Need suggestions for child with insomnia - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-06-2003, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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My DD is 6.5 and has grown up co-sleeping in the same bed till she was 3, then moved to her own bed in our room. She has slept well until the holidays, when she couldn't sleep at Grandma's house. But now that we're back in our own home and she's in her own bed again, she lays awake for long hours not sleeping. She seems to make it through the day without being extremely tired, but she seems very sensitive and a little depressed.

I did a web search on childhood insomnia and found information about putting your kids to bed in their own bed at the same time every night.

DS's bedtime is 8:30 +/- 30 minutes every night.

Any suggestions?
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#2 of 8 Old 01-09-2003, 06:19 PM
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My suggestions are probobly things you've already thought of:

A predictable schedule for bedtime - ala snack, brush teeth, bath, reading books, water, lights out. Same thing every night. Motononous. Boring. Sleep inducing!

Adding lavender essential oil or essential oil based "sleepytime" bath products to warm bath water at bath time to help her wind down.

Maybe adding soft music to the bedtime routine, or a sound machine with waves or water (unless bedwetting is a problem, lol).

Having your child get more physical excercize during the day - sign her up for soccer or swimming or basketball or something physical. Literally tire her out physically more than "usual".

Get her up earlier, so she will want to go to bed earlier and sleep better.

Give her a snack before bedtime that will make her sleepy - milk, yogurt, something starchy for that "full" feeling.

Good luck!

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#3 of 8 Old 01-09-2003, 06:32 PM
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A very good friend of mines daughter suffered just over a month with insomnia. She was about 5 1/2 not quite 6. She tried all of the suggestions listed earlier as well as trying basic yoga and meditation techinques but she found the best thig that worked for was

1. a warm bath before bed. She used lavender oil in the bubble bath.

2. A white noise machine or a true "wave" machine-not the ones that have crickets and seagulls etc on them too.

These 2 things seemed to work the best for her. After her daughter was back to sleeping normally she thought it may just have been developmental. Her daughter is now 8 and has never had the problem since.

good luck!

Pardon me while I puke.gif

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#4 of 8 Old 01-10-2003, 04:54 AM
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this is very interesting to me...

I too would lay awake for hours at night as a child, literally getting only a couple of hours of sleep....

I still do that, it takes me forever to fall asleep, I have terrible insomnia as an adult as well.

I also have suffered on and off with depression all my life (I can remember being as young as 8yo and my mom telling me I should smile more and not be so "moody" all the time)

these are the things that keep me up at night (the same things that kept me up as a kid)

~ I would literally replay entire events that happened during the day, entire conversations memorizing looks and body movements...everything

~ I would worry about our family's financial situation (be careful how you act and what you say in front of your DD...she could be carrying that stress on her shoulders as well...even if she says she doesn't)

~ I don't think I was physically active enough to be physically tired at the end of the day

There was only one thing that my mom did that was "sure-fire" to get me to relax enough to go to sleep....

She would lay down beside me, have me lay flat on the bed, no part of my body touching any other part....then she would start whispering into my ear "relax your toes, relax them.....relax them until they are floating...." she would go on up my body to my feet, legs, knees, hips, back, tummy, fingers, hands, arms, shoulders, head and finally my eyes...spending enough time on each that I would be totally relaxed by the time she to my eyes that I wouldn't be thinking of anything else but relaxing and floating...if I happened to move we had to start over again....It still works to this day, but now I tell myself in my head to relax each body part....

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#5 of 8 Old 01-10-2003, 06:13 AM
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all the above suggestions are wonderful and I tried most of them when my ds had trouble sleeping last year ( he was 10 at the time). relaxation and music in the bedtime ritual helped most. But what really solved the problem was discovering WHY it started in the first place

Betsy I would really recommend carefully enquiring into what is happening in your dd's life, it may take lots of digging as young kids have trouble articulating what's going on for them. jmho of course

when I found out WHY my ds couldn't sleep and took steps to resolve the situation ( a violent and unpredictable classmate at school who ds found very disturbing) the problem disappeared
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#6 of 8 Old 01-13-2003, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Great suggestions from all of you! Thanks!

I am most concerned that rwikene's experience is most similar to my dd. She too has sour face a lot and seems very sensitive. She needs a lot of time alone to be happy. She said she isn't worried about anything in particular and nothing specific seems to be bothering her. She does get a lot of excercise - horseback riding and swimming, phys ed. and recess. And it isn't the falling asleep that is the problem - its staying asleep. She wakes up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep though she's tired and wants to stay asleep.

So I'm wondering if this is a sign of depression? If we treat the depression, perhaps the sleeplessness will go away.

But I have no idea where to begin in treating or even being sure this is depression. Any suggestions on where to start? Should I take her straight to a psychologist? Any of you had experience dealing with a child prone to depression?

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#7 of 8 Old 01-13-2003, 11:59 AM
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YES! I do, my son has been having depressed episodes since he was 4. He also has initial insomnia. Spmetimes we give him a little melatonin for a few nights in a row to try and get him back on a better schedule when he can't sleep. One natural thing you can do is to give her some Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which has been found to help with depression. Finding good mental health care for children is sort of like finding a needle in a haystack. The best thing to do is to educate yourself, and know what you need from the professionals. One warning is that if your child's family history includes mood disorders and alcoholism, make sure they rule out bi-polar disorder before they start her on any meds (that is if you choose to use meds for her depression). A person who is prone to bi-polar disorder, placed on anti-depressants without a mood stabelizer can become manic. We learned this the hard way.
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#8 of 8 Old 01-13-2003, 12:08 PM
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Check her diet and eliminate all sugar and caffine too....
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