Sleeping: what is normal/abnormal - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I x- posted this is childhood years to see what the range is for my 7 yr old DD.

 

 

I was told today by a pediatric neurologist that I should try melatonin for my DD.

She has a hard time falling asleep even when she is tired. She stays awake in bed either thinking or reading until about 9:30 every night and sleeps for about 10 hours. I am not overly concerned with this, but the dr. wants me to give her melatonin every night. She thinks that she might not be getting enough sleep and it could be contributing to SPD, and anxiety symptoms.

I know that melatonin is natural, but it also has side effects and I don't want to give her anything unless I'm sure she is not getting enough sleep.

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#2 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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That sounds fine for a 7 year old to get 10 hours sleep, but I am not a doctor. My 5 year old sleeps less than that and he does take Melatonin every night (and has for 5.5 months). He is on the spectrum though...He was only sleeping 5-6 hours a night before Melatonin, he now sleeps 7-10 hours. 10 is rare though...


 


DS (6) is diagnosed with Asperger's, Hypotonia, and Static Encephalopothy 

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#3 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 04:08 PM
 
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If my son would sleep 10 hours...  that would be great!  He does take melatonin but still only sleeps about 8 hours & does really need more.
 

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Originally Posted by fallenangel811 View Post

That sounds fine for a 7 year old to get 10 hours sleep, but I am not a doctor. My 5 year old sleeps less than that and he does take Melatonin every night (and has for 5.5 months). He is on the spectrum though...He was only sleeping 5-6 hours a night before Melatonin, he now sleeps 7-10 hours. 10 is rare though...


 



 

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#4 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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Mine takes Melatonin and sleeps for about 10 hours.  He is 8.  I don't find that the melatonin seems to have an effect on the length of sleep.  My ds would sleep just fine once he actually fell asleep.  It's the actual getting to sleep that was the issue that made us look at options.  With melatonin, he is able to be asleep within  20 mins or so.  I found that lack of sleep, and lying awake for hours definitely had a negative impact on my kiddo.  However, I didn't really "get" this until he was falling asleep, and getting enough rest. 

 

FWIW, we have had absolutely no side effects in our family from Melatonin use.  

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#5 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by karne View Post

Mine takes Melatonin and sleeps for about 10 hours.  He is 8.  I don't find that the melatonin seems to have an effect on the length of sleep.  My ds would sleep just fine once he actually fell asleep.  It's the actual getting to sleep that was the issue that made us look at options.  With melatonin, he is able to be asleep within  20 mins or so.  I found that lack of sleep, and lying awake for hours definitely had a negative impact on my kiddo.  However, I didn't really "get" this until he was falling asleep, and getting enough rest. 

 

FWIW, we have had absolutely no side effects in our family from Melatonin use.  



My DD also sleeps very well once she manages to fall asleep. It's the closing the eyes and sleep actually taking over that doesnt happen. She reads or just hangs out in bed until she is so tired she can't stay awake. She doesnt complain about it or come out and try to stay up, she just doesnt go to sleep. I don't know if it's a problem.

 

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#6 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 06:08 PM
 
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 Hmm, my DD has been on melatonin for 5 years.

 

She is visually impaired and does not make enough hormone on her own to sleep. She also has DIMS (difficulty initating and maintaining sleep)

 

She will stay up until 3 in the morning, restless, sometimes falling lightly asleep but them waking up every few minutes. She gets up, walks around, sits up. Then if she falls asleep she will still get up at 7am.

 

Then the next days she will crash at 3pm until 7ish. Then repeat the cycle. Every single night until she got on the melatonin and then again when she outgrows her dosage.

 

Not falling asleep until 9:30pm and sleeping for 10 hours is no where near the severity of what most DIMS kids struggle with. Not saying that our not tired and maybe stressed, however I dont know if its enough to start medicating for.

 

 

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#7 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 06:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rik-E View Post

If my son would sleep 10 hours...  that would be great!  He does take melatonin but still only sleeps about 8 hours & does really need more.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post

Mine takes Melatonin and sleeps for about 10 hours.  He is 8.  I don't find that the melatonin seems to have an effect on the length of sleep.  My ds would sleep just fine once he actually fell asleep.  It's the actual getting to sleep that was the issue that made us look at options.  With melatonin, he is able to be asleep within  20 mins or so.  I found that lack of sleep, and lying awake for hours definitely had a negative impact on my kiddo.  However, I didn't really "get" this until he was falling asleep, and getting enough rest. 

