My 10 year old waking up almost 5 days a week between 12 and 3 am

Naren - posted on 01/11/2016 ( 3 moms have responded )




My 10 year old girl is waking up almost 5 days a week between 12 and 3 am, comes down the stairs from her room to our master bedroom downstairs....wakes us up and want me to take her back up and put her to bed and tuck her in. She says she is scared of various things at different times -- intruder, ghost, closet monsters, something under the bed.... This started in last 6 to 8 months ago slowly and now she is consistently doing. I spend time with her in her bedroom before she goes to bed talking about her day,and also assuring her and also teaching deep breathing techniques, encouraging her to tell herself that it is not real etc when she wakes up. So far unsuccessful. She is losing her sleep and my sleep.....getting very tired, Any suggestions?


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Raye - posted on 01/11/2016




This sounds like my 8 year old step-son. He routinely becomes afraid of something: nightmare, weather, the noise coming out of the vent, something in the closet, aliens, etc. He turns his mirror backward so he can't see reflections of things that might be scary. He sleeps with a TON of stuffed animals.

When we get the knock on the door, my husband usually gets up and puts him back to bed. Snuggles with him for a time, breathing exercises, etc. as you have tried, and usually that does it... until the next time. Occasionally on the weekend (like yesterday morning) or if he's really inconsolable, my husband will let him climb in bed with us. This behavior was reinforced when my husband was newly divorced - the kids were having issues, and he was lonely, so he would have the kids sleep in his bed a lot of the time. That wasn't going to fly with me living there, so he started cutting it back before I moved in and got married, so it wouldn't seem like I was the bad one making them sleep in their own beds (how horrible! LOL).

My SS has cut way back on the times that he will knock on the door, and sometimes he has knocked and woken me up, but not loud enough to wake my husband, and I let him choose to either knock louder, or think better of it and just go back to bed on his own (it's about 50/50 at the moment). I feel bad sometimes to do that, but I'm giving him the choice to determine whether he really needs his dad, or can face the fear himself.

I have thought of creating a placebo spray as Raina suggested. But, I haven't done it yet.

Did something change in her life around the time this all started? If a pet died or something, maybe she's unsure about her own mortality or maybe she feels less secure. Maybe get an alarm system and let her know that nothing can get to her without tripping the alarm and alerting you. Is there something that happens at that time to wake her up? Does a neighbor come home or leave near that time every day where she might hear the car door or something? Make sure there's no real world cause for her to wake up and attribute it to some imagined scary thing. Then maybe help her think logically about it. She has slept for 3650+ nights and nothing has eaten her yet, so chances are, nothing will start now.

Whatever you do, just be consistent with helping her go back to bed/sleep and she should get past it. If it doesn't get better after a while, then maybe counseling would be a good idea.

Ev - posted on 01/11/2016




Raina--I like your suggestions but to ask a child detailed description of what is keeping her up may not work because she may not know what is causing her distress. Using essential oils mixed in water as a spray with scents to bring calming affects is good but I am not sure about the bad things or what you mean by those. As for the TV and stuff like that, it can cause harder sleeping at nights. I would also consider seeking out counseling.

Raina - posted on 01/11/2016




I would ask her questions detailed about what is walking her. Also mix water with lavender essences oil as a protector from bad things. Have her spray her head board and foot of her bed. The blues rays off electronic can cause sleep disruption in too. No Tv or electronic device one hour before bed. I hope you the best.

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