Five year old not sleeping!?

My aunt seems to not be getting enough rest lately, because my five year old cousin won't sleep, or is having trouble sleeping. I advised Alexandra (my cousin) to maybe, when trying to fall asleep, try to imagine and make up her own dream, such as maybe she and her friends playing in the park. But she said she only gets nightmares, and my aunt said Alex spends the night pinching herself. Now I'm starting to think the problem is not that Alex can't sleep, but rather that she is avoiding sleep because of the nightmares. What can be done so that Alex can sleep?

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    So she doesn't WANT to sleep because she's afraid of having nightmares? And she says she ONLY gets nightmares? That's a worry, can you talk to her about why she only has nightmares? Is anything worrying her or making her unhappy? Is bedtime a pleasant thing for her? Recurring nightmares could just be a phase or there is something in her life causing them. Step one would be to figure out which one it is. If it is just a phase then there's a lot of things you can do to make bedtime more pleasant for her - a nightlight, read her favourite story book, does she have any security things like a blanket or toy? The coaching of imagining happy things while going to sleep is a good idea too, aromatherapy oils, limiting nighttime tv to pleasant happy movies, Find a plush toy that's night time oriented (i.e. my daughter has a little bear that has stars and 'sweet dreams' stitched on it) and make it a 'good dream' toy.

    If something more serious or psychological is causing the nightmares, i would talk to a professional about it.

  • Ruth C
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Shift the focus from going to sleep to going to bed. Do a bedtime routine, whatever it has been, and then when she goes to bed, she has to stay in bed. If she gets up, put her back in bed. Do not make monster zones or goblins will get her. Just "It's bedtime. That means staying in bed." Don't say anything about having to sleep. She can be checked in on by her mom or whoever is watching her.

    I've seen this work in as little as a week, or take several months. It depends on the follow through, and also on what is causing the fear of Sleep.

  • 9 years ago

    Look at Homeoapthic Stramoniumat ABC homeopathy.You still should see a good homeopath.Some melatonin may help an hour before bed.Some calcium citrate and magnesium citrate are calming and may help with sleep.Nutrient deficiencies lead to anxiety and mental problems.Look at the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome and look at reviews at Amazon.

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