I am 13 and I can't sleep without a pacifier. I've had this for my whole life. How do I stop this habit without sleeping issues?

My answer to this is wholy unqualified, and I'm just giving my first thoughts.

good sleep practices will be your best tool here.

a) make sure you're in a totally dark room, or wear one of those eye cover things. Or a long sock tied around your head to block all the light.

b) start running cool water on you feet for 15–30sec first thing in the morning. And then eat breakfast. This will help your body know when “wake-up” time is.

c)Avoid any and all screens for at least 30 min before bed, phone, computer, tv, etc. Even if the have a “"night shift” option.

d) read a book (a paper one) by candle light (if your parents are okay with you burning a candle) if you really can't sleep. If you can't use a candle listen to a quiet audio book till you fall asleep.

E) try to go to bed, and wake up at the same times every day, even on weekends.

F) once you have those things in place you'll be doing most of what you can to get your body's natural sleep rythem running properly, so pick a time when you don't have any tests in school, and ditch the pacifier. If you don't sleep the first night, it will definitely not be fun and you'll be a zombie the next day, but my the second night you'll almost certainly fall asleep.

G) if you're really, truely, not able to sleep without the pacifier try talking to your parents about getting some help. Additionally you can probably talk to your school counciler.

Good luck!

6 Replies to “I am 13 and I can't sleep without a pacifier. I've had this for my whole life. How do I stop this habit without sleeping issues?”

  1. I didn’t stop sucking a pacifier till about maybe 7?

    I would stop because it will mess up your teeth. But I’d get a mouth guard and sleep with that.

    Having a pacifier doesn’t make you a baby. Hah, on the contrary, some of the scariest thugs in the world walk around at 22 with a pacifier in their mouth. I wouldn’t suck it out in public, because you may get mistook for a thug or hood type.

    Get a mouth guard, or a guard against tooth-grinding.

    Amazon.com : The Doctor's Advanced Comfort NightGuard 1 ea : Anti Grinding Teeth Protectors : Beauty


  2. Alex. First thing to break off is the pacifier. I would recommend to dip into a vinegar bowl. And then, make sure you plan your day right. Make it active and you avoid nap during the day. Reduce sugary/caffeine drink, and no smartphones or electronics in the bedroom.

    Why? The smell of vinegar will hopefully puts you off from using it. And when you had an active day, and no electronics interruption at night, you also help yourself in gearing yourself for sleep.

    The act of sucking the pacifier, gives a soothing and calming effect. So when we take it away you probably have to do reassociation, so your brain can change. Perhaps use a soothing music like trains, rainforest etc to help you to get into the state.

    And if you concern that you may suck your thumb, put band aid around your thumbs before bed.

    If you feel a teddy bear will help you calm, use that too.

    Do involve your parents in, as its involve brain reassociation, and you would want your brain to interpret it the right way.

    Family support is important especially while growing up.

    I wish you good luck, and hope you can avoid this habit forming act

  3. So, aside from the fact that anyone who sees you sleeping with one is going to laugh their heads off at you, and will probably spread the word resulting in your utter embarrassment, what’s wrong with sleeping with a pacifier?

    But, apparently, YOU think its wrong, or you wouldn’t ask the question.

    This is my advice. Find a week where not getting enough sleep won’t have rough consequences (like summer vacation) and just sleep without it. You are probably old enough to have a half of an over the counter sleep aid, and that might help you get to sleep.

    I am told that breaking a (bad) habit takes three weeks. You can do this.

  4. It’s a learned habit; one of which you can break if you are willing to do so. Don’t tell yourself that you have a problem; just simply throw it into the waste basket without a second thought. Please; also be fair to yourself and consider that you may not have the best of a set of parents that would allow you to indulge in such a behavior without trying to be of some kind of help and assistance to you. One has to wonder what kind of mental state they are in to even allow this to happen to you. It’s not your fault if you have dim witted parents.

  5. Sheer willpower. Try to go to bed sucking on a cough drop?

    I used to suck my thumb,and every once in a great while, I wake up in the night and I am sucking it. I am in my 50’s.

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