My 10 y.o. dd recently stopped sucking her thumb (yes, I know, I know), and that was how she got to sleep at night. Now, she can't sleep. She sometimes lies in bed all night (like last night) unable to sleep. She used to sleep well. As an infant, she used to nurse all night long. I'd wake up in the middle of the night, and she'd still be latched on from the time before. She's very oral.
Something interesting about this is that I frequently have insomnia. I sucked my thumb until I was in kindergarten, and then my parents used that nasty tasting stuff on my thumb to get me to stop. I wonder if I have insomnia because I don't suck my thumb. Could this be one of those weird genetic things?
Any ideas for helping dd to sleep? What we've tried in the past are: water fountain, relaxation CD, singing lullabyes.
off the cuff idea, have a few days where your dd gets MUCH more exercise than usual. Wear her out! Then, she may find it easier to fall asleep and a few days of that may establish some new sleep associations.
do you have time to help her?
body massages? i do this feather like massage on dd's face without tickling her and that really relaxes her.
dd is v. oral too. weird but one thing that helped was having her cook. different tastes different textures (both taste and texture are big for her). so if she was involved in the cooking and tasting and cutting that helped her with her oral health.
It sounds to me like you both need more oral stimulation during the day. In addition to cooking and tasting, what about some chewing gum for an hour or so before bedtime. Ds' occupational therapist recommended it when he got frustrated with homework because the chewing would help calm him down.
Make sure her diet includes crunchy foods and chewy foods every day. I'm also very oral (sucked my thumb until I was in my early teens, chewed on pencils/pens constantly) and I could eat an entire bag of caramels at once because the chewiness is so soothing to me. I realize now that that need went away when I was put on antidepressants for anxiety. Now, I don't recommend antidepressants for your 10 year old, but maybe some good activities that would help relax and release stress/tension would help. Yoga, progressive body relaxation, meditation, deep breathing are all things that help. Getting LOTS of exercise is also crucial for me.
Finally, have you tried melatonin? It's what our bodies are supposed to produce to help regulate our sleep. When I'm not in the middle of a major episode of anxiety (like I am now), melatonin will help with my occasional bouts of insomnia. I've given it to ds (age 10) occasionally to help him sleep, and I'm giving it to dd for 2 weeks to reset her body clock. She was staying up until after 11 pm, and not getting enough sleep to be able to function. After 2 weeks, I'll taper down the dose and I think she'll be ready to sleep by 9 or 9:30 then.
Chewing gum after dinner may help. I think we will try that. Her teacher has the kids chew gum during tests because she says it helps them concentrate. I don't know if it really does, but what the heck.
I have not given her melatonin, but I have taken it myself, and it had no effect whatsoever, even at double the dose. I have been giving her a homeopathic for sleep. She says she sees a difference, but I'm not really sure how much. She's awake right now at 9:30, which is not unusual, and I gave her the medicine an hour ago. It's supposed to be taken an hour before bed. We'll see what happens.
Exercising more may be helpful. Sometimes the kids walk home from school, and sometimes I pick them up. I'll keep track to see if she sleeps better on days they walk home.