9.5 Year Old Son with Anxiety not Sleeping
Hello wise parents! We are in crisis mode here and in desperate need of some advice. Our 9.5 year old son recently stopped sleeping through the night because he is scared of burglars breaking in and killing the whole family. We moved to a new home about 6 weeks ago, around which time he also overheard another mom telling me about how her home was burglarized a few years ago, and since this time he cannot sleep through the night. He lays rigid in his bed listening, looking and waiting for catastrophe and wakes us up whenever he hears any kind of sound in the house. I have woken up to use the restroom around 3 am before and have seen him creeping around the house checking the doors or investigating a noise. He has also woken us up by placing his fingers under our noses to make sure we are breathing. He wakes us up at least 5-10 times a night asking us if we heard a noise and to check on it until it usually ends with everyone in tears because my husband reaches his limit and starts yelling (which I'm sure has its own negative repercussions for my son's mental health). I know this is beyond normal and is getting into mental illness territory, so that is where I need your help. We live in Pleasanton and would be very appreciative of any recommendations for a psychiatrist that has successfully worked with children who are anxious (we can drive a bit if necessary). We are also open to psychologist recommendations for CBT but I do want to establish a connection with an MD so that if medication is necessary, we can begin that process.
Secondly, in the meantime, we are in crisis and cannot function. Has anyone experienced this and can you offer any suggestions or advice for us to cope in the meantime? Below I will list what we have/are already doing.
-Cuddle him at night with a solid bedtime routine.
-Talk during the day about strategies he can use at night along with talking out loud about his fears to reduce their charge a bit.
-Practice mindfulness activities during the day/at night.
-Do guided meditations together (put your thought on a leaf and watch it float downstream, etc etc).
-Over the counter CBD oil and Melatonin 1mg.
-Reduce processed wheat/sugar at bedtime and/or throughout the whole day when possible.
-Offer him $20 to sleep in his own bed and not wake us up.
-Allow him to sleep on the floor next to our bed.
-Sleep in his bed with him.
-Sleep on the floor outside his door.
-Put him in his bed and hold the door closed while you and your husband argue about the "right" way to handle things until he is yelling and you are crying and it feels like you will never sleep, feel rested or be happy again.
Oh wise parents, please help.