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SLEEP issues

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
This Mama needs help!

DD is in this phase again where she doesn't let herself rest. She's go-go-go all day until bed time. Then when bed time comes she claims she cant sleep. She's in and out of bed at least 10 times. Then she sleeps horribly because she snores and wakes up early a.m. claiming she can no longer sleep. Her tonsils are coming out in January but that's 3 months away and she needs some legit sleep now. She complains about headaches and even throws up from them. Doesn't this sound like sleep deprivation? She goes through good weeks and bad weeks. This is a "bad" week. She's super tired and cries about everything (even when she wakes up). She has also started to talk back, which might be normal but she's been using a really mean bratty tone and feels that she is the boss of our household. It's making all of us a little nutty. She's super sensitive too. You could say the smallest thing and she'll start weeping. I'm so lost!

ANYWAYS, do you think it would be a good idea to try an occasional melatonin supp. before bed? I've read about mamas using it with great success. Though, I read melatonin is not for kids? If anyone has any insight I'd be so so happy to hear back. I posted this in gifted because she is gifted and I know some gifted kids have sleep issues. FYI she has had sleep issues since day one... whether that be a tonsil issue or not.. I do not know.
post #2 of 13
Maybe post this in Ages and Stages or something --- not really a gifted issue unless I'm missing something?

FWIW I've had great success with melatonin. There are threads about melatonin elsewhere on the board.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by LittleBattleAxe View Post
Maybe post this in Ages and Stages or something --- not really a gifted issue unless I'm missing something?

FWIW I've had great success with melatonin. There are threads about melatonin elsewhere on the board.
I said I posted it in gifted because she is gifted and I recall other moms posting about sleep issues related to giftedness. I rushed this post because I was at work so I didnt properly explain the gifted part. But I will post in the other forums too.

What brand of melatonin do you use?
post #4 of 13
Also rushed, but I highly recommend supplementing with magnesium for a month or so before trying melatonin. We did melatonin, but when our son ended up with croup and needed ativan to open his airway, we stopped immediately. It is too difficult to determine a true physiological dose; more lowers cortisol, and while I can't prove it, it seems evident to me that if my son had enough cortisol, he may not have needed an additional steroid to breathe. It may have happened anyway, but I just wouldn't risk that ever again. We were weaning him from melatonin and he was on a very low dose.

Anyway, after reading a lot about magnesium and mineral/vitamin interaction and adding that to years of studying hormones, it became clear that magnesium was the missing keystone. We all supplement now. Peas grown in our mineral-dense soil are even more effective (they have loads of bio-available mag.), but they are out of season, and we didn't figure this out until it was too late to plant more. Our pea crop next year is going to be huge.

I think it's obviously much better to figure this out nutritionally than to try to do so through supplementation of hormone tinkering, which can and usually does lead to new issues, and an ensuing cascade of confused symptoms.
post #5 of 13
Don't have the bottle handy, but we use melatonin that is liquid, orange flavored; it comes in a bottle with a blue label and a picture of a moon on it. sorry I can't be more specific! We had our pediatrician help us determine the dosage based on dd's weight. The melatonin didn't make dd go to sleep, but it did make her relaxed and drowsy -- she was chronically sleep-deprived and it took us several months to get her on track with resetting her internal clock.
post #6 of 13
I would take her to a chiropractor. Like, NOW.

I also second that magnesium can help--especially if given late in the day. You can often find a calcium-magnesium liquid supplement (I found one that also had Boron & Vitamin D) with a minty flavor. Above and beyond the deficiency potential, magnesium has a calming effect.

Before WE got to using that mixture, we introduced fish oil. We had rather EXTREME sleep issues (6 fitful hours out of 24... MAX). About a week into a daily adult dose of fish oil, he slept 9-10 hours/night (SOLID) and added a nap (he was younger than your dc at the time, but didn't outgrow the nap until about 5yo).

