Nightmares, anxiety, and lack of sleep for us all

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by crazymama30, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    So after difficult child got home from Residential Treatment Center (RTC), he had a very rough time sleeping. I had to sleep on the bedroom floor and he could not sleep unless I was there. That lasted a week or more, and then gradually? It got better.

    About 3 weeks or so it started again. We saw psychiatrist, started on trazodone and he is up to 100mg and that helped for a while. Then? Back to the same thing. He is sure he has no nightmares if I am in the bedroom with him. His anxiety about sleep? Way up there. Called psychiatrist and started him on 15mg of buspar twice a day, and I am not sure if I am seeing any results from this.

    I called psychiatrist last week and told her we were still having sleep issues, did she have any ideas? She said no, not unless I wanted to go back to an ap. I do not, and she said good, neither did she.

    So I will call therapist tomorrow and see if she can do some work with him surrounding his anxiety around sleep. It probably does not help that s2bx is in jail again (for violating the ro against me, he wrote me a letter. I was not hurt, but feel I had to send him a message. He was pushing boundaries and I had to show him I am standing firm).

    Last night? difficult child asked me if I was going to send him back to Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I told him not unless he is hurting himself or someone else. He asked if it counted if he hurt people on accident as he had accidentally hurt a friend at school..........gotta love the black and white thinking..........I said no it would need to be in a mean way. I told him that sending him away was the hardest thing I have ever done and I don't ever want to do that again.

    However, I need sleep. The floor of his room? Is really not a good place to sleep. I usually don't get too sore, but I know I am not getting the quality sleep I need.

    Any ideas here? I can feel myself losing patience with both kids easeir as I am just exhausted.
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    Air mattress? How about take turns? He sleeps on the floor of your room 1/2 the week. Sorry no truly constructive ideas.

    DD2 still goes through bouts of not being able to fall asleep (even with the melatonin). When it happens, I let her sleep on the couch or in my bed and she's out within minutes.
  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    He is out as long as I am in the room, and most of the times stays asleep and falls asleep within minutes. When he wakes up? He will wake up at midnight or 1am and if I am not in the room? He will text me 20 or more times and then call me when the texts don't wake me. He panics if I am not in the room and will not even get out of his bed.

    I don't mind him sleeping in my room, but he is a 14yr old boy. I don't think he should sleep in my bed with me, that sounds bad and actually could be illegal. He does not want to sleep in my bed anyways, and that is a habit I do not want to start.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I second the "something else on the floor" concept... air mat, roll-a-way cot, single futon mattress (with-o futon... they roll up fairly compactly). This is only a short-term solution, but... you need to get your sleep, somehow, so that you are in shape to help difficult child get his sleep... Know what I mean??

    Next thing I'd try is adding some background music of some sort, while you are there. Plan on spending several nights sleeping there, whether he "needs" you or not. Always go to sleep with this same music on softly in the background (set to loop continuously). Then, maybe you can work up to starting the night there, and moving to your own bed... eventually, to starting in your own bed. Either way, difficult child can still summon you (call, come get you, whatever you have agreed on) if needed, but... if the setting "reminds" him of when you are there, he might not need you so much.
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Insane, I like that idea. I may try that one. I am sure I can find a white noise type of machine fairly reasonable. I may have to go get an aero bed, or they have a mat thing at costco that folds up. That seems to take up too much space. I just want to sleep in my bed.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    Certainly not in your bed, but just like you sleep on his floor, he can sleep on yours. That way at lest you get a few good nights sleep.

    With some intense therapy he should be able to learn and manage those panic attacks. It will take a lot of work on both your parts since you'll have to be up and act as "coach"

    Poor kid, poor you. Hope you both get some good sleep tonight.
  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Keista, I am so tired tonight it won't matter if I sleep on the floor. I have been trying to let him fall asleep and then sneak out of his room, but sometimes I just fall asleep.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If you get the right-sized "mat" for sleeping on, it "should" slide under his bed for storage - assuming he isn't in a captain's bed with drawers underneath.

