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My 8 year old daughter takes 3 melatonin just to be able to sleep, goes to bed at 830, reads till ten,wakes at 6. what to do? she seems well rested, but is getting two hours less than regulation, at 8 instead of 10.

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Why are you giving a child sleep medication? Was that approved by a doctor? –  DanBeale Feb 17 at 11:36
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If you are consulting with a doctor who prescribed a sleep medication, I'd guess there is more to this question than the typical problems an eight-year-old faces at bed-time. If a doctor prescribed the melatonin, It would be helpful to know what else you have already tried as well as what the doctor's advice was. Please elaborate by editing your question. If you aren't working with a doctor - please do before using medications! –  balanced mama Feb 17 at 14:18

2 Answers 2

What does her doctor say? My 9 year old only gets 8 hours too- and not because he doesn't have the opportunity for more. He's always been a good sleeper. He never gives me any trouble about bedtime (8 pm) he just doesn't fall asleep until 9:30. He gets up at 7 am, on his own, and does well in school. My pediatrician says that as long as children have the opportunity to get enough rest (which is his way of saying that I need to make sure he gets to bed at an appropriate time) they will "take what they need."

If you are really concerned about it, I would try more exercise during the day (early, not within 4 hours of bedtime) and perhaps a careful examination of her diet. Caffeine and sugar lurk in the strangest places, and sugar especially has many names and forms. It certainly won't do her any harm to cut out or reduce either one.

Additionally, have you tried any sleep hygiene methods? Such as, limiting TV/screen time before bed, keeping the lights dim around bedtime, eliminating distractions in her room (such as the books she reads), or a bath? She might benefit from some progressive muscle relaxation too- it's a great way for the mind and body to work together to wind down.

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Regulations are based on averages. And all children are different. Some are, in some aspects, significantly different than the average.

You know your daughter well, she's probably been sleeping like that for some time now. Does she seem tired? Does she seem sleepy during the day? If not, there's probably nothing to worry.

Instead of trying to enfrce the early hour, try to tire her a bit more in the evening. Send her to some sport activities - dancing, karate, etc. There's lots of choices. She should go to sleep more easily then.

By the way, I'm fairly sure that I've slept less than 10 hours when I was a primary-schooler. 10PM to 6:30AM is 8,5h.

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