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Del Morrill, M.S. C.C.H


A Center for Counseling & Hypnosis
Tacoma, Washington, USA
(253) 752-1506

Can't Sleep


I have a five year old little girl, who just won’t sleep.  She cries until someone sleeps with her and even then she wakes up several times during the night.  She is a very active child, but she has to be dragged out of bed in the morning for school.  She will do anything rather than go to sleep at night time.  She says she doesn't know how to. She is a very bright child and thrives on knowledge; she always wants to learn things; her mind never stops.   It is becoming a great strain on my husband and myself as we are only getting broken sleep (3 hours), this has gone on for five years.  Is there anything you could recommend. 



 My, you do have a problem if this has been going on for 5  years!  You must be really tired, by now.  I'll do my best to see what might work with a 5 year old.  Here are a few possibilities: 

1.  Don't verbally express your worry over this in front of the child.  Treat it as follows: Say something like this every night as a prelude to sleep, once the child is either ready for bed, or in bed. "Some people need a few hours of sleep, some need a whole lot of sleep. The important thing is that, no matter how much sleep you get, you should feel good about getting up in the morning; you should be able to hop out of bed in the morning all bright-eyed, and ready to go into a day that will be filled with interesting things that you can do, and events that might take place." 

2. The next night, once tucked in, story read, etc., you can say something like the above again, adding “Babies like to sleep, kittens like to sleep, puppies like to sleep; some sleep a little, some sleep a lot, but when they sleep, they really relax and sleep so nicely, so relaxed, just like you will tonight...,” etc.

3.  Get a package of stick-on-the-wall stars that glow in the dark and put them on the ceiling above the child's bed.  After  you've said the above routine, you can then have your child begin to count the stars. Tell your child that by the time they get to star # 12,  they'll be fast asleep.   The next night have them count and tell them that by the time they get to star # 10 they'll be fast sleep.  Do this each night, reducing the number until you get to 5 and then reduce by one number at a time.  When you get to 1, tell the child that this time, whenever they just start counting the stars, they'll go right asleep. 

I hope this is helpful to you.  Give it a go, and let me know how it works out for you.  






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