Very active dreamer in three year old, family history of mental health issues... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 11-22-2010, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I know I shouldn't worry but I do.


My three year old (four in February) has always been a terrible sleeper.  As in, would never sleep on his own from the moment he came home from the hospital.  I had to carry him forever.


He is now very verbal and is still a horrible sleeper.  He wakes up a couple times a night.  He still sleeps with us b/c it is the only way I can get any rest.


Lately, I have realized that what seems to be waking him up are his dreams.  He talks in his sleep and seems to be talking about his dreams.  About a quarter of the time they seems to be nightmares.  Not horrible, just waking up crying.


The reason I am worried about this (in addition to the still not sleeping part...which is no small issue...yawn!) is that we have a family history.  My other son has Autism and my sister has Schizophrenia.


Could this be an early warning sign?  I know I should worry but I do and I am.


Any suggestions on how to get him to sleep better through these?



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#2 of 3 Old 11-22-2010, 12:42 PM
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OK, I'm not a doctor.  But I have two Autistic kids and other friends, with Autistic kids.  And I have never heard of excessive dreaming or talking in your sleep as a symptom.  If he's almost 4 and you're not worried about his language development, or him avoiding eye contact, or being obsessive, then I wouldn't be worried about Autism.


I can't point you to the research, but I'm fairly certain that kids that young spend more time in R.E.M. sleep than adults do; that it's more common for kids (than for adults) to have immature/improper motor inhibition during R.E.M. sleep (i.e., talking or walking in your sleep); and that it's pretty common for kids - who are dreaming a lot anyway - to have a lot of nightmares, because there are so many things in life that they don't understand, can't control, or that scare them.  And some babies are just bad sleepers.  I was.  My husband was.  Neither of us is mentally ill.


I don't know about connections between schizophrenia and dreaming, but I certainly wouldn't worry about that, based ONLY on what you've described. 

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#3 of 3 Old 12-01-2010, 08:01 PM
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