    White noise is one option.... another is "relaxation music" - we have some that are really old, so probably not available now - but were orchestral music combined with nature sounds... the ocean, gentle rain, birdsongs, etc. It provides both "something" to listen to, and "nothing" to focus on...
  9. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    His bed is matresses on the the floor, if there is any space below it, it becomes a science experiment and he had a captain type bed and broke it.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    <sigh> Yes, I understand about the "under the bed" stuff...
    On the other end of the scene... you might be able to stuff an extra under your bed, though, for when he wants to sleep at your side? At least you'd be more comfortable...

    We had an extra bedroom... so, the kids never came to our room. Theirs were too small for another person, but we had the "guest" room set up so two could sleep... in real beds (one twin, one double). If they were sick, or needed us for any reason, BOTH of us moved to the "other" room. But it was never "their" room...
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Its illegal for a kid to sleep with a parent? What happened to the family bed concept?

    I must have broken the law many times then. As recently as a few months ago too.

    My boys have always been allowed to sleep in my bed if they wanted to. It got pretty crowded at times. Even when Jamie went to the Marines, when he came home on leave, he would normally end up coming to the house in the middle of the night and just crawl into our bed right between his dad and I in our king sized bed and snuggle up and whisper...Im home! And fall asleep. LOL. Fully dressed of course.

    Cory comes into my bed when he is sick even now. He wants momma. I dont see anything wrong with a 14 year old sleeping with his mother as long as both of you are dressed appropriately. Of course, you said he has a mattress on the floor. Could you just get a twin mattress and put it next to his and sleep on that until this passes? Most twin mattresses arent that expensive right now. Big lots has them on sale right now. Or Sams club. Or even try freecycle to get one. Maybe you could get one of those bunkbeds that are singles on top and then look like a couch on the bottom but fold out at night to a double bed with a futon type thing and you could sleep on that. That is the type bed we had for Cory and Jamie for years. Cory had the top and Jamie had the bottom. They kept it folded up as a couch most of the time though because it made the room bigger.
  12. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Janet, if it was going to be just a now and again thing? Then I would not worry so much about it. This is an every night thing so far. I do not want to start something and then he will think he has to sleep with me in order to sleep. That is how he works, and that is what I do not want to start.

    I will probably end up getting a sleeping mat or air mattress if this keeps up much longer. I was hoping to transition him to sleeping alone, but now? I am not so sure about that.

    I signed up for a family to family class starting next monday, and it is from 6:30 to 9:00 on mondays. difficult child is always in bed by 9, but it takes an hr or so to get him there. I really want to take that class, but I just may not be able to. He will not sleep unless I am here, and he can get so wound up he will take forever to go to sleep.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Q has had rare sleep issues. Now they are starting again and I think the reasons are anxiety/worries like what you are describing. He has a hard time falling asleep and the worries are expanding to wild animals being around (keeps him from running away though, lol) no matter how many times I tell him there are no animals around that are not afraid of us. We dont live in the jungle or even the woods. He can't seem to settle his brain down. He will then say he is hungry or has to use the bathroom just to avoid being in bed.

    I got his AVE (audio visual entrainment) unit last week. He told ME that the lady told him it will relax him so I said great lets hook it up and I put it on the sleep brain waves... he was asleep two nights in a row within 10 minutes and the program goes on for 20-40 depending on the level you select. I was shocked. I am sure partly HE is convinced it will work, and partly it works. I am putting the instrumental music on too so I am hoping the same as what IC said, that the music will be associated with sleep and just keeping it on the loop will help him stay in that state.
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't know how severe his issues are but with difficult child#2 I "sat" in his room until he fell assleep. He knew I could not stay in his room all night because like him I needed to sleep. In our case he was anxious that something "bad" would happen. With his permission I used a "baby monitor" so he could quietly call me if he needed me. I would quickly respond and "sit" with him until he settled back to sleep. Once he fully knew that it would just be a minute before I got there, he lasted longer and then longer by himself until the need was gone for the most part. Don't know if that would help you but it did help me. Hugs DDD
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Crazymama, our difficult child's mattress is on the floor, too, for many of the same reasons, lol!

