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how do I calm nighttime anxiety in my 11 year old?

I have an 11 yo boy who is not shy, not anxious any other time, he just cant get himself to sleep. pediatrician wont prescribe sleep aid. but suggests a psycologist.. I dont like this idea.... psyc.will just go digging for problems that arent there, and he will internalize, and think there should be some problem... hence making problem worse.... any suggestions... tried melatonin. seems to work sometimes.. dont use it every day. was told it was dangerous to do so??????

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Asked by jenk1 at 3:46 PM on Jun. 18, 2009 in Kids' Health

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Answers (7)
  • my 8 year old godson is like that .. I just let him listen to the radio faintly , and he passes right out

    Answer by Kayge at 3:52 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • My 12 yr. old son sleeps with stuffed animals, I think this is a tough age for boys because they are no longer little but also not grown up. I sit with him before bed and talk about positive stuff or let him talk about whatever. I do not give him any sugary snacks or caffeine after 6pm. Have you tried good old fashion warm milk?

    Answer by writeon at 3:55 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • First find out why he can't sleep. Like, is he having nightmares, too much caffeine or could it be meds? My 10 year old can't sleep because of meds and nightmares. Don't knock a psychologist or therapist just yet. My son goes to one (for ADHD) and they don't dig up bad stuff.. it's more like techniques on problem solving or bedtime routines. His doctor said benadryl is safe to take forever, but it stopped working. We JUST started melatonin too, but that doesn't seem to work all the time. Valerian also promotes sleep. There is a sleepytime tea for kids. I haven't tried it yet though. My son reads, listens to music, has his stuffed animals and uses a heating pad. We also do this stretch, tighten and release our muscles technique, which helps. Try everything first, then if none of these work, you can consider a therapist.

    Answer by CoolGirlChris at 5:33 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • Counseling is not a bad thing, try it. It couldn't hurt.
    Also try moving the bed, some people sleep better in different directions. De-clutter the room, so there isn't too much going on. Let him take a bath- much like you would do with a baby, maybe add some lavender to his bath water. Spend some time with him before bed, read him a story, nothing too involved, maybe a classic, The Secret Garden? Talk with him, let him lay his day on you.
    Good luck =) and sweet dreams.

    Answer by NoraBean at 7:50 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • I would say start by cutting all red dye out of his diet, cut the sweets and caffeine 3 hours before bed. Make sure that for one hour before bed is spent drawing, reading, looking through base ball cards, t.v. no video games no internet, those are big brain stimulants. I had to do this with myself recently and it seems to help me. OH another big one was I was asked to keep a worry diary...when I come up with a worry I write it down so I can try to resolve it before bed.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 8:41 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • My daughter went through an anxious phase at around the same age. We eat a clean and meatless diet, with very little dairy, so I never considered it to be food related.
    What worked for her was taking Rescue Remedy before bed:
    You can find it at a health food store, whole foods,

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:32 PM on Jun. 18, 2009

  • My 11 year old son also suffers from nighttime anxiety. For the past year he has been falling asleep to a relaxation/ meditation cd. I have 2 of them --- Indigo Dreams, and Indigo Ocean Dreams. They have worked wonders for him. He falls asleep long before they are over, but I let them play until the end each night.

    Answer by meanmom93 at 5:30 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

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