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View Full Version : Why is my 5 year old waking up in the middle of the night?



Dlandmom
11-09-2004, 01:38 PM
My almost 5 year old daughter has woken up in the middle of the night 3 of the last 4 nights. She just wakes up and can't fall back asleep...wakes me up because she can't fall back asleep...and then the noise of her walking/running around wakes up my 1 year old. Nothing has changed recently. Nothing is stressing her as far as I can tell. She says everything's fine but she just can't sleep. Once my 1 year old is up, he doesn't go back to sleep for at least 2 hours. Ugh...I'm so not functioning today. I'm not getting enough sleep!!!

Help! Have you experienced this? I was planning on meeting up with some friends and their kids at DLR tomorrow, but I don't want to "reward" her for not sleeping at night (don't know if that's what she would be thinking).

rentayenta
11-09-2004, 01:48 PM
You answered my initial question so.....might there be something you don't know about? Maybe she is worried about something? Is she eating or drinking too close to bedtime and waking to use the restroom?


I can so empathize with the no sleep thing; it's impossible to function.

Dlandmom
11-09-2004, 01:57 PM
You answered my initial question so.....might there be something you don't know about? Maybe she is worried about something? Is she eating or drinking too close to bedtime and waking to use the restroom?


No bathroom...we're careful about not to much drinking late at night. She says there's nothing bothering her...no bad dreams. She's kind of going through a separation anxiety phase...can't figure out why. A few days last week, she wouldn't let me leave when I dropped her off at Kindergarten. It took 20 minutes of whining before she agreed to say goodbye. The teacher says she's not aware of anything at school. The kids seem friendly...just the other day one of the boys actually came up and asked if she wanted to play with them...a BOY (usually they're running around doing the roughhousing, so I was shocked that this boy came over and politely invited her to play when he saw that she was being clingy). Of course yesterday and today she was just fine and said goodbye immediately.

During the day she's "normal" and does her stuff while I'm working (or goofing off on MP!). I don't know...I hope it's just a temporary thing. I'm having a hard time concentrating on anything....

rentayenta
11-09-2004, 02:05 PM
Hmm, I don't know. I would just keep an eye on it and write down any behavior that seems out of the ordinary. My DD went through a separation phase during the whole Elizabeth Smart ordeal, we live in Utah and we were saturated with the story. Maybe she heard something or saw something that's bothering her.

Is your mother's instinct telling you anything? That's usually my first clue.

Hakuna Makarla
11-09-2004, 04:46 PM
My beau went thru the same thing, its ok, this will pass. Some times they go thru stages where there sleep gets interupted.my son did this all the time for a while but I found when I was firm and made him go back to sleep he did well when I put music on softly and made him stay in bed.

If he got up and woke the baby up he would get no treats the next day. he soon learned that a day with no treat were hell LOL! He was loud and would wake the baby up every time until I imposed the rule, go back to bed, listen to music and go to sleep. after a few times with no goodies he decided it was not worth it to get up.:) good luck hon, I know how you feel!

lisap
11-09-2004, 05:15 PM
Ug--I'm sorry to hear that.

I don't know what to tell you, other than to make sure waking up at night doesn't turn into a evening play time and giving her even more incentive to get up. Try having her lay down in bed and close her eyes and visualize a safe, relaxing place--I think she will be old enough for this--and describe it to you. It will help take her focus off what her brain is working over.

You might want to talk to her and see if something has happened at school that is making her anxious. Sometimes it will seem like a little thing to an adult, but to the child it's really huge. She might mention it in an offhand way--just keep your ears open.

Good luck, Jeannie--I feel for you.

karliebug
11-10-2004, 03:48 AM
Maybe you can give her a cd player with headphones and relaxing music to play if she wakes up or put a pile of books on her bed and a flashlight and tell her if she wakes up she must do those "quiet things". Also, avoid stimulating things before bed. Try to stick to the usual bedtime routine as close as possible. Try to give a little extra "with mommy time" before bed to read a story or do a craft together. It sounds as if she needs a little extra attention and when else can she get it but in the middle of the night? There is no one else to compete with.Good luck, I know sleep issues can be exhausting (no pun intended.)

Dlandmom
11-10-2004, 05:44 AM
Thanks for the suggestions! You guys are great.

Here's an update. Both kids are sleeping well...unfortunately, mommy is not! :rolleyes: I actually woke up at 5 and can't get back to sleep. Therefore, my day starts at 5 today! :eek: I know, that's not bad, but heck, it was my chance to get a little extra sleep!

Re: my daughter, I think that maybe she's going to sleep a little too early...yes, that's what I said. I don't stress too much about sleep problems because my side of the family has the worst sleepers ever, me included. Anyhow, when my daughter started kindergarten, I insisted that she go to sleep by 8 (she usually goes to sleep around 9:30). The best I could do was about 8:45, but that was fine with me. It just occurred to me last night that she was actually going to sleep around 8:15 because she was just loving this new story book my mom bought her. Well, last night, I wasn't "ready" to read her bedtime stories until 8:30, which means she didn't fall asleep until about 8:45. She slept through the night. I wonder if that's what it was....

