I am quite concerned about my 7 year old son who struggles every night to fall asleep. He is an early riser and will still stay up late. For example, we do our bed routine and lights are out between 8-8:30. However, he will not fall asleep until about 10 pm. He is always asking me to check on him in 15-25 minute intervals. He shares a room with his 5 year old brother who wishes he would fall asleep. The 5 year old needs sleep and really wants it. He just began to ask me to sleep in other beds. He was recently evaluated by a psychologist who is making the diagnosis of ADD and anxiety. He is super smart IQ @ 127 ( however I am aware not to rely on such a test, this was more for an understanding of his cognitive ability) and has had disruptive behavior inb school since pre-k. However, his behavior is not affecting his academics but it will affect his attitude towards school and that is another major concern. however what I am asking is what and where can I begin to try understand and help my son to sleep better. Since very young, he has had a bedtime routine and just recently the bed time changed from 7 pm to 8pm and he is still not tired. He tells me he can't fall asleep and that he is not tired. I give hime books to help him get tired but that does not work. Are there any strategies I can implement?
Books won't help him get tired. Vigorous exercise about three hours before bedtime will help him a lot. But you can't just chase him out of the house and say "get exercise," you need to help him, and to make a game of it, and have part of the reward be the fun attention he gets from you. Count out times while he runs a prescribed distance (around the house, or from point A to B on the street) and see if he can get better at beating his time. Have him run the same distance over and over for a half hour while you count out five-second intervals looking at a stopwatch, and see if he can get better each night. You don't have to admit to him that this is to reduce anxiety or to get him to sleep, you can just say it is because everyone needs to be good at a sport and he needs to do it to keep his body healthy.
Thank you so much for your thoughts and comments. I will continue to get him to excercise more. However, on days that allow we are outside playing various activites. It is funny you mention the running because we do obstacles very often. As well as riding his bike, kickball, soccer, and the playground. He also helps with mowing the lawn (2x's a week). He rides a scooter, a bike, and a skateboard. The activities are most of the days but I have the kids come in or do wind down activities (or HW depending on the time of year) or in the house activities before dinner which is at 6. They also take showers at 5 every other day. It is not feasable to have that type of activity.
I used the book idea because I know when I begin to read I am lucky to get past the first 2 words, however I am not sure if it is because of my 5 kids, work, or school...lol.
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