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My Son's Waking Through The Night...Just Like I Did

by Janet
(Ballyclare, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland)

My 6 year old son has to have someone sit with him to go to sleep at night, otherwise all hell breaks loose. I know this is probably our fault ... and I know that I was exactly the same as a kid (now 44). Some nights he will sleep through the night no probs ... but many nights he gets up and wakes us saying he can't sleep, we send him back to his room ... sometimes this works and sometimes he switches on the hall, bathroom and his bedroom lights. One night I found him camping on the floor outside our bedroom door with pillow, quilt and blanket.

It all brings back so many memories ... the first time I remember getting consecutive good nights sleep was when I was pregnant at 38 years old. I spent many of my teenage years crying half the night because I couldn't sleep, reading books to all hours and on occasion I got no sleep at all. I am convinced that I do need at least 6-8 hrs a night but that is me living in fantasy land. I know teenagers hormones can play a big part in their sleep patterns but my problems stemmed from early childhood to the present day. A lot of my issues when I was a child where I didn't like the dark so the hall light was left on for me all night, I wanted company .. I didn't like to be by myself and used to sneak into my parents bed in the middle of the night (I had this down to a fine art without wakening anyone, most of the time). I continued this behaviour until I was about 12-13 years old.

I remember as a teen laughing hysterically about really silly things ... and I put this down to exhaustion. On the whole I am absolutely certain this all affected my school work and other areas of my life. I was never taken to see a doc or anything ... just suck it up and get on with it. In my late teen years I had to teach myself that it was ok not to sleep otherwise i was going to drive myself demented. Once I fell pregnant at 38 I slept like a baby it was fantastic and for the first one or 2 years after - I slept reasonably well. Now 6 years later I definitely sleep better than my younger years but often if junior wakens me through the night it takes on average 2 hours before I get back to sleep.

I see my son going the same way as me and really want to help him but don't know how. I know his issue is like mine was he doesn't like being on his own ... so quite often I get up and get in beside him just to try to ensure that he gets some decent sleep... probably not the right answer but if it stops him being like I was ... I'll do anything try to help him. Jxx

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