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Thread: Tips to help DS sleep

  1. #1

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    Default Tips to help DS sleep

    I need to sit in the room with DS as he goes to sleep. It's an issue we're seeing a paed & looking into getting sorted. Fears/anxiety.



    For now, I mostly don't mind sitting with him. Well, in the room anyway.

    But I'm really sick of it taking upwards of an hour for him to fall asleep. This is my only alone time. I sit in here til they're asleep, then I usually go to bed. I used to try watch tv on occasion, but I'm too tired by the time he crashes. We've been in here for an hour now. All lights out, no speaking. It's 9pm already!

    I've thought of trying melatonin. Has anyone used it with success?

    I've tried wind down time, no tv, stories etc. this is most nights. It doesn't make an iota of difference.

    I'm just over it. Mostly coz I'm alone. Dd has already been asleep for half hour. I could be taking some time out now, but I cannot leave him. No matter how I bribe/persuade him.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Tips to help DS sleep

    Hi clover, it must be really frustrating as you are not getting a break! My DDs psychologist gave us some bedtime meditations by christianne Kerr. You can get them on iTunes I think. It has helped DD and I find it relaxing too!

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    Default Re: Tips to help DS sleep

    Hun we have been there I would often sit with boys for 60-90 mins and get very cranky at them getting up, needing a drink, talking etc. I mentioned to DS1 pead and she suggested meletonin! We discussed it and she said I could use it on both kids! So off we went to compounding pharmacy and the first night we gave it then put into bed 15-20 mins later said good night and walked out, they lay down and went to sleep!! We were shocked and amazed!! It has been awesome, now after using since July trying some nights without it.

    DH did read an article that talks about use and may have issues in adolescence but I do not believe the article was a reliable resource.

    Only down side has been they wake up earlier as going to sleep earlier but its not been a major issue as we need to be up anyway.

    A friend used it with her kids and stopped as 1 was having nightmares and both were waking up crazy early, much earlier than mine.

    Worth a try that is for sure. Good luck

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    Default Re: Tips to help DS sleep

    Hugs!
    I felt very similar with my DS for a while though this was when he was about 3.5, so younger than your DS.
    I would tuck him into bed about 7.30 then lights out and no talking nothing I would just be sitting there doing nothing but I had to stay in the room with him otherwise he would have a massive breakdown. It generally took somewhere between 1 and 2 hours (sometimes more) and it was exhausting. I was just sitting there doing nothing, waiting for him to go to sleep but it was frustrating and used up all of my evening time which I could otherwise use to catch up with DH, for some me time, or get some work done or whatever.
    I can imagine it would be even more frustrating if this was your only chance for alone time!

    How has he been before this?

    Sleep was always an issue with my DS. When he was young he would never sleep for long and would only go to sleep if he was in contact with me. After trying lots and lots of things, we ended up slowly weaning him off things. So first I would let him fall asleep on me and then I'd wait till he was nearly asleep and transition him to his bed and hold his hand, then I'd put him in bed awake and just hold his hand, then I'd sit right next to him but not actually hold his hand. We did this from about 1.5 till 2.5 and then sitting in the room with him seemed to be working quite well and was much better than what had been happening before. I really didn't mind it at first and so we just stuck with it.
    BUT he started to take longer and longer to go to sleep until it became a real problem.
    We tried changing the lead up to bed in lots of ways (more wind down time, dinner earlier, etc) but nothing had any effect and he was just taking longer and longer to go to sleep.
    I tried two different things and I'm not really sure what worked, maybe the combination maybe we could have just done one and it would have been fine.
    At first I went back to the weaning him off it thing and I sat in the chair I had been sitting in for 5 minutes or so and then I would move to the doorway for the rest. Then I would sometimes go out for longer and longer times. I'd whisper something like "I just need to go to the toilet I'll be back soon" or something and step out for a while.
    That seemed to help and sometimes he actually fell asleep when I was out of the room.
    I then had a big talk to him about it and explained that he needed to learn to go to sleep on his own, that he was able to do it and had in fact done it, and that I would now sit with him for a while and then leave.
    So we transitioned to that. Often he would call me back lots and get rather upset by it and beg me to stay but I would always only stay a few minutes with him and then leave.
    It took a long time but eventually he accepted the new program and now goes to sleep on his own (though it still often takes him an hour or so).

    Best of luck with it! I don't have any experience with melatonin so can't help you there.
    Hope you find a solution soon!

