my 8 year old daughter cant sleep , when is bed time .

Bernice - posted on 11/12/2014 ( 7 moms have responded )

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my 8 year old daughter cant sleep , when is bed time , i read and do all neccessary stuffs that a mum should do to put her child to sleep but still , pls help me

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Helen Nuschler - posted on 11/15/2014

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As a family practitioner I give the same advice to all family members. The bedroom should be for ONE purpose only..to sleep. (Ok mom and dad get to continue relations!)

A bed, a side table, a lamp, curtains that are noise reducing and block out light. Period. No computers, toys, TV, radios, NOTHING. We are over-stimulated. Is there noise from street, rest of house? Do you argue and shout? I can't emphasize enough how over-stimulation knocks us out of our circadian rhythm (24 hour cycle).

Have a schedule where things start slowing down after dinner. Reading, homework, needlework (knitting, embroidery) but NO VIDEO GAMES OR OTHER TECH GADGETS. Go to bed at same time every night. No rough housing--just stop the over stimulation.

Exercise for at least 30 to 45 minutes EARLIER in day.

It is EXTREMELY important that both children AND adults get 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night. (Some children need 12 hours of sleep) Go back to basics. NO caffeine in soda drinks, coffee, chocolate, tea.

Is your child signed up for too many activities? Piano lessons, soccer, art classes, Chinese language classes at age three. Cut it ALL out until sleep is no longer a problem. Sleep and good nutrition are the two most important things that a child's or adult's nervous system MUST have to function well. During sleep our bodies repair themselves.

I've got 10 year old patients with their own smart phones. When their parents say "He's always tired" "doesn't eat right" "doing poorly in school!" I ask the ten year old...How late are you up doing Facebook, Twitter, Instagrams, Snap chat? "Oh until 3 or 4." Parents have NO idea that kids are on social media nearly 24 hours a day.

I'm VERY old fashioned but I tell parents that their kids do NOT need smart phones. A flip cell phone perhaps. And computers? Only to be used in family room or living room where you can see what your children are doing. They ARE children. YOU as the adult have to set boundaries. Every good scientific study shows that children who have NEVER been exposed to smart phones or computers can pick it up their first year in college or tech school or out on their own...

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Helen Nuschler - posted on 11/15/2014

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I said this in my post..BUT children/adults should NOT be sleeping in a room with computers, TVs, video games.

Bedrooms are for sleeping only. I have been in family practice for over 40 years. Oh the changes I have seen! Big screen TVs in EVERY room and going 24 hrs a day! Each child has his/her own computer, tablet, smart phone....NO!

I still make house calls...Boy is THAT illuminating! I couldn't sleep in a room with that many distractions. Call to Duty, Warcraft being played until 0300! Their own TV? Why on earth would you put a TV or computer in a child's room?

An adult has trouble not getting on social media 24 hrs/day...Think of your children who have NO concept of boundaries! Nothing in room. Is this REALLY the ONLY room they can do homework? If so, then make it a homework area that can be "closed down." A Chinese floor screen to block desk from bed.

Do NOT underestimate how much social media is taking over your child's life. Be a role model! Read, do crafts, plat board games (Scrabble Scatergories, Checkers and Chess--Spades, Bridge, Go Fish! Have intelligent discussions...not lying on sofas hypnotized by ET, Duck Dynasty, and Honey Boo Boo. Again..READ! Have good books and good magazines available. National Geographic, NOT national enquirer. The Economist, US News and World Report. We did NOT have TV growing up. Never missed it! My parents subscribed to the Wall Street Journal, Time, and Newsweek...and our local newspaper. READ, READ, READ! The BEST thing you can do for your child is to have them develop great reading habits.

Do you read? Discuss current events with your children? Teach them BOTH sides of an argument. Talk about science, world events?

Teach your children to think for themselves!

Chet - posted on 11/12/2014

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I'm sorry Deidre. I should have made it clear that my post was directed at the original poster. The care of your son is between you and your doctor.

Deidre - posted on 11/12/2014

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My son has NO neurological disorder, just doesn't fall asleep until very late on his own. The Dr. that prescribed the Melatonin for my son is an extremely popular who is very skilled and would NEVER have started my son on it if it was in ANY way unsafe! What is YOUR medical training? Are you a Dr.?

Chet - posted on 11/12/2014

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Also, the light from electronic devices can disrupt sleep patterns. People often suggest no tablet, TV, cell phone, computer for at least an hour before bed, but if you can I'd try for a window of no electronics for a couple of hours before bedtime.

Chet - posted on 11/12/2014

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How is your daughter overall? Is she tired or cranky during the day? Does she get up easily in the morning? How many hours of sleep is she actually getting?

Most eight year olds need 10 or 11 hours of sleep. Some might need a little less, or a little more, but if your daughter is getting less than 9, is not waking up on her own in the morning, generally looks or acts tired, etc, she probably isn't getting enough sleep.

However, this could be as simple as you're sending her to bed too early, or expecting her to fall asleep too quickly. Some kids take an hour to relax and unwind enough to fall asleep and there's nothing wrong with that. And if your daughter doesn't have to get up until 7:30am, and she only needs 9.5 hours of sleep to be well rested, she won't need to fall asleep before 10pm.

You really need to be careful giving melatonin to kids. It's use in children hasn't been widely studied, and there are concerns that long term use can have side effects (like delayed puberty, or failing to develop healthy sleep habits). Melatonin can be a good option for kids with neurological issues that legitimate disrupt their sleep pattern, but it's not something to rush into with a normal, healthy kid.

Two things I have done that seem to help a lot are:

1. Make sure the kids get a decent amount of fresh air and exercise every day.

2. Include a significant amount of "dark time" as part of the bedtime routine. I usually sit in the hall and read to the kids for about an hour, but they kids are in the bedroom, in bed, with the lights out for the entire time.

Deidre - posted on 11/12/2014

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Have you asked the Dr. about the possibility of starting her on Melatonin? My 9 yr. old son has the same problem falling asleep! The Dr. has him on 1/2 a 3mg tablet. Please check with your Dr. first if this would be the right med. for her and what mg. she should have if it is. The Dr. told me to give it to my son 1 hr. before the time I would like him to fall asleep.

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