Monday, July 12, 2010

Sleep Issues

Ava doesn't have the best track record when it comes to sleep. She didn't sleep through the night until shortly before her first birthday. She gave up naps completely right after turning 2...has not had a nap since, I kid you not. She was always getting up and coming into our room in the middle of the night as a toddler. Then around the time Lucas was born, she hit her stride and began sleeping peacefully through the night almost without fail. I thought all her sleep problems were behind her.

Then about 3 weeks ago, the weirdest thing started happening. We would put her to bed at her normal time, around 8 PM, and she would just lay in bed for hours without falling asleep. She never had that much trouble falling asleep before. I have tried to find out what is causing this, but she isn't really sure and I have no idea. Nothing about her routine has changed. The only thing that could be counted as a change is that school is out now. I don't know if that has anything to do with it or not. The girl is tired, but she can't fall asleep.

We've tried letting her read in bed for a while. I've worked with her on forming some "happy" mental images she can think about as she lays in bed. I've practiced deep breathing with her. We've left her alone thinking it might work itself out somehow. Nothing is working. She was awake until 11 PM the last two nights. I don't think she has fallen asleep before 10 at all in the past 3 weeks.

Tonight I am planning on playing some ocean sounds and seeing if white noise helps at all. I don't want to give her any drugs, but I have got to find a solution. This is putting a big strain on us all. There have been a few nights that I wanted to go to bed but could not yet because she was still awake and I felt I needed to be there for her. Plus I know this can't be good for her body because she is not getting enough rest.


Rachel said...

I'm so sorry this is still a problem for Ava...and you. I checked my sleep "bible" (Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child) because it has information all the way through the teenage years...just because I was curious what it would say. Frankly, it suggested several of the things you have already tried with the exception of making sure she wakes up at the same time every morning. The purpose of that is to help establish a regular sleep/wake rhythm. You may already be doing that but I thought I'd throw it out there. Either way, I hope it resolves soon somehow!

Elaine said...

That is a tough one. The child therapist in me would love to know if you find something that works. I hope the phase will pass soon - I feel sorry for both of you!

Dara said...

I am so sorry Ava is having such trouble. I recall having the same issue when I was a kid. So far, my kids don't seem to have that issue. EB will on occassion be awake for anywhere from a half an hour to 2 hours on days where she took a huge nap, but not just on a normal basis.

When I was a kid, I learned that having all doors closed, complete darkness (no lights of any kind, inlcuding a clock visable), and some sort of white noise (usually a fan when I was littlel) helped me to sleep more regularly. I still like it that way...I put something over my clock at night to block the light. I also do better when I wake up at the same time everyday.

Shari said...

You might try letting her stay up an extra hour before trying to go to sleep, but getting up at the same time. Some people just require less hours of sleep than others.