Now someone please explain why I woke up at 5 when I could've been sleeping an extra hour...or two?!

Hakuna Makarla
11-10-2004, 09:04 AM
I am glad she slept thru the night. I to was up at 5:00 am, but I am always up by 6:00 am so this does not bother me. My kids go to bed at 8:00 and rachal 9:00 I have to acually wake my boys at 7:00 am as they are still sleeping well. I found when Beau woke up for a while there he just got into the habbit and wanted to get up to play. I refused to let him so there for it was not worth it any more. I put my kids to bed with music on lightly. and they enjoy it and sleep well but every once in a while they still do wake and I just slip them in my bed, we then sleep snug in a bug! if they refuse to go to sleep in my bed its off to there room and lights off.

kadiehl
11-10-2004, 10:20 AM
We had this problem with my son when he was 4 years old and going to Head Start here in town. He would wake up at night, not be able to sleep, sometimes vomit (most of the time) and we had no clue why because he did not have the flu. So we went through a battery of tests of allergies, gastro-intestional tests, blood work galore, and came up with no solution. After talking to many people, including my mother in law who is a teacher there, we discovered he was being bullied by his teacher (my mother in law was a morning teacher- he was afternoons). My mother in law felt so bad because she was trying to deal with it but did not want to tell us because she thought we would pull him out of the school and it was good for him to be at the school. Well, I would not have pulled him out but the teacher would have been cowering in the corner by the time I was done with her and her bosses. So once school was over (this was occuring the last few months of school) he was OK for a long time until he started Kindergarten and was stressed by the change in environment and how strict his teacher was. By the middle of the year he had adjusted and we have not seen it happen since except for once in First Grade when he got stressed over a class assignment he did not do well with . Since then, he sleeps like a box of rocks and you can not wake that kid up for anything. I can vacuum his room while he sleeps and he will bot budge an inch. My daughter is the same way.

Dlandmom
11-10-2004, 12:33 PM
Wow, kadiehl, that's awful. My daughter's teacher seems really nice, and she seems to really like her teacher, so I don't THINK that's the problem. I do know that several weeks ago, one of her really good friends at school left, so she's probably a little more lonely at school, but I think she's starting to be more friendly with some of the other kids now.

It was interesting last night that she went to sleep about half an hour later and slept much better, so we'll try that again tonight and see what happens. Even my 1 year old went to sleep later and slept better. I think I just have "late" kids.

Emma
11-10-2004, 03:04 PM
My four year old crawls into bed with us every single night. We put her to bed, and she goes to sleep, but every night, without fail, around 2am, she gets up and crawls in between us and goes to sleep.

I remember my little sister did this with my parents until she was about 6.... She is my first, so I'm not sure if this is normal or not!

Dlandmom
11-10-2004, 03:56 PM
My four year old crawls into bed with us every single night. We put her to bed, and she goes to sleep, but every night, without fail, around 2am, she gets up and crawls in between us and goes to sleep.
I know of several kids who do that. I would be fine with that. Problem with my daughter is that she just doesn't understand the concept of going to mommy and daddy's room...she just stays in her bed and yells for mommy, which of course inevitably wakes up her brother in the room next door. We've worked on it and worked on it, and she seems to get it during the day, but at night she'll just yell (I've tried using the baby monitor in the hallway between the two rooms so that I'll hear either kid, but that just keeps me up all night listening for them).

kadiehl
11-10-2004, 04:18 PM
My four year old crawls into bed with us every single night. We put her to bed, and she goes to sleep, but every night, without fail, around 2am, she gets up and crawls in between us and goes to sleep.

My 8 year old son NEVER did this but my 3 year old does it nearly every single night. Problem is that she sleeps in the dogs spot, LOL, at the foot of the bed. :)

Dlandmom
11-11-2004, 07:40 AM
Woo hoo! We're on a roll! I woke up at 5:30, and my daughter woke up at 6. I think I just may have to treat us both to a trip to Disneyland!!!

Emma
11-11-2004, 12:28 PM
My 8 year old son NEVER did this but my 3 year old does it nearly every single night. Problem is that she sleeps in the dogs spot, LOL, at the foot of the bed. :)

:p

Wonder if we'll ever get our bed back.... :rolleyes:

GeminiAngel
11-30-2004, 01:46 PM
what in the world does this have to do with "parenting in the PARKS"? Sounds like a topic for Babycenter.com :confused:

kbanmen
11-30-2004, 02:02 PM
My 4 year old does this every night..and I am soo sick of it. SHe wakes up crying like she had a nightmare or something..my mom said it could be night terrors..(whatever that is)..other times she just wakes up and lo and behold she is in our bed kicking us in the face orm back..I wish she would just stay in her bed and sleep through the whole night..I am at a lost as well