There are other things to try that will correct issues that are disrupting sleep or help support the body in it's functioning before actually INDUCING sleep (which is what melatonin does). I realize that there may come a time and place to interrupt nature to force the issue; but if you can try to help the body work better in the areas where it needs help in ways that are causing sleep disruption, IMO that should be the first course of action: resolve the underlying problem vs. treating the symptom (where-ever that's possible).
post #7 of 13
Originally Posted by Amy0417 View Post
She complains about headaches and even throws up from them. Doesn't this sound like sleep deprivation?
That sounds like migraines, poor kid. You might read up about them and/or take her to the doctor before you try medicine. There are some common triggers she could try to avoid, for instance. Melatonin is actually used for migraines as well, so that is an option, but I personally would be reluctant to try that unless it was a last resort. Oh, also, I think melatonin is meant to be taken every day for it to work properly, not as a once-in-a-while sort of a thing.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much Mamas. I didn't know that fish oil and magnesium would help also. I think I need to research all of my options first. I just feel so bad for DD. She went to bed at 8:30 and couldn't fall asleep until 11. She then woke up at 5:30 and said she couldn't sleep. She finally did fall back asleep and woke up at 8:30 whine/crying for 10 minutes.
post #9 of 13
I agree with Heather.

Re melatonin dosage, start smaller. We've found the best approach is to use a flavoured liquid added to a bit of water in a cup. My kids are older and they take ~1mg/night.
post #10 of 13
Amy, how old is your daughter? Bean is nearly eight and has never been a big sleeper; These days he goes to bed around 11:30 and wakes on his own around 6:50/7:00. He doesn't have any of the problems you described-- his sleep is restful, and as long as he's not anemic he's functional and happy during the day. He also sleeps through the night most of the time, and very restfully. It's not typical for a child to sleep for seven and a half hours at eight, but it does work for him.

That said, I have struggled with insomnia all of my life. I've been taking magnesium for a couple of weeks and getting 3.5-4 hours a night (!!) of sleep, usually with another hour or two of pretending that I'm asleep (lying in bed sniffing the baby's head, usually ). I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but for me four hours of sleep without a ton of drugs is *glorious*.
post #11 of 13
((Mama and DD) Sleep issues are awful. I don't know how scientific it is, but most parents of gifted kids that I've talked to say their DC have sleep issues. Someone here on MDC recommended Alka-Calm as a magnesium supplement. We drink it before bed and it helps. DH and DD suffer from Restless Legs Syndrome and it helps that as well. We also have been taking a homeopathic remedy from "Native Naturals" called "Bad Dreams Sprinkles". DD was having night terrors every night and since taking this, she's only had one and that was when she had a fever. It's the most sleep she's ever had in her life. I would be leary of melatonin. I know many here have had positive results, but someone in our family almost died from a reaction to it. Scared the pants off of us. I know that's not the case with everyone though and I'm probably overly sensitive to using it. If she has headaches or migraines, I would try the chiro. I hope you find something to help your Dd so that all of you can get some rest.
post #12 of 13
Sleep can be sooooo complicated. Our kids didn't sleep until they got their tonsils and adnoids removed. They had nightmares, night terrors, snoring, etc. We finally agreed to surgery and it helped SOOOOOOOO much! (Our doc had never seen such swollen adnoids! And he is an ENT!).

I did have 1 child who also needed more asthma meds. Now my kids are sleeping much more restfully and so am I. It is amazing.

I do use a little meletonin for my oldest. He struggles to shut down his brain and just needs a little help sometimes. I use it myself some nights.

If she has migraines too. . . that adds another whole layer. Lack of good sleep can be a HUGE trigger for migraines. SO can dust mites, chocolate, asthma, over the counter pain relievers, irregular eating patterns, too much sugar, pony tails, uncorrected vision problems,TMJ, etc. etc. I would look for a doc who specializes in migrains in children. You might have luck with a natropath who specializes in kids or chronic pain conditions as well.
post #13 of 13
I'd visit with a ENT (which you may already be doing for the tonsils) and also ask about a sleep study. The snoring, headaches, restless sleep, hyperactive behavior, etc. may all be related to sleep apnea - which can be serious if left untreated. Removing the tonsils may relieve the problem, but I'd definitely let your health care know about the additional problems your dd is having with sleep in case they want to look at her throat, jaw and adenoids prior to her surgery date.

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