asleep unless I'm right beside her and always says she is scared at night. She is an anxious child who used to get frantic when I would even leave her presence during the day. Maybe this is related? I don't know where to turn at this point, but my gut says something is just not right. Where do I go from here?

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