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#1 of 12 Old 04-28-2010, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD (who is 13 and has PDD-NOS) doesn't sleep well. She has a hard time falling asleep and then wakes up a lot. This has been going on a long time, but there were always things that I could blame.

She was really depressed for a while, but she's been seeing a therapist since last summer and is doing great with that -- she's seems reasonably happy now. There are several things in her life that she is excited about.

She was experiencing extreme anxiety with full blown panic attacks nearly every day, but she's had a new 504 Plan at school for about 2 months and a new exercise plan and the anxiety is abated. All the stuff we've been doing is working.

She's in a social skills class and really likes it. It makes the rest of her life less confusing and stressful, and she's very pleased with her new conversation skills.

And yet, the sleep issues haven't gotten any better. When she was depressed and having panic attacks, it made sense to me that the kid couldn't sleep, but I really thought when we sorted the other things out and figured out what worked for her, the sleep issues would go away. It hasn't happened.

She has a very solid betime routine (gets ready for bed, I read a chapter of a book to her, she's read on her own, then lights out but the light is still on in the fish tank next to her bed). We've tried relaxing music, breathing exercises, and visualizations.

Any thoughts or ideas? I'm not sure what to try next, and I don't know if this is related to her issues or not.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#2 of 12 Old 04-28-2010, 12:49 PM
 
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I've dealt with sleep issues all my life..I lay down, and my mind races. I literaly have to be dead exhausted to just pass out, usualy after 3 or 4 days of only a few hours of sleep. I don't do alot of pills, so sleeping meds is out of the question. Something that works well for me to relax enough to not stare at the wall for hours on end is Yoga and then guided meditations.

It's not a fun way to live, so I can relate! Good luck!

"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."- Kurt Cobain
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#3 of 12 Old 04-28-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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My oldest uses Melatonin to help her sleep. She has quite a bit of anxiety and has a hard time shutting her brain off at night to get to a point where she can actually fall asleep. The Melatonin is more natural and our Ped approved it for longer usage so those both made me feel better about giving it to her.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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#4 of 12 Old 04-28-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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My son and I use melatonin. It will help go to sleep but isn't great at the staying asleep part. You could try extended release melatonin and see if that helps.

If it doesn't I'd recommend a sleep study if at all possible. Frequent wakings can be caused by things the sleep study would pick up.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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#5 of 12 Old 04-28-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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Has she had a sleep study done?

I've heard a lot of doctors recommending melatonin for sleep issues for both children and adults. Maybe you can ask your doctor if it would be appropriate for your daughter?

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#6 of 12 Old 04-28-2010, 03:19 PM
 
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my and 2of my kids have sleep problems. We use melatonin when it's really ba. but the thing that has helped me combat it the most is routine, NO caffiene whatsoever, no sugar anytime near bed (are any of stimulant.) and taking a mag/zinc supplement every day. i still have trouble sometimes,but this has been my biggest help. The annoying thign about sleep problems is that they beget sleep problems. you can't sleep asleep so you wory about not sleeping so you can't sleep so you worry.... and then it becomes this pattern thats SO hard ot break night after night. I end up staying up til 4am sometimes watching tv or reading just trying to take my mind off of he anxiety of being awake and knowing i have ot be up tomorrow. but then of course TV is stimulating so it keeps me awake. you get the idea lol

It sounds to me like you're doing everything right. She just needs something more. the visualization and calming routine should perfect! Keep that up... but I would look into mag. It's one of the things MANY people are low in - especially people with developmental disorders - and most people can use some supplementing b/c our soil is so delpleted it's nearly impossible to get naturally. I can' stress what a difference it makes for me long term. I take melatonin for acute problems, but mag is my long term fix.

also I just wanted to say I think it's so good you support her. I was always made to feel bad about being up all night. liek I choose it b/c I'm trying to ruin other people's schedule or something. I would give almost anything to have a normal natural sleep/wake rythym! You should like a good understanding mom

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

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#7 of 12 Old 04-28-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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p.s. if you do the time release melatonin be careful - can cause horrible nightmares in some of us (I speak from experience) that can be very surreal and scary. (like kinda awake and kinda asleep at the same time)

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

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#8 of 12 Old 04-28-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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I have to second (third, fourth, fifth or whatever we're on) melatonin. I have just used it three times for my son now with excellent results. He is only two and is about 30 pounds, but his neuro told me to give him 1mg. I didn't want to do that (although the first time was a couple of months ago and I gave him maybe .3 or so mg..can't remember then) so I broke the pill way up and I figure he got .1 or .2 mg. He fell asleep two hours early with no fighting. I left his room for less than a minute (after having given it to him with a snack 1/2 hour earlier), came back, and he was asleep. This is the boy who will fight for *hours* until I am on the fringe of insanity. He also does not fall asleep ever unless he's in my arms. Higher doses don't necessarily work better from what I've been reading, so maybe you could try something really low.

As a side note... insomnia tends to play on itself. Typically something triggers it, maybe anxiety or depression in her case, but then after the trigger is gone, the insomnia continues. People are then anxious about not being able to sleep and their worries about not being able to sleep prevent them from sleeping. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with this and I've seen it work REALLY well with a family member. Basically one session and he was sleeping again. Also maybe the "night time teas" or something could help. Good luck to you both!
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#9 of 12 Old 04-28-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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My DD is only 6yrs, but she has a diagnosed sleep disorder. She couldn't fall asleep. When she did, she'd wake a couple hours later and be up for hours on end. She'd be so exhausted all day that she'd pass out while sitting up in random places. (she also has a sensory disorder that was playing a role in the sleep disturbance) They suggested we use Melatonin. Our OT also suggested we use a weighted blanket. She has an 8lb blanket that she absolutely loves. We used melatonin for about 6 months, and have used the blanket daily for over a year. DD is now sleeping w/out disturbance for the first time in 6 years. She still wakes very early...4'ish...but she sleep through from 8pm-4am, which is pretty incredible compared to what she did before.

All that said, I have always had trouble sleeping. I deal with depression and anxiety and have since I was a young child. It helps me to not drink/eat caffeine, not watch TV past 4pm, keep lights and noise low. It also helps me to make a list of what I am going to do the next day...it helps with night anxiety if I kind of know what to expect the next day. I also love a heavy blanket and cannot sleep in other places without one. There is research supporting the weighted blankets that can be found via google. (If I wasn't on my way to pick up my oldest from school, I'd do the search for you.)

Insomnia is debilitating...I will be thinking of your DD and wishing her sound sleep to come.

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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#10 of 12 Old 04-28-2010, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! I'll keep you guys posted!

You've given us lots of great new ideas to try!

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#11 of 12 Old 04-29-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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My kids need both magnesium and melatonin, those helped with falling asleep, but I saw improvements in both wrt staying asleep by removing gluten and dairy (it wasn't a specific time they woke up, it was intermittent with 3yo DD and 16mo DS).
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#12 of 12 Old 04-29-2010, 12:47 AM
 
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My kid had the opposite reaction of most people with melatonin. He has always had a hard time going down (though once he's down, he'll usually stay down until the morning.) I tried melatonin twice and both times he ended up sitting on his bed screaming for 3 hours. It really, really sucked.

That said, I have two friends who have kids who have a hard time falling asleep (one has ADHD and the other is SPD, mine might be SPD, no diagnosis) and they LOVE melatonin. It works wonderfully for their kids and with one of them, her daughter decreased her night wakings by half (poor kid was waking up every 45 minutes and now it's every 1.5 hours-2 hours, she's almost 5.)

Mama of three.
 
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