Question: My daughter is nearly 8. She is a highly strung child at the best of times and can’t fall asleep. We use the usual bedtime routine, teeth, reading etc but she still lies awake for hours.
She also insists we sit in the room with her. We have tried gradually withdrawing, but as soon as we move to the corridor outside her room, she demands that we sit in her room!She is not alone in her room as her brother and sister also sleep there (by choice).Her behaviour is eating up our entire evening – it is not unusual to start the bedtime routine at between 6:30pm and 7pm and for her to still be awake at 9pm… I am at the end of my tether!Please help!!! Exhausted in Africa!

Answer: Hi Sharon, Thank you for writing in. Have you tried shifting her whole bedtime routine back a couple of hours? In other words, you could start putting her to bed (teeth, reading, etc) at 8pm or 8:30 instead of 6:30 or 7. Is it possible that she is not actually tired enough at the earlier times to be compelled to lay still?Sometimes perceived sleep problems with children are actually just problems with expectations about when they should be tired. When that is the case, the problems can go away just by changing the timing and the expectations. That may not be the case with your daughter, but I figured it was worth pointing out. Please feel free to update this page with any progress or setbacks you have using the comments section below.

Thanks for your question and good luck,