 

FWIW, we have had absolutely no side effects in our family from Melatonin use.  

 

Regular melatonin just helps you get to sleep; time-release melatonin helps you stay asleep. My ds had a really hard time getting to sleep, it could take up to 3hrs. We switched from regular melatonin to time-release melatonin to counter insomnia caused by a medication to help his tics (we discontinued that med). Once ds was using the time-release melatonin his behavior in school improved--we had been considering a dosage increase in his ADHD medication but the benefits of better sleep via the time release melatonin made that unnecessary. I haven't come across anyone who has stopped giving melatonin due to side effects. Ds normally gets at least 10 hours sleep and is 7yo.


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#8 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post
I know that melatonin is natural, but it also has side effects and I don't want to give her anything unless I'm sure she is not getting enough sleep.

 

You could look into doing a sleep study.
 

 


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#9 of 12 Old 03-14-2011, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post

I x- posted this is childhood years to see what the range is for my 7 yr old DD.

 

 

I was told today by a pediatric neurologist that I should try melatonin for my DD.

She has a hard time falling asleep even when she is tired. She stays awake in bed either thinking or reading until about 9:30 every night and sleeps for about 10 hours. I am not overly concerned with this, but the dr. wants me to give her melatonin every night. She thinks that she might not be getting enough sleep and it could be contributing to SPD, and anxiety symptoms.

I know that melatonin is natural, but it also has side effects and I don't want to give her anything unless I'm sure she is not getting enough sleep.



10 hours is normal for age 7. It's actually 10 to 11 hours. My 5 year old sleeps 10 hours a night and has to be up about 14 hours before she'll go to sleep. So if I want her to go to bed earlier I have to wake her up about 15 minutes early several times until I have her bedtime where we need it. If 7:30 is early enough in the morning for your DD to get up, I don't see an issue with going to bed at 9:30. I don't think melatonin has any side effects. If your brain is releasing enough melatonin on it's own, taking extra sometimes doesn't seem to have any effects at all. 

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#10 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 03:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2happy View Post





My DD also sleeps very well once she manages to fall asleep. It's the closing the eyes and sleep actually taking over that doesnt happen. She reads or just hangs out in bed until she is so tired she can't stay awake. She doesnt complain about it or come out and try to stay up, she just doesnt go to sleep. I don't know if it's a problem.

 


 

What is your daughter's experience?  Does it bother her to have a difficult time falling asleep?  If she's able to go to sleep at 9:30 and still sleep for 10 hours, then could she just have a later bedtime when she is more likely to fall asleep?  Or is it that she lays awake for hours, no matter what time she goes to sleep?  My ds needs to be up for school, so he couldn't sleep in in the mornings.  He was also disturbed by not being able to go to sleep.  

 

It sounds like there are issues going on that you and your dd's doctor are trying to address, and looking at sleep, or the process of going to sleep, as a contributing factor?

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#11 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 02:29 PM
 
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10 hours is very rare for my son...It is usually 7-8 with the occasional 9. Sometimes it is only 6 hours even with the Melatonin. Before starting Melatonin he would be up until 12 or 1am, sometimes later every night and still getting up at 6-6:30am. Seriously, he is the energizer bunny - could go EASILY until well past 1 or 2am and still get up at the crack of dawn. He just needs very little sleep...He has never been a sleeper, even as a newborn and infant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rik-E View Post

If my son would sleep 10 hours...  that would be great!  He does take melatonin but still only sleeps about 8 hours & does really need more.
 



 



 


DS (6) is diagnosed with Asperger's, Hypotonia, and Static Encephalopothy 

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#12 of 12 Old 03-15-2011, 05:07 PM
 
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If they really suspect a sleep problem or disorder, the best way to determine it is through a sleep study.  A sleep study can determine if there are problems falling asleep; if there are sleep disturbances; if there are breathing issues (aka apnea); if the are limb movements beyond normal, etc.

 

All of those can cause issues with sleep and even though your child is getting 10 hours sleep, it may be to fragmented and not getting into the REM sleep that is restful.  Let's put it this way, DS1 slept for 565 minutes.  During that time he had 108 arousals/wakings.  Basically, every 5 minutes is what that equates to he was having his sleep disturbed...either by limb movements or apnea episodes.

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