sleepless nights......

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member


    so sleepless nights, how many of us have them?? where difficult child's won't go to bed, can't fall asleep, bounce all over till the wee hours??

    i'm sitting here it's 12:30 she has school tmrw i'm nervous if idon't get her in on time because apparentley their watching me now and she isn't sleeping. she goes in same time everynight and everynight this is pretty much what happens. so i do whatever i can to stay awake, during summer i will not lie i crashed i was tired and didn't have fear of school.

    yet now she can't keep her body still every single night again most nights she's in there since 9 reading then we shut light i set up the breathing thing, tickle the arm, sing the song, do the special hand shake its like this huge process everynight she makes me do stuff before walkign out of theroom i guess that's her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). i can't forget anything any night or she totally flips i have to say the same words each night sweet dreams, what are you going to dream about etc. after the song and tickling and breathing.

    ok i'm tired. it starts early and the days just never end it seems and before i know it the new one begins again.

    has anyoen ever tried a sleep aid for their difficult child? i'm not feeling the thorazine, i can't seem to make myself give her that pill. i don't know why my gut won't let me do it yet she needs something and doctor hasnt' called back yet that was friday i left message.......

    we are back to teh pull ups though
  2. Lillyth

    Lillyth New Member

    I know this isn't the question you asked, but have you considered your daughter may be Aspie? The goodnight rituals sound very Aspie-ish. If my son comes out to go to the bathroom after he's been tucked in it's the same words ALL over again. No matter how many times it happens.

    Also, I know trouble sleeping is common among Aspies.

    I say if your gut tells you "no", then listen to it. Funny enough, as anti-medications as I am, the day we went in to meet with our psychiatrist, my guy told me to actually consder the drugs, and I did.

    I know it's hard, but I would say for sure wait to medicate her until you have a diagnosis, but that's just me. I would think you would want to make sure you are treating the right thing.

    In the book "Freaks, Geeks, and Asperger's Syndrome" the author, Luke Jackson, offers a few pages of sleep aid options for Aspies, which may work for your daughter, even if she is not Aspie. I might be worth a try.
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

    ok so now i'm typing to stay endless rambling.....i've now moved her onto couch because idon't know what else to do i'm out of ideas and totally exhausted. she tried for hours in her bed i felt too guilty to go to bed while she was struggling didn't want to lay in her bed with-her so i put her on couch and i'm in chair next to it.

    she's wide awake, not even teh slighest bit tired. we tried the breathing i sat tickling her face for a while melatonin won't do it she won't drink warm milk she thinks it's bad. yet school will blame me for this tmrw when i can't get her up from whenever it is she crashes tonight she's going to be horrible to try to get up tmrw if i predict it correct or maybe this is an allnighter and next day i'm not sure.

    do kids just have insomnia? is that possible? all the docs are thinking BiPolar (BP) due to this and the depression and oppositional behavior and anxiety.....
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi i just saw your thing. asperger's syndrome is that what you mean by aspies?

    we have a diagnosis of anxiety disorder adhd and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) so far their not sure about the BiPolar (BP) as of yet........we have tried various medications but doctor wants to put her on thorazine so i'm not really feeling it. yet we can't keep going through this it's crazy. tried so many things ranging from warm baths, to i can relax cd's hello they were a joke for ms. thing to melatonin kava kava tea before bed certain sprays reading before bed we have strict bedtime ritual as you can see.......

    it drives her nuts and me too. yet there are nights other nights when she crashes i guess that's why they keep saying BiPolar (BP), tonight's not one of them. she was also diagnosis with major depressive disorder last year that didn't fit with the hyper actiivty at night though. we tried medicating for anxiety but that didn't work either ssri's make her fly
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    wow ok hmm interesting.........that seems to fit some of her things, yet i attributed the repetitive behaviors to be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), not aspergers. doctors have never mentioned that. we have the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) she has very bad obsessional thinking, adhd def. attention issues, depression negative thought process, she has some tics also facial and hands, the anxiety disorder which is huge, she has alot of stuff. thats' why doctors have no clue how to treat her quite frankly.

    even if she did have that, mixed with the anxiety, depression, bouts of hyperactivity, adhd, and whatever else she has how would they medicate her orhelp her or know what to do with so many diagnosis's at one time
  6. Lillyth

    Lillyth New Member

    Yeah, Asperger's is what I mean.

    38% of people with ADD also have Asperger's so, it's not all that uncommon. Also, a lot of Aspies have mucho anxiety, and are very rigid about stuff which can be see as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) like.

    Again, if your gut says no thorozine, then don't do it.

    I would take a serious look at having her evaluated for Asperger's though, as a lot of her symptoms sound to me like they fit. It is also VERY underdiagnosed in girls.
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I would think if it's BiPolar (BP), she would have a decreased need for sleep meaning she might be up late, but wouldn't have trouble getting up in the morning. This sounds to me like anxiety because it's similar to what I experience with my daughter. That might make me biased as we tend to see in others what we know.

    Have you tried relaxation techniques? I would think tickling the face would be more stimulating. Try doing back rubs. It helped my daughter to relax when I rubbed her back and stroked her hair. Maybe some guided relaxtion CD's or just calming music or nature/water sounds.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member


    different days are different. some she crashes late wakes early others she's up all night there's no pattern anymore at all. i tried the back rub that stimulates more, we did teh cd's of water, nature, i can relax cd's you name it nothing gets her down. she's just falling off now and it's 1:30 a.m. could these doctors of missed this???

    what about the anger and oppositional behavior depression is that a seperate thing from asperger's? she does make me repeat stuff. she also has germ things she doesn't like how certain things feel to her. when she gets out of shower she runs to stand on her bed can't stand the carpet under her feet she only has a few outfits she really likes other clothes truly drive her insane

    so that would change alot if it wasn't BiPolar (BP). then it would be anxiety, this thing, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), depression and adhd.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member

    ok i gotta call that doctor again tmrw. wait so how does the bed wetting every night fit in, probably anxiety i guess.

    then there's teh question of difficult child does great for a while then suddenly everything seems to change. last year started school great and by november she totally crashed and we had to have an immediate intervention and team meeting at school. i looked up asperger's is that known to do that flare up and down??

    i'll tell you when i sit with doctors they kinda look at me like huh.... when i begin to list the behaviors etc. their like umm oh forget diagnosis there are too many waht do we treat first. it's insane and their doctors
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Aspergers is a developmental disorder. It's neurological. There aren't flares.

    The carpet feeling and clothes issues sounds like sensory issues