    I would actually leave before he falls asleep. Tell him that you are going to leave in X amt of time and that you will be just down the hallway. You need your sleep and you have to tell him that. Also, tell him that you realize that he is having bad dreams but that he has to learn to deal with-them on his own. From now on, you will only come to his aid for a bad dream 2 nights a week, so he has to decide which bad dreams are the worst of all. I would expect him to call you immediately. At that point, tell him that you are happy to comfort him, and that you are now reminding him that he has only one more bad dream coming up where you will join him in his room. That should get him prioritizing. I know that he and you think that he cannot control it, but I will politely differ on that. He's already on medication and you have to come up with-a behavior plan to go with-it. medications cannot do all the work by themselves.

    by the way, I cuddled with-my son up until he was nearly 14. He especially liked having the weight of one of my legs over his legs or hip. I have since gathered several heavy blankets and put them across his thighs to mimic the effect. Also, I read in one of one of my Aspie books--maybe LOOK ME IN THE EYE by John Elder Robinson--that his wife does the same thing and it's clearly not just a security issue, but a weight issue, like the weighted blankets that are sold nowdays.

    I don't see an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) diagnosis on your son's signature, but these things may still be useful.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. What's with-the idea that it may be illegal? Don't even get me started. We're talking about special needs kids who are emotionally disabled and developmentally waaaay behind their actual ages, in a private home. Don't even get me started !!!!
  17. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I know your son is much older, but it actually reminds me of what I went through with V and what I'm going through with Sweet Pea right now! It took V 4.5 years to learn how to fall asleep and stay asleep. And that is something I've been working on since day 1. I simply cannot sleep with someone in my bed. Even husband usually ends up leaving the room!
    I second the white noise machine/cd and weighted blankets.
    I usually tap the back of my kids and stroke their hair to help them fall a sleep. At first, I doo it until they are sound asleep. Then, I try to stop before they are out cold. For years, I had to go back in their rooms and pat their back. Gently sing or talk to them.
    I understand the sleepless night!!
    Even though he is older, try to do a baby bedtime routine. After all, isn't it how we teach kids to fall alsleep?
    Could you also give him a "protector"? A teddy bear or other thing that will guard his sleep? If he is too mature for stuff animals, maybe a dream catcher along with stories about them? For years, I had dry rice hanging above my bed (sleep protector in Senegal, Africa. It was a gift).
  18. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    My difficult child just turned 15, and she will ask me on occasion to lie in her bed with her, and sing to her like when she was little. That is how I know she is really really anxious. When she was spiraling in the late fall, I was sleeping on the floor for weeks straight. It is hard to say NO when they want their mom. At least for me it is, since difficult child normally does not want me at all. I would make a special spot on the floor in your room where he could come in and sleep in the night if he gets scared. That way you get your bed, and he still gets the "safety" of you being there. And, it will make him have to face his anxiety a little by leaving his bed to come to your room.
  19. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I think part of what confuses and befuddles me is that this has NEVER been a problem before. He has been a great sleeper, and I was quite spoiled by it. This all started after he came home from Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    I will try the "I will sit with you but not sleep with you" I don't want to tell him how long I will be there, as then he will fixate on that and what time it is and he will never sleep. He goes to sleep quickly, so I will sit there untill he goes to sleep and hope I can stay awake that long, I have a hard time staying awake in a dark room after 7pm, lol.

    I think some of this is based on his fear/anxiety that I will send him back to Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I am trying to get through to him how hard it was for me to have him there, and that I did not enjoy it. Well, maybe for the first week, but after that? I got tired of the driving.

    Terri, he is on the spectrum, the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) not otherwise specified diagnosis places him there, and the testing we had firmly supports it.
  20. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    New thing sounds like an emotional security issue, I think you're right on that. Maybe instead of the baby monitor that DDD suggested, a set of walkie-talkies? Then you could respond to him immediately and he knows you're there and if he needs you you'll be there, no yelling, no screaming, no crying needed. Or if he just wants to talk, he can do that, too. Granted they're not that secure so warn him to guard what he says, but just another idea to toss out there to help him feel connected to you. Of course you'll burn through a lot of batteries, too, so maybe a plug-in monitor is a better idea... sound-activated, maybe.