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what do you do for a child who can NOT sleep!??

our 8 yr old keeps waking up after only 1-2 hours of sleep and will continue to stay up for the next 2-3 hours! he seems worried about something but doesn't seem to know what?! one night it was so bad that he threw up! we have tried EVERYTHING from praying, reading the Bible , a flashlight at his bedside.....EVERYTHIGN we can possibly think of...... but nothing has helped! I have spoke w/ his teacher and she doesn't seem to sense anything going on at school. So now I'm reaching out for any helpful ideas! PLEASE help us....he needs his sleep and so do we!! :)

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Asked by mamax5kids at 1:46 PM on Jan. 28, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (6)
  • My eight year old was waking up at like four am and not going back to sleep. I finally moved his bedtime to nine instead of eight and he reads for a little while when he first lays down. If he is not getting enough sleepy, it may cause him to feel sick. I would start with adjusting bedtime. If that does not work talk to the doctor about it. There is a vitamin they can take that helps. I think it is melatonin. That is what my doctor suggested if he has trouble again.

    Answer by kemclaughlin at 1:55 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • He might have gotten himself into a cycle of waking now. Consult your doc but maybe a little Tylenol or turkey slices or something sleepy for four days straight at night to get him to stay asleep. Does he get a lot of excercise? He may need more to exhaust him? Can you add a sport or activity to his schedule that might refocus this thoughts? Like an art class or something? Good luck, I know it must be frustrating.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 3:48 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • I would consult his pediatrician as this does sound unusual. If he was simply awake, and unable to get back to sleep that would be one thing, but irrational fear is completely different, even worry to that extent for a young child is unusual. Has he had sleepovers at friends or anything before this started? An accident or fall or anything? The safest bet is to have him checked out, and if it's not physical, try to talking to him during the day about it, cause during the phase it might be too much to process for him, and as a last resort have him speak to someone in the child psychology field, as sometimes kids don't want to tell their parents things out of embarrassment, or they think they will be angry.

    Answer by Panditacjp at 11:13 PM on Jan. 28, 2009

  • i knew someone who's dd was doing this same thing, the took her to a peds sleep lab and found out that she was having night terrors, and didn't remember them once she woke up

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:33 PM on Jan. 30, 2009

  • My niece was the same way. It didn't matter what she or her parents did, she just *could not* fall asleep at night. My sister took her to the doc (which is usually my last advice, but I have no other suggestions on this one, lol) who decided that a certain type of sleeping pill was necessary to get her into a "fall asleep at this time" routine. Once the routine was established they slowly took her off the pills and she seems to be doing fine.

    I would encourage you & the doc to explore ALL other options before medication but it may be a viable option if nothing else works. Best of luck to you!

    Answer by Sarena83 at 11:11 AM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • my boy is like this. We moved his bed time back to 9:30, and we do not let him watch tv or play computer games a half hour before bed. Its quiet time for him, we also bought him a new mattress, thinking he was uncomfortable, the old mattress was pretty hard. that helped a bit. my child is a worrier and when he has someting on his mind he can't sleep. He writes me notes at night when he can not sleep, and he has a small reading light for his books when he can not sleep. He usually leaves the notes in the hallway for me to find in the morning, and they are mostly what is worrying him and keeping him awake. My son is better now, but we go thru cycles, until he can work out what is on his mind.

    Answer by moebonner at 10:35 PM on Feb. 2, 2009

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