Why can't my 5 year old sleep through the night

I don’t know what else I can do. I’ve tried reward charts for staying in bed but my 5 year old daughter is waking up at 1am or 2am every night and just wants to sleep in my bed. It’s really affecting us both and making us so tired. What should I be expecting from my 5 year old?? I would have imagined she would be sleeping through with no issues right now and it’s really something I want to fix. Help!!

I don’t have any solutions but wanted to post in solidarity as it’s the same for me. I have a 3 year old who is waking up in the night yelling for me and wanting to come in our bed and then an 8 year old who cannot seem to get to sleep at a reasonable time. She just lies there and I’m worried that she’s got a lot on her mind that she’s not telling me and struggling to switch off. Happy to receive any new tips as sleep is just so important and we aren’t getting enough of it!

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Ah thanks @TiredMum and welcome to the community.

It’s so tough isn’t it. Sleep is so important and without it we are all miserable.

Another 5 year old non sleeper over here! We’ve just had 2 weeks of 430 wake ups and it’s absolutely destroying me.

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I really do empathise with you all! Lack of sleep has such a huge impact on everyone in the household.

I was wondering if you know why your child is waking? You may have to be a bit of a sleep detective for a week or two to see if there are any patterns or if there are any changes that need to be made (jot down things like, what activities they did that day, their emotional state throughout the day, what they ate, the time they ate, and time they went to bed and awoke).

Perhaps you could prepare a moment during the day, when you have ample time, to have a little chat with your child about this. They may not know or be able to explain why they are waking up, but you will be able to show them that you understand and be able to reassure them whilst explaining how important it is that everyone gets enough rest in their own bed! You can then go through what the plan will be if they wake up (e.g. walk them back to the room, have cuddle then tuck them in with special teddy or blanket. You could even practice this with them!)

It helps to have a set bedtime routine, with certain activities that you do in order every day, at the same time each day. Depending on how long your bedtime routine takes, it is preferable to start the routine 30mins – 1hour before your child starts to feel sleepy, so ideally when they get in to bed, they are ready for sleep. (It can be difficult to get through the bedtime routine calmly if the children are already tired.) During your bedtime routine ensure your child has some calming down time, such as - dimmed lights, quiet bath time, a calming bedtime story, soft music, favourite cuddle toy or blanket, soothing back rub or stroke of hair. – You will know best what your child finds comforting.

Also many parents do find using a reward incentive to work well in encouraging better sleeping habits. sunshine84 I wonder if this is something you may consider trying again? You may need to only make a few minor tweaks to the reward system you tried before to see a difference. Remember to use a reward that will motivate your child and regularly monitor the system – if your child seems bored of the reward it could be changed to something else, or if things seem too challenging start with smaller steps, something you know they can do but not so often much. PRAISE – PART TWO in the programme has lots of tips on setting up an effective reward system.

Remember to look after yourself too and try to have at least 10-minutes a day where you can recharge.

Please keep in touch and share how you are all getting on with this. Take care x