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4.5 yo waking up and staying awake for 2 to 3 hours

Hi there! This comes at a really good time for us! My son Theo is 4.5 yo and has spastic diplegia with involvement of the upper limbs.  For the past few years he has been waking up at night and will stay awake for 2 to 3 hours at a time, loudly  chatting, singing and telling stories to himself (he finds it tough to modulate his volume). He finds it difficult to go back to sleep on his own and often kicks his covers off and cannot pull them back up or gets stuck in a funny position. My husband and I are often up for hours, going in to make sure he isn't cold or stuck. He isn't unhappy in the night, but obviously the lack of sleep affects is behaviour the next day, and his concentration in school. We have a toddler as well and they often wake each other up! Please help- we're at the end of our rope!

Replies

  • SleepPractitionersSleepPractitioners Member Posts: 43 Courageous

    Hi Americanabroad

    Think about what you are doing at the beginning of the evening to settle Theo down, do you change anything once he’s gone to sleep, i.e parent left the room, switched a light off, as this can cause him to wake fully. We all wake around twice a night and we need the same conditions to be able to roll over and go back to sleep. You need to get him to know the difference between day (chatty and fun) and night (quiet and time to sleep) so when you go into him don’t engage in conversation at all the only thing you should say is “sleep” and that is as you leave the room. We would suggest you getting a double duvet and tucking it in so that he can’t kick his covers off so easily, therefore you will not need to go in as often to check on him.

    You haven’t said what you do prior to bedtime so we would advise you to follow a good wind down routine http://www.scope.org.uk/support/families/sleep/routine

    Remember that it can take around 3 weeks to establish a new routine so keep consistent.

    Good luck

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