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Tips to help DS sleep

    In terms of 'zeitgeibers', you can strengthen the circadian day/night cues which can help with how quickly sleep arrives (and stimulate release of melatonin in the brain). Remove every daylight-white lightbulb in the house and replace them with dimmer, warm-white ones. Avoid CFLs and opt for LEDs if you can. Adjust the telly or any other screens that are on in the evening to minimum levels of blue, and reduce the brightness. Reduce the overall lighting a couple of hours before bed. Same goes for temperature, especially in the sleeping space. Then make sure you get out into daylight in the morning each day.

    My DD really isn't happy in a completely dark room, so we got a cheap red lamp from Ikea and fitted it with the dimmest light bulb we could find. Red light is the least stimulating (in terms of suppressing melatonin and stimulating wakefulness) so this was a good solution for us, and it certainly helped with DD's anxiousness. We have also done distraction in the form of soothing music and short kids audiobooks on the stereo. It's not a complete solution but every little bit helps.

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    Default Re: Tips to help DS sleep

    My eldest is shocking. I could put them to bed at 730 and they would still be going anywhere 1030-11 at night.

    Found meditation worked brilliantly. It gave them something to really focus their thoughts and to "switch off". They have always had the issue of quieting their thoughts to sleep, so this helped focus them and 9 times out of 10 they were asleep before I'm finished.

    Our biggest issue was getting them to quiet enough to focus and do what the meditation asked. But we got there.

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    Default Re: Tips to help DS sleep

    Quote Originally Posted by anney View Post
    Hi clover, it must be really frustrating as you are not getting a break! My DDs psychologist gave us some bedtime meditations by christianne Kerr. You can get them on iTunes I think. It has helped DD and I find it relaxing too!
    I have used these after seeing your recommendation before - and I think they do really help. My kids both go to sleep listening to stories on a podcast now which seem to work just as well as the meditations - for them that doesn't keep them awake - silence is more likely to keep them awake, as a child I used to listen to stuff on a walkman to go to sleep, and even now I fall asleep faster if I put on an audiobook than silence especially if I have a lot of stuff on my mind (work normally) - in the silence stuff goes round and round in my head, but the focus on the stories switches that off but doesn't keep me awake.

    Everyone works a little differently so I think sometimes you have to try lots of stuff and hit upon the right stuff at the right age.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Tips to help DS sleep

    Yes, wysiwig my DD has a similar issue to you - lots of thing going around in her head and so listening to something to get rid of the thoughts allows her brain to switch off.
    But it is not really a "miracle cure", it helps a little. Like some of the previous posters, my DD has always had trouble getting to sleep and between the ages of 2 and 4 I got so frustrated as I could lie with her for 2 hours and like you Clover, very much resented the intrusion on my time. She is 12 now and still like this. It is just her I think and will probably be like this through adulthood. Therefore I think it is good to look at some strategies to help a little. We have gone from regular nights of 90 minutes lying awake at night down to about an hour now and 90 minutes is unusual. Still not ideal but better. And the meditations definitely help that.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Tips to help DS sleep

    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    Dd2 was never a great sleeper. Especially at this age, but I never had to sit with her. Her average bed time was 10-11 pm most nights til she started school. And she was in her room from 8.30 every night.
    Once she started school, if she was even 20 minutes late to bed on a random night, she'd be up all night. And it'd take a good week to settle her back in. She still has trouble some nights. But I think her meds & strict routine has pretty much sorted it.

    All 3 younger kids need the strict routine or life is a mess. Melt downs, no sleep, fights... You name it. It all hits the fan & takes weeks to settle. We take longer getting over holidays than we do the school term!

    Dd1 still goes to bed at 8. She's in year 7. The first asleep & can't handle it when she goes late. Boarding school will be an experience.

    I'll look into the iTunes meditation thing. That's the only thing I have available to me right now. Will see how it goes. And will look into changing lightbulbs also. That makes a lot of sense. I tend to go for the brighter lights in the living areas & duller in the bedrooms, but if I buy a box of 6x75, I'll use them.

    Thanks again

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Tips to help DS sleep

    I think we've had a slight break through. He may not have gone to sleep any earlier, or quicker, but he allowed me to walk out of the room while he was going to sleep I sat on the end of my bed instead, from when he first lay down!

    I bought him a little battery operated lantern that he turned on & had beside his head. Again, it probably won't help him sleep any quicker, but if I don't need to be in the room with him, I won't feel the need to strangle him so often!
    I just need to work on dd. She fell asleep with me sitting, playing with her hair only. It's usually me laying, her hand down my top AND me playing with her hair.
    I did try to get her to go to sleep alone, but that ain't gonna happen.

    It's a start though! Such a huge step for DS. He would normally be in hysterics if I left the room. Even with the light on.

    Feeling good hopefully we can keep it up probably seems so small, but it's so big for us

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