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“My son is five and a half and in Pre Primary (Prep) at school. He is very tired by the end of the day, but lately he isn’t going to sleep until 9 pm. We have a good bedtime routine and he and his younger brothers are in bed between 7.00pm and 7.30pm. He wakes around 7.00am each morning and is a very active boy. He seems tone having trouble switching off at the end of the day to be able to go to sleep. He is doing well at school and I don’t think there is anything negative going on to impact his sleeping. Any suggestions?” My son can’t switch off before bed, any advice for this?

Posted by Rhonda, 18/04/13

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  • We do no stimulating activities before bed and start well before bed with calming down with for example dimmed lights, curtain closed, no screen time, bath, massage, soft soothing music, story, cuddles and no food / drinks before bed ! Eating and drinking activates the digestive system and your body doesn’t do well the slowing down & digesting together. I agree that the effect of sugars can be harmful.


  • I had this same issue in school! and my family does too!
    What to do?

    1.No lights 2 hours before bed. Including stimulating things such as TV, Cells and computers. Dim lights if at all possible. relaxing music to calm down or read a book. something that isn’t to stimulating.
    2. ZERO sugar intake 4 hours before bedtime, This includes natural sugars like apples.Also limit all stimulants such as caffeine or carbonated beverages.
    3. If your child as ADHD or takes any medication like stimulants or cold medicine make sure he takes it as early in the day as possible so that when bed time rolls around he /she is all tired out.
    PS. I recommend NEVER putting children on ADHD medication. It is essentially meth(Reference Youtube , “how I figured out Ritalin is the same as meth”). Most doctors wont tell you this but most ADHD is mostly a symptom of poor diet.
    4. Teach your children good eating habits, stay away from dairy and cheeses. Focus on veggies and lean meats. If your child doesn’t like this, TO BAD. Teach him who’s boss and show him the benefits of good healthy eating. STAY AWAY from ALL proceed foods. I cant stress that enough. Chicken nuggets ARE NOT chicken. Do your research.
    YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, Is the literal truth. A good diet and a steady sleep scheduled will improve his/her life immensely.
    5. Keep the same bed time every night.

    I hope I helped a bit :)


  • Make sure bed is for sleeping, no t.v or screens in bed and eliminate these before bed


  • To be fair you didnt explain what your “good bedtime routine” is do you give him a bath with lavender to help relax him and then read to him for 10-20 minutes in bed before lights out. No playing or tv for 30 mintutes or an hour before bed.
    You didnt really say but if you dont do these i suggest trying some


  • reading, maybe talk him into telling you a make up story, bath before bed. warm drink.


  • transdermal magnesium cream, magnesium oil spray or a magnesium bath before bed may help.


  • nice soothing bath. its hard for kids to turn off


  • I think my daughter was like that at that age and still is . She is what I call a night owl.


  • How is he going now?


  • Try a routine that may wind him down after dinner no TV video games after dinner a nice warm bubble bath,storytime ,a glass of warm Milo,a calm room not too much light maybe play a calm story for him to listen too as he falls to sleep Try and make the room unclattered.Make sure there is quiet no noise from TV etc Good luck


  • mohdoh works really well :-)


  • Thanks heaps ! Wondering this myself.


  • Sometimes if you are over tired it is hard to sleep. You could try an earlier bed time.


  • mohdoh looks great! I’m going to check it out.


  • Settle with calm music n a gentle massage


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