16 answers

My 10 Year Old Will Not Go to Sleep / Struggles to Fall Asleep

Even if she goes to bed early ( 8pm) then at 11pm she's still lying in bed wide awake. Any ideas on how to help her get to sleep?
Other than run her ragged with sports?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to all that answered. I do turn off all electronics one and a half hours before bed, then do the bath / teeth / bed routine to help wind down. I also let her read one half hour before lights out as I hoped that would work ( it doesn't).

I will try the melatonin option I think - sounds like it works for lots of kids. I also had a discussion about anything worrying her, and besides the usual school issues, she seems fine. I hope a bit of an increase in sports will help, and then melatonin as well. Nice to know others have the same problem. It might well be hormonal too, so I'll chat to the doctor about that. It's great to get all this advice - thanks to everyone!!

Featured Answers

She may be going to bed a little, too early. Also, school is starting soon so anxiety may have a part iin this. If she started taking ADHD meds, that will certainly affect her sleep in the beginning. The possibilities are endless! Does she have any caffeinated beverages too close to bedtime. Try letting her read in bed until her eyes get too heavy. I know it's frustrating. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Mom, this is a tough one. I have read that TV, video and computers etc. if watched close to bed time will delay children from falling asleep, the activity of watching it apparently does something to the brain that cause it to become active. I would also be sure she is not having soda w/caffeince in the afternoon after school, this may help her. Also does your daughter have a regular bed time routine? If not I would start one with ther. Maybe she should try a warm bath / shower just b4 8pm then dim lights in her room and allow her to read until 8:30 ish. About this age I got my daugther a small clip on reading light so she can read b4 bed. Take her to the library to get some chapeter books she would like to read at night that will calm and settle her. ANother thing you might try, I know they do make "white noise" machines too that are supposed to be calming and encourage sleep. They have ocean sounds and other calming sounds that are supposed to help insomnia. Hope this helps, it is so important at this age a child gets a full night sleep. It can affect their whole day if they dont. Good luck

2 moms found this helpful

give her one 3 mg melatonin. Its natural , non habit forming and will help her fall asleep. Both of my children take it , was suggested by their Dr.
Make sure the tv, computer, etc are off an hr before bed time, give her a melatonin and let her have some reading time before lights out. My 8 yr old has to have her reading time before sleep time or her mind does not wind down. also I started her on a bedtime notebook, before she goes to sleep she writes down everything she needs to do or is thinking about in the notebook, it's kind of a brain dump thing.

2 moms found this helpful

She may be going to bed a little, too early. Also, school is starting soon so anxiety may have a part iin this. If she started taking ADHD meds, that will certainly affect her sleep in the beginning. The possibilities are endless! Does she have any caffeinated beverages too close to bedtime. Try letting her read in bed until her eyes get too heavy. I know it's frustrating. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Check to see if there is something she's afraid of.
Just before I turned 12, I was afraid that if I went to sleep that I would die while I was sleeping. There was no major trauma in my life that started my fear, but hormones can do crazy things! I don't really remember how that ended...lot of praying, I think!

May not be applicable to your situation, but you never know! Other ideas: limit TV/gaming before bedtime, check her diet... is she playing on a computer or something else in her room (with your knowledge, or maybe sneaking it)? I had a friend whose 8 yo was suddenly SUPER grouchy, and he'd been playing his handheld gaming system under the covers!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Has he alwas being like this? Is't possible that something is bother him?
Ask him why he is having so much trouble, and if he is ok and just having trouble relaxing and cool down, maybe reading will help him.
Just don't give him a "cool" book, lol.
Seriously, I did try this with my daughter at that same age (mmm, maybe is about the age and their brain growing? Does any body else 10 year old is having this same problem?) anyway, like I was "saying" I let her pick her book, and hours later I went to her room and she was still awake, she couldn't sleep because she really "needed" to know what happen on her book, lol.
She reads amazingly fast, which is the reason why I barely buy books for her, instead we got library cards.
Hope this work.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a ten year old daughter who tells me that she has problems falling asleep. She has a regular routine and she even reads at night sometimes, but she says that she could stay awake until midnight reading. My husband and I are both taking a supplement called Melatonin to promote sleep and we both have noticed an amazing difference. I was thinking about it for her, but wanted to check with her doctor first.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi! I feel your pain. . . I have a 9 year old and 5 year old both with sleep apnea. My older son has always had trouble falling asleep. During the school year, on school nights, we too give melatonin, but Trader Joe's has a 500mcg chewable (tasty - minty flavor). That's only 1/2 a mg! My husband and I find it effective enough that we can get by on that ourselves when we need a little help. I suggest giving it 30-60 minutes before your desired bed time. Also, we've tried doing guided meditation to get him to relax. He's been doing much better over the summer. Good luck!!!

dvd player in bed..with a not so thrilling movie on..she can lay in bed and doze off...my son is 4 and doesn't go to bed at 8..i think that's too early..when i want to get him off to bed he likes to watch Goosebumps..he always passes out before the episode is over. You may also want to give her carbs for dinner..food that is good for making people tired.


