Mon­sters have mother miss­ing sleep

The News-Times - - ADVICE/GAMES - An­nie Lane

Dear An­nie: I have a 6-yearold daugh­ter who won’t go to sleep on her own. She has an in­nate fear of stay­ing alone in her room. We have tried ev­ery way we can think to mo­ti­vate her to feel com­fort­able. We re­as­sure her that she’s safe, that we’re in the room next door, that ev­ery night she sleeps safely, that we per­form mon­ster checks. My daugh­ter was a good sleeper un­til a few months ago, when she started to de­velop night­time anxiety. Now she forces one of us to sleep in bed with her.

My other two chil­dren are great sleep­ers. They will close the door and go right to sleep through the night af­ter fam­ily read­ing. Both chil­dren have been sup­port­ive of our daugh­ter and have en­cour­aged her to sleep on her own.

Noth­ing is work­ing. It’s tak­ing a toll on my re­la­tion­ship with my hus­band, as we no longer get any pri­vate time at night. Any tips how we can get her to sleep on her own?

Sleep­less in Los An­ge­les

Dear Sleep­less: En­joy these sleep­less nights with your daugh­ter while she wants to cud­dle in bed with you. Soon enough, your daugh­ter will want in­de­pen­dence, which might give you sleep­less nights. Night­time anxiety is com­mon for chil­dren around her age. The key is to build and re­in­force her con­fi­dence that she is safe while she is alone in her room and that you and your hus­band are there to pro­tect her. Try to sit in a chair in her room rather than sleep in bed. Let her know your there, but don’t let her rely on you so much. Slowly (and it will take time) see if you can min­i­mize the time spent in the room. Ev­ery morn­ing, build up and en­cour­age your daugh­ter that she was able to sleep on her own. If her sleep con­tin­ues to be dis­rupted, seek the help of a pro­fes­sional.

If there are any pe­di­a­tri­cians or sleep ex­perts that would like to of­fer an opin­ion, I would love to hear from you.

Dear An­nie: I’m re­spond­ing to your re­cent col­umn re­gard­ing de­pres­sion. For more than 20 years, I bat­tled clin­i­cal de­pres­sion. For me, the var­i­ous med­i­ca­tions pre­scribed were of no help. By pure chance I came across an ar­ti­cle on a treat­ment called TMS (tran­scra­nial mag­netic stim­u­la­tion). Af­ter ex­ten­sive re­search, I found that the treat­ment was avail­able lo­cally and was cov­ered by Medi­care and my sup­ple­men­tal in­sur­ance. The treat­ment con­sisted of daily 45-min­utes ses­sions for six weeks (Mon­day to Fri­day). Halfway through my treat­ments, I started notic­ing a pos­i­tive im­prove­ment and it has con­tin­ued to im­prove. It’s now been three years, and my de­pres­sion is his­tory. I have a new lease on life and wake up ev­ery morn­ing thank­ful for the new me. This treat­ment may or may not be the an­swer for ev­ery­one, but I urge anyone suf­fer­ing with de­pres­sion to con­sider TMS and wish you the very best.


Dear Free: Con­grat­u­la­tions on tak­ing steps to heal your de­pres­sion and make it his­tory. Thank you for shar­ing.

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ators .com. To find out more about An­nie Lane and read fea­tures by other Cre­ators Syn­di­cate colum­nists and car­toon­ists, visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate web­site at www.cre­

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