I never thought I would have a five year old who still woke me up in the middle of the night, but here I am. Hoping someone has some insight or suggestions I haven’t thought of because mama needs sleep.

My daughter just turned five. She has never been a great sleeper- we had to sleep train at 3.5 months because it was so awful. She goes through phases where it’s fine for a while, then phases where she wakes up every night, from a bad dream, supposedly- I think usually once she actually wakes up from a bad dream then she realizes it’s a good excuse so she keeps saying it for days. She resists going back to bed but will, reluctantly, but usually doesn’t fall all the way back to sleep and will get up to go potty, or ask to come snuggle, or whatever. Then when her clock lights up at 7 she comes in happy and expecting us to hop right out of bed because it’s finally morning! We generally won’t let her sleep in our bed because once we let her one time, she will ask again and again and again.

Schedule wise- she is supposed to get up at 7 (if she wakes up before her clock lights up she can “read” books in her room or play quietly with her toys in her room). Her sister naps at 1:30 and she has quiet time, when she plays quietly in her room or the playroom, for an hour and a half. Bedtime is around 7:30, she often resists bedtime. She frequently seems tired and irritable.

My thoughts- partly I think she lacks impulse control, which is why she can’t help getting out of bed and waking DH or me when she wakes up at night, even though she knows she should stay in bed. But also, why does she wake up so many nights? Right now she has a runny nose and that seems like it. I may try benedryl tonight to see if that helps with the nose and also the sleep. My own sleep sucks so I feel bad I seem to have passed that on to her. To me she seems to act more overtired than like she’s getting too much sleep, but I guess I could be wrong.

And her 2.5 year old sister sleeps through the night consistently unless she is actually sick, so I feel like it’s not all just bad parenting

Oh and activity level doesn’t seem to make a difference. She could have had camp all morning and been swimming all afternoon or watched tv all day and it’s the same.