Posted by: Kato | 2007/11/27


5-year old refuses to sleep

Dear Doc,

I have a 5-year old who is refusing to fall asleep for the past 2 weeks. We are pulling our hair out; she is not crying or anything but is up until 10 / 11 at night (her normal bedtime is 7), singing, playing in her bed and talking to herself. She wakes up early every morning (6 o'clock) and is still chirpy, but she has blue rings under her eyes and gets moody quickly due to obvious lack of sleep.

Is there a safe sleeping medicine I can give her for a few nights just to re-establish her pattern and get her to catch up on some sleep? We used to battle with her as a baby too, but she has been sleeping well for a long time, I want to get her out of this phase before it becomes a habit.

Expert's Reply



Do not use any sedatives as these will only cause her to be tired and miserable the next day.Put her to bed at her usual time and read to her. The story should not be too exciting but still something she likes to hear. The house should be quite and peaceful with no distracting noises such as the TV on loud.Put a nightlight in her room if she seems apprehensive about the dark.Once you have kissed her goodnight leave the room. If she starts crying go to her only after a while and just settle her down and immediately leave the room. Don't let her come to your bed.

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