• Case Studies

    Ruth was a bright 9 year old who had an older sister with whom she shared a room, and a younger brother. From the age of 4 years Ruth had refused to go to bed. It had become routine that she would fall asleep on the living room couch and be carried up to her bed in her sisters room. She would wake shortly after this and insist in sleeping in her parents bed. Her parents took it in turn to sleep with her or to share a room with her sister and sleep in Ruth’s bed.  There had always been a pre bed routine but her parents had given in to demands for a DVD and Television in the girls bedroom in the hope that this would encourage Ruth to fall asleep in her own bed. This didn’t work. In fact Ruth’s sister would fall asleep with the DVD playing or the TV on, but Ruth would stay awake until her parents came to their bed. Then she would settle to sleep snuggled against a parent.  Ruth’s parents had “tried everything” without success.

    Marc was a lovely little 2 year old. He was happy do go to bed at night if mum or dad would sit with him and hold his hand till he fell asleep. He would not settle on his own and would often wake demanding a drink and a repeat of the settling process which would take up to 45 minutes twice or three times a night. Dad was often away from home on business and mum was pregnant. Both parents were dreading the arrival of a new baby and the continuing issues with Marc.

    Marie was a 3 year old child who was in the process of having her developmental delay assessed. She had no brothers or sisters, just an exhausted mother. Marie often had settling problems. She did not want to go to bed. During the night she wakened frequently and screamed. Sometimes she just lay in bed and sometimes she came out of her bed screaming. It took mum to lie with her for an hour of more before she would settle. She was always up at 6am regardless of how little she had slept. Marie attended a nursery school. During the day she was often tired and fell deeply asleep in the afternoon when it would be very difficult to wake her. Mum wanted help with Marie’s sleep problems.

    Lisa was seven years old and had never slept on her own. She had always slept with her parents and although they had tried to get her to sleep in her own room she complained that it was impossible to get to sleep there.  She had been unwell as a baby and her parents were concerned that she needed them through the night and they might not hear her.

    Peter was 10 years old. Mum was concerned that despite a regular bed time routine, Peter seemed to lie awake for some time before he could fall asleep. Peter was coping fairly well with school work but at the weekends he would sleep until late morning, or mid afternoon. He was reluctant to participate in activities because he was too sleepy/tired once his school day was over.  Peter was worrying about this and complained to his parents that he couldn’t get to sleep. When the family went on holiday Peters sleep pattern improved. He could fall asleep easily, although this was at a later time than bed time during school term. When the clock changed Peter took a long time to adjust to the hour difference.

    Suzy was 10 weeks old. She was the first child and  was supposed to sleep in her parents room in a cot. In fact she spent most of her time in her parents bed. Her parents found it difficult to get her to settle for naps and were struggling to establish a routine. Suzy would be put in her car seat in the living room after a feed, and taken to her parents room in the evening when they were ready to go to bed. She regularly woke 4-5 times a night and was breast fed back to sleep every time. Mum was exhausted and dad was struggling to cope with all the disrupted nights.

    What these children had in common was parents who wanted resolution.
    In every case by;-
    a) taking a detailed history,
    b) assessing the issues,
    C) developing an individually tailored plan for the parents to follow
    d) providing support while the plan was implemented

    these problems were resolved. The parents are happier and the children sleep better and so are more settled and happier themselves.


    Don’t struggle to cope
    with a child who won’t settle and/or doesn’t sleep, Contact Dream-Angus, we can help you.