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My 6 Yr Old Has Never Been Able To Get To Sleep

by Tam

My 6 yr old daughter has never been able to get off to sleep without a long struggle. I have spoken to my GP a few times and been fobbed off, but recently I have been reading a lot about Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome and I wonder if she may have a mild case of this?

For the first 4 months of her life she was awake for most of the night and slept pretty solidly through the day. Gradually we were able to work her sleep time back to a more acceptable time in the evening but she has always struggled to relax and sleep.

I have tried hard to maintain a good sleep routine for her but she has fought it consistently and even with me sitting with her and her lying still and quiet, it takes around an hour for her to drift off.

We have tried the bath, milk, blackout blinds, eye mask, soothing music, nightly story.....etc, etc. to no avail. The only times she will go off to sleep quickly is on the rare occasions when she has stayed up really late (10 or 11 at night) on holiday or the odd wedding etc.

She finds it very difficult to wake up for school in the morning and she often seems tired and grumpy during the day and we have had lots of problems with challenging behaviour. She is about to turn 7 and is now at the point where her inability to sleep is really starting to upset her. She used to use avoidance tactics such as playing (or playing up) but she often now just cries in bed :-(

I am at the end of my tether after 7 solid years of the 'bedtime battle' and any advice or suggestions would be really welcome! Can anyone else relate to this problem?

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