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Help my 7 year old get to sleep

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
*I have also posted this in "childhood years"*

My second grader has always had trouble falling asleep. When she was 4-6 yo she would take books to bed with her and read them until she could fall asleep. When she started first grade we realized that she was staying awake until 10 pm every night. So we decided no more books in the bed, hoping that without the distraction she would fall asleep sooner. But that seemed to have started the endless requests for water, trips to the bathroom and then (about a year ago) complaints that her legs hurt.

For a while my husband would massage her legs, sometimes we would give her tylenol or a heating pad. I don't doubt that sometimes she has growing pains, but sometimes we cannot give her so much attention at night (like last night when the toddler was throwing up every 15 minutes) and she throws a fit. I think that "my legs hurt" has become a habit and she complains that she can't fall asleep.

We are at a loss for how to help her get to sleep at an earlier hour (8 pm). She wakes up grumpy every morning. On the weekends she will sleep until 8-9 am. I believe that her normal body clock makes her a night owl (I am too), but in order to get up for school and be alert she needs to be awake at 6:30 am. We need to find some way to help her "reset" her body clock to sleep at an earlier hour.

I have tried a homeopatic "sleep aid", but it has seems to have no affect. Chamomile tea doesn't work. I am thinking about trying a dose of benedril at night, but want to test it on the weekend knowing that it may make her hyper instead of sleepy. She now takes a calcium and magnesium supplement to help her growing pains - and the complaints about pain are not as often, but she's still awake for hours in bed.

Does anyone have any ideas? Has anyone tried melatonin in children? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

post #2 of 2

7 year old sleeping issues...

Has she had a sleep test? There could be an underlying problem (sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, etc.) that could be fixable.

Best regards,
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