Please help me figure out my kids latest sleep issue! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-27-2013, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 2.5 yo has always been a pretty horrible sleeper.  He has never slept longer than a 4 hour stretch...in his whole life.  I nursed him on demand day and night until he was 2, then we night weaned.  His sleep didn't get any better. 

 

Lately he has been waking up at 4am, screaming.  This morning was especially bad.  He woke up screaming, "I'm tired!!"  I said, "ok honey, lay down and go back to sleep, I'm right here next to you."  "No!  I'm not tired!!"..."Ok, if you're not tired, you may go play with your toys.  Mama is very tired though, so I'm going to sleep."  "I'm tired!!"  And the cycle continued for FIVE HOURS.  He was either screaming about being tired or not tired, or he was screaming about wanting the door open and not wanting the door open, or he was screaming about wanting a drink and not wanting a drink.

 

This has been going on in some way or another for the past three weeks.  Just this morning was the worst.  He is taking daily naps for two hours.  I keep him on a very strict schedule because I've learned things get especially bad when his routine is off.  He goes to bed at the same time every night.  He doesn't have any trouble napping (at least lately) or falling asleep.  He just can't stay asleep.

 

He goes to bed at 7pm, sleeps until 11pm, then is up every hour to hour and a half after that.  All night long.  Since he was born pretty much.

 

I put him to bed in his room that he shares with his big brother.  He falls asleep on his own, and sleeps there until 11pm.  If he had his own room, I would work on keeping him in his own bed for the whole night because I think he would sleep better, but I know a lot of screaming would be involved and I don't want to disrupt his brothers sleep.  So, at 11pm, I bring him into our bed, and the nightly marathon begins.

 

Does anyone have any advice for me?  Why is he acting like a crazy person and contradicting himself for hours on end?  I know he's overtired, but he's overtired because he keeps waking up.  He is not over stimulated during the day, he gets a good nap, he is given the opportunity to sleep every night, but is just not doing it!

 

Any response would be greatly appreciated.  I'm feeling pretty alone here since all of my friends kids have been STTN for years now.


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#2 of 6 Old 01-27-2013, 11:58 AM
 
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Can you try getting him to sleep someplace else? Like the couch,or the floor? Perhaps the actual beds are bothering him. Could be anything from the mattress is too soft and hurting his body and he doesn't know how to tell you, to the chemicals in the mattress bothering him, the dust in the sheets/pillow case bothering him...etc. Here:

 

http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/are-your-mattress-and-bedframe-killing-you-with-emf.html

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#3 of 6 Old 01-27-2013, 12:06 PM
 
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I wonder if he's having growing pains.  That always disturbs my children's sleep, and at first when they didn't know what it was they couldn't tell me what was wrong.  Check his calves when he wakes for cramping.


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#4 of 6 Old 01-27-2013, 01:16 PM
 
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It's possible he has an actual sleep disorder. Does he breathe well when he sleeps, or is he wheezey or does he snore? Does he toss and turn a lot when he actually does sleep? It sounds like he sleeps for a bit and then wakes up after each sleep cycle. There's something waking him up each sleep cycle then. It could be discomfort (someone said the bed, but also maybe too hot or too cold), or it could be sleep apnea or something. It might be worth changing the environment a bit to see if that improves it, but it might also be worth a trip to the pediatrician. You and he have had a hard time of it for a long time! I hope something helps and he starts sleeping well soon.
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#5 of 6 Old 01-27-2013, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the very thoughtful replies!

 

I've tried to change his sleep environment multiple times in hopes of improving his sleep, but I haven't had much luck.  We live in a very small house and I think if I had the ability to create a sleep space that was just for him, things may get better, but it's just not in our cards now.  I've made him nests on the floor in our room, or the room my boys sleep in, but once someone has to enter the room, or makes any kind of noise, he wakes up.  He's an extremely light sleeper and wakes up at any noise or movement.  I have a white noise machine in both bedrooms, black out curtains, etc. 

 

I had never thought of the bed itself causing him discomfort.  My husband and I bought a tempur pedic right after we got married, not knowing they are one of the most toxic mattresses out there.  We've had it for going on 9 years now.  Do you think it has off-gased enough by now?  My son has slept in many different beds while traveling, staying with family, etc...and always sleeps horribly! Who knows.  I hadn't thought of growing pains either.  I'll look more into that as well.  Thank you!

 

He is very prone to upper respiratory infections and has seasonal allergies, so his breathing is often congested sounding when he sleeps.  I haven't noticed it being very congested or wheezy at all lately though.  He isn't teething...hmmm...maybe I should talk to the doc about this.


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#6 of 6 Old 01-27-2013, 06:45 PM
 
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With the wheeziness I'm wondering if he actually has reflux.  That can make him congested, but since it hurts (especially while laying down) then it could be waking him after each sleep cycle.


SAHM to DS BuggaBoo blahblah.gif  12/07, and DD Doozer energy.gif03/10.  Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.

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