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    #239667 - 09/13/17 06:43 AM Bedtime for 10 year old?
    TripleB Offline

    Registered: 10/13/14
    Posts: 56
    My son is a gifted 10 year old 6th grader (bd in March) who is having a tough time falling asleep at night. His bedtime is 9 o'clock but on most nights he's still awake at 10 o'clock.

    We asked him why he is still awake and he typically says that his mind is thinking about a variety of things (sometime's images, sometimes numbers, sometimes shapes, etc.) or else he just isn't tired.

    My wife mentioned this to a local doctor and he prescribed some type of pill (I think it's Clonidine, .1mg pill before bedtime) to help him fall asleep. It worked one night but didn't work the other 4 he took it so we stopped giving it to him. The doctor said if it didn't work then maybe my son need to "go talk with someone."

    My wife mentioned (and I read online) that some children may not need as much sleep as others. But I'm afraid if we allow him to stay up until say 10 o'clock, that if he still stays awake another hour after that, then he won't be asleep until 11 o'clock. He usually doesn't get up out of bed when he can't sleep but as a parent it worries me knowing that he's probably back there worrying about not falling a sleep for an hour or more.

    We wake him up at 6:30 and he gets out of bed with no problem and he never really acts tired, worn out, or sleepy during the day.

    I guess I'm wondering what time you have/had your 10 year old to go to bed and what advice you might have?

    Thank you for any and all help you can provide.


    Edited by TripleB (09/13/17 07:05 AM)

    #239669 - 09/13/17 08:26 AM Re: Bedtime for 10 year old? [Re: TripleB]
    nicoledad Offline

    Registered: 05/26/12
    Posts: 214
    My daughter was similar at that age. Now in high school she goes to bed earlier. I just think high school is more tiring than grade school and maybe more difficult. I would be more concerned about a doctor giving him medicine to sleep while it appears his sleeping habits in reality hasn't really caused problems.

    #239670 - 09/13/17 08:31 AM Re: Bedtime for 10 year old? [Re: TripleB]
    KJP Offline

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 724
    Some people need less sleep. My mom struggled getting my brother to sleep his whole childhood. As an adult he just sleeps less.

    #239671 - 09/13/17 09:59 AM Re: Bedtime for 10 year old? [Re: nicoledad]
    TripleB Offline

    Registered: 10/13/14
    Posts: 56
    Originally Posted By: nicoledad
    I would be more concerned about a doctor giving him medicine to sleep while it appears his sleeping habits in reality hasn't really caused problems.

    I agree with this. I was hesitate when he prescribed them and am (I know this sounds bad) glad they didn't work. We did learn my son can swallow pills a lot better than his old man could at his age!


    #239672 - 09/13/17 11:01 AM Re: Bedtime for 10 year old? [Re: TripleB]
    SFParent2015 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 11/06/15
    Posts: 26
    One of mine has a really difficult time falling asleep; we started melatonin gummies at age 11, and it makes a WORLD of difference.

    Before, she never really got to "sleepy" - she just got more and more spun up and squirrelly. Different situation than yours, since she was also clearly tired, irritable, hard to wake, etc., but we've found it to be really helpful in letting her mind slow down enough for her to fall asleep.

    #239673 - 09/13/17 11:53 AM Re: Bedtime for 10 year old? [Re: TripleB]
    Thomas Percy Offline

    Registered: 11/18/12
    Posts: 187
    Some kids do need less sleep. As long as they are not tired I wouldn't be worried. They will grow up needing less sleep too. Many famous people are like that and they have more time to accomplish things they want to do.

    I do think you might be able to give melatonin a try if you want to shift his sleep schedule a bit. Our pediatrician thinks that is very safe for kids. I got a 300mcg version that seems to be effective.

    #239674 - 09/13/17 12:16 PM Re: Bedtime for 10 year old? [Re: TripleB]
    puffin Offline

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 1925
    My 10 year old goes to bed at 8 to 8.30. My 8 year old goes to bed at the same time and if he doesn't have melatonin he is still awake at 10.30 -he is tired and grumpy next day though. It may mean he needs less sleep or it may mean he needs an hour to settle and should go to bed earlier.

    #239675 - 09/13/17 12:18 PM Re: Bedtime for 10 year old? [Re: TripleB]
    chay Offline

    Registered: 08/07/13
    Posts: 433
    Loc: Canada
    I think there are two pieces to this puzzle and it would be good to attempt to look at them separately if possible.

    1. how much sleep does he actually need? On one hand - he's not tired, doesn't seem irritable, etc. On the other hand - what happens on days when you don't wake him? If he sleeps another hour or two when you don't wake him then that might hint that he's not getting enough (and is somehow good at not being a grump about it).

    2. possible difficulty falling asleep/winding down. Some people take a while to fall asleep, some people need a consistent routine, no screen time, exercise earlier in the day (but not right before bed), etc or they take a long time at night. If moving his bedtime later *still* requires an hour then maybe there are some skills/routines that could be learned to shorten it, or maybe his hour of pondering life is what works for him....

    FWIW my DS11 goes to bed at 9:00/9:15 and gets up at 5:30/6:00 and has consistently for the last year or two. We have no need for alarm clocks in our house smile

    #239676 - 09/13/17 12:38 PM Re: Bedtime for 10 year old? [Re: chay]
    TripleB Offline

    Registered: 10/13/14
    Posts: 56
    Originally Posted By: chay
    On the other hand - what happens on days when you don't wake him?

    Great question that I should have put in my original post.

    On school days we wake him up at 6:30 (he's still asleep) and on non-school days he's up on his own by 6 o'clock. He used to get up at 6 and get on electronics but we nipped that pretty quickly hoping he would sleep he still gets up at 6 and reads for an hour.

    Thanks for everyone's input so far!


    #239678 - 09/13/17 01:00 PM Re: Bedtime for 10 year old? [Re: TripleB]
    Dude Offline

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Sounds like a solution in need of a problem. By all the evidence he's getting all the sleep he needs. If he's lying there thinking for a while in bed before he falls asleep, there's nothing necessarily wrong with that. It's part of his routine at this point, and probably not something to tinker with, given that it's working. The quiet time probably helps him get to sleep, and some of that thinking time can also be quite productive.

    If he's complaining about it, I would be open to negotiating an extra half hour, but no more than that.

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