1. My youngest is now 4 1/2 and has never been a good sleeper. I do not think he has ever slept through the night without waking (unlike my other son who has always slept like a log!) He generally goes to sleep OK in his own bed (normally with me lying / sitting with him though I am trying to do this less), but most nights (at least 5 nights a week I would say) ends up in our bed at some point. I don't have a problem with this in principle, but unfortunately he is not a good bedmate. He wriggles and kicks constantly then is wide awake and jumping on us by 6am, meaning that no-one gets a good nights sleep and we are all constantly exhausted. Its just not working for us. So we really would prefer for him not to come in. Does anyone have any ideas for helping him sleep in his own bed all night?
2. Recently (a week or so) he seems to have started having particular trouble with nightmares. I'm sure he has had bad dreams before, but these seem to be really scaring him badly, to the point that he seems genuinely scared to go to sleep. I have tried encouraging him to have "happy thoughts" before he goes to sleep - choosing his favourite place to be and imagining that he is there etc - which does seem to help him get to sleep in the evenings, but he still wakes and comes into our bed clearly quite disturbed during the night. He has quite a bright nightlight in his room (which he shares with his brother) but our room is dark, so dark is not the problem. It is horrible to see him like this, and I really don't know how else to help him. This also means of course that he is coming into our bed earlier and more often than usual, and sleeping even worse when he is there. So we are all getting even more tired, which is probably compounding the problem. So should I just let him come and have his cuddles and hope it passes soon, or is there anything else I can try?
Any ideas most gratefully received!