Vacuuming? Helping with dishes? Other house-cleaning duties? – can be dull and therapeutic :P On the therapeutic side – there are many homeopathic remedies to help with falling asleep. Try OTC, if don’t work – find professional homeopath, any homeopath, even MD who does not have any deep knowledge about homeopathy can give right remedy – it is very basic, does not require years of studying homeopathy.
Good Luck

Wow. 3 mg? Really? Start with the 1 mg. and progress from there. Is she having gut issues? Pain anywhere? Problems with someone?

My kids are fine with a 2.5 slow release melatonin from Kirkmans.

I had this problem when I was a kid, and my oldest daughter has it, too. My youngest, though, is just like her dad- falls asleep when she's ready, even if she's not that sleepy. I think some people are just wired this way. My oldest will complain that she can't get to sleep, and I know she's telling the truth because when I go by her room she's just staring up at the ceiling, looking bored, even if it's 11pm.

I can only tell you what works for me personally, and what doesn't work. First of all, music. This did not work for me, because instead of soothing me into a slumber I'd get caught up in the melody. This would actually keep me awake longer, flipping the cassette tape over repeatedly well into the morning hours. If you want to try music anyway, pick something boring and unfamiliar and switch it out often.

White noise helps a lot. You can get a machine that makes it, or just crank the ceiling fan up. I have to have a ceiling fan, even in the dead of winter, because I need the noise. Which also means that it can't be thumping or moaning like some ceiling fans do, because that negates the white noise.

Make sure she has comfortable bedding- a good pillow and a soft blanket. Again, speaking for myself, I prefer heavy blankets over a plush blanket. The weight is somehow soothing, and the softness keeps you warm and makes you feel snuggly.

Lots of activity can't hurt, but it's not that simple of a solution. I was very active in high school and college, both physically and socially, but still couldn't get to sleep at night. My daughter is the same way. We went to a pool party once where she swam for FOUR HOURS, and I thought surely this will do the trick. But no, she was still awake after bed time, staring at the walls and drumming her fingers on the blanket.

My 8 yr old son, brought this concern up with his doctor when we went for his wellness check up. I told them that I don't believe in medication unless it is ABSOLUTLY nessasary. And she sugested I give him 3mg Melatonin. She explained that your body produces it. If it's not producing enough that the sleeping habits are all out of wack.

This was back in September of 2010. Ever since his appointment, he has been taking Melatonin and has actually been asleep before 10pm at night (his bed time is 9) Where as he use to not go to sleep until about 1 in the morning. He also has A.D.H.D but we dont have him on prescribed medication for that. I'm teaching him how to cope with it as my husband and I have.

I hope this is of some help for you. I know it has done us wonders. I even take it because I don't sleep well too. Over the counter sleeping aid's dont help much.

If this is something she has always struggled with then I would suggest the melatonin also. But I would stay at 1 mg, not 3.

I have been giving my 11 year old melatonin for 2 years now. He suffered with insomnia for years and this has been such a blessing for him. I give him half a tablet around 7pm and he falls asleep with no problem. He is not drowsy in the morning either.

You may want to take her to the doctor for a check-up. See if you can get her to talk to you about any stressful situations in her day that may be causing her problem. There are so many reasons that can be causing her sleeplessness.

Good luck!

When my daughter was about that age she often had trouble falling asleep, she just couldn't seem to let go of the day and relax. I have the same problem, my mind just keeps going. We listen to soft, instrumental music, turned down low. You have to lay quietly and listen and it relaxes us. She listened mainly to piano music. I do Native American flute music, some new age and have an ocean waves with music mixed in. I also love Silk Road by Kitaro. (I wore out a couple of Silk Road tapes of it before the days of cds.) I rarely hear the end of the cd, sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night and have to replay it, but it works for me and my daughter.

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