My 5-Year-Old Son Is Suddenly Terrified to Go to Bed and I Have No Idea How to Handle It

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QUESTION: My Son Is Terrified to Go to Bed: Advice?

“Guys, I really need help! My son just turned 5 in October. This last week he has been TERRIFIED to go to bed. I mean, screaming at the top of his lungs, hyperventilating, and peeing the bed.

He started sleeping with a white sound machine and a night light last year. Then a humidifier. Then with lavender Then he got a dream catcher. Then he got a lamp also. Then he got a book about not being scared of the monster. Then he got a stuffy that’s weighted and lavender-scented and heats up.

Then he started taekwondo so he could defend himself against the bad guys. Now he has to have every inch of his room lit up, and he is STILL crying. He’s been in bed for 3 hours, and he keeps coming downstairs saying he is scared.

We haven’t changed any bedtime routines. We’ve all been home since March because my husband and I both got laid off. The ONLY thing that’s changed in the last two weeks is I had surgery last Friday. Guys, I’m at such a loss. He is so tired, so all day, he acts out. But he won’t sleep because he’s scared. I am at a total loss. SOS, please…

RELATED: My Baby Has Never Slept Through the Night and I Feel Ready to Die of Exhaustion: Advice?

My 5-Year-Old Son Is Suddenly Terrified to Go to Bed and I Have No Idea How to Handle It

Community Answers

The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

“Put a camera in his room – something is scaring him. I know this sounds crazy, but there could be an malevolent energy in the room that he can feel. Kids are more sensitive. Has anyone died in the house? After my mother died, I put her rocker in my back bedroom, my son and his friend were terrified when they saw orbs in the room. I donated the chair and the orbs stopped… you might also try moving his bed into your room and see if he resists bedtime then… is he only scared in his room?”

“We are a religious household. Was raised in the church. I know this is not for everyone. I do believe the devil & his demons prey on the innocent & there very well could be something scaring him. I pray over my children numerous times a day. Religious or not, there is a spiritual realm & not all of it is good.”

“Hold him. Let him sleep in your arms in your bed. They’re only young for such a short time. He is clearly terrified of something and there is no safer place than momma’s arms.”

“Did you ask him what he’s scared of? Have you tried laying down in there until he falls asleep? Maybe try keeping a calendar and mark all the days nothing scary happened, so he can physically see nothing is happening.Do you ask him every morning how he slept and how his night was? Communication is really the key to finding out why he doesn’t want to sleep in his room.”

“Something has happened to him at night. May not have been at your house. I would take him to a counselor if he won’t or can’t tell you.”

“If you would like privacy still and also want to make him feel better, maybe melatonin and just letting him sleep in the living room or something with a tv on so he is still getting rest and he doesn’t sleep with you too long and get used to that and never be able to sleep on his own.”

“My 5 year old son was fine up until recently and now he tells me scared to go to bed at night. So I lie at the foot of his bed until he falls asleep. I also have a Google Nest in there and play relaxing music very low until he falls asleep (only takes about 10 mins or so). Then I go to my room.”

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