My 9-year-old Insomniac

One parent asked the Park Slope Parents ADVICE list about what to for her 9 year old insomniac.  Here are the responses she received.

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From the parent:


"Thank you to everyone who responded to my plea. A couple people responded within minutes of my post. It means so much to me to be a part of this community. These all look like great ideas, and I look forward to trying them, on my daughter and myself (I could use a little help in the sleep department too)  Sweet dream everyone, young and old!"


Books To Read:


Moonbeam: A Book of Meditations for Children Paperback  by Maureen Garth (Author)

Reflexology: Health At Your Fingertips


Tips To Try:


"When I was little I used to listen to old radio shows when I fell asleep. I’d miss the end every time, but focusing on something else was a good way to take my thoughts away from my own issues to relax enough to fall asleep.  Some of these are on YouTube  (e.g., Fibber McGee & Molly).  Without the visual stimulation it didn’t keep me up like TV does  (Which is why we don’t have a tv in our room)  I also listen to meditations on YouTube before going to bed—You might check some of those out."


"My 9 year old son has gone through phases of insomnia, and when he has a hard time falling asleep he gets headaches the day after (from being tired). It's a bad cicle.     2 things I tried that worked: establishing a bed time routine, that includes Valerian tea (or Back flowers, I take them, and they are safe for kids too!)  and a foot massage (I learned some techniques that make my 2 kids pass out at the speed of light in this book)     the other one is making sure he spends time outdoors after school. It used to be playground, now lately he is into sports so either shooting hoops or a plain and simple run in the park. Works like a charm, it actually also fixed my picky eater who is 2 and 1/2 and used to drive me crazy not wanting to eat almost anything. I make his run like a little goat in the great lawn and then he begs for .... anything, even spinach!!!!! :-)     Last but not least, I just lie down next to him. Usually the insomnia is motivated by something that keeps him awake, not necessarily a concern or a fear, sometimes even just a book he is reading or what they are talking about in school. So if I just go and lie down there, chances are he will tell me and get it out and then fall asleep.     Sweet dreams, I hope this helps (the running outdoors, the colder the better, id a fool-proof advice!!!!)"  

"Melatonin  Valerian  Chamomile.  Both my son and my hugely insomniac husband take melatonin on the advice of our pediatrician and GP.  It REALLY helps get them both to sleep, particularly my son.  Or just ask your's very widely used, even for kids."


"Something that has always helped me are hypnotherapy soundtracks.  A 15/20-minute YouTube video (audio only) may be worth trying.  There are relaxation apps too."


"My 10 year old had it last year, basically from October to June. It was awful! Nothing worked and I mean... Nothing. We even let him stay up and read, he did tell us that he is thinking about everything and can't stop. I think my anxiety and anger about it didn't help... In the end he met with a therapist for 3 months and it got better. We are back to almost normal! I'm hoping it's just a developmental stage.    I have to add that we are a household of night owls.  My 13 year old has been unable to fall asleep either. I wonder if their bodies just want to go to bed later..."