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My Daughter's Repeated Wakings

by Tara
(Alberta, Canada)

My 3.5 year old daughter has been having extreme difficulty falling and staying asleep. My husband and I both have histories of insomnia that have both been treated by professional sleep specialists so we work very hard to follow good sleep hygiene practices. Despite our efforts, and despite my daughter's willingness and effort to sleep, she cannot seem to fall asleep or stay asleep. She will even cry and whine that she is really tired and wants to sleep but can't.

Nothing has changed with her bedtime routine but lately it can take three to four hours from bedtime before she finally falls asleep. Then, she does not sleep for very long before waking again and has trouble falling back to sleep. I have noticed that even after she is asleep, her hands and legs twitch. We have tried giving her children's Advil before bed to help with any aches or pains but it has made no difference.

Could this be the result of growth spurt (it has been going on for five nights in a row)? Is there anything we can do or do we just have to wait until she outgrows this particular issue?

It has been very difficult for all of us as now my husband and I are also sleep deprived and my daughter's behaviour worsens proportionally to how bad her sleep has been.

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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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