My Daughter, the Insomniac

My children definitely take after me in the sleep department. Legend has it that I napped until I was in first grade. My kids napped until around three and a half, but when they gave up their naps added many hours to their nighttime sleep to make up for the loss of daytime sleep. They have always gotten around 12-14 hours of sleep per night, and drifted off easily (with the right props, of course).

Lately, though, my 6 year old has been having a very difficult time falling asleep at night. I’m not sure if it’s that I’m trying to put her to bed earlier than her internal clock likes (left to her own devices she would go to sleep at 10 pm and arise at 10 the next morning), or the massive plasma TV we installed on the wall adjacent to her bedroom with surround-sound speakers in the walls. Probably a combination of the two. But every night she dinks around in the dark for an eternity, trying to fall asleep. I then literally drag her out of bed in the morning around 8, and begin the mad dash to school which starts 30 minutes later.

Her brother falls asleep promptly, but moves around a lot. After the side of his crib broke off (long story) we moved him to the twin bed, and she’s been residing in the three sided crib. He still falls out of the twin bed and for some strange reason my daughter lies on the floor to go to sleep. When you open the door to their room, you never know who you’ll find where. A few nights ago I opened the door and heard a thud as the door hit her head. She had fallen asleep about 1 foot away from the opening, and didn’t even flinch when the door whacked her.

My new plan involves her starting the night in our bed (where the surround sound is somewhat muted), with a subsequent transfer. It’s worked marginally well, but the kid has a staggering array of stall tactics. Apparently last night when she was in our bed she took off her pajama top and tied it on top of her head, and then fell asleep like that. So when Travis went in to move her to the white trash crib, he walked out holding her wearing no shirt and the weird pajama headdress. If only my digital camera hadn’t been out of batteries.

At any rate, I’m looking for some advice here. How on earth do I get this girl to go to sleep at night? Any tried and true suggestions? And don’t suggest Benadryl... if there’s even the slightest bit of moisture under her nose she gets it, and she still can fight sleep for hours.

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