5 year old keeps staying up

Post your questions about children's sleep here.

Moderators: talkhealth, talkhealth, talkhealth

2 posts
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:30 pm

by zeep2k34 on Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:12 pm

5 year old keeps staying up

Hi, my 5 year old son gets sent to bed and keeps himself awake til I get home usually at 830 to 9pm, my husband is at his wits end and I've asked work to change shifts and they wont. It trails through to the weekend now as well and he keeps following us downstairs after we put him in bed. Any ideas?

User avatar
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:23 pm

by lisaartis on Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:09 am

Re: 5 year old keeps staying up


Thanks for your question.

It's hard knowing the full picture online, with more detail, but here are some thoughts and ideas to try.

It seems like your son is staying awake because he wants to see you. If he is missing you, could you leave him a little note every night that Daddy could read to him? Or could you give him a teddy that is the 'mummy teddy' that he could snuggle with every night.

You don't say what time he is going to bed so it's worth checking you're not trying him to put him to bed too early, before he's actually tired. As a general rule of thumb a 5 year old would roughly need around 10-12 hours sleep a night. If his wake up time is 7am, you'd ideally be looking at a bedtime between 7pm and 8pm.

The other thing is what is he doing once you've put him to bed? Is he chatting to himself, reading, messing about? It may be worthwhile removing any toys etc that could be distracting.

At this age, it's important to have a really strong, regular bedtime routine. You may be doing this already but children do respond to a routine that is normally along the lines of teatime, followed by quiet play, bath, story and then bed. Bedtime should be around the same time each evening. It’s also important to limit the use of gadgets – TV, tablets, gaming machines – in the hours before bed. Instead set aside time before bed to wind down properly. This is a perfect opportunity to read with your child or them to read to you, or talk to them about their day.

Whatever you try, you both need to be firm and consistent in your approach to bedtime and stick to the same routine and schedule for at least 2 weeks. It's takes this long to break a habit and form new ones. It may seem like it gets worse before it gets better but it's worth sticking it out and giving it time to work.

Feel free to respond or if you would like more information you can download or order a copy of our Goodnight Guide for Children https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/helpful-leaflets/
Lisa Artis
Head of The Sleep Council

http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/on ... _artis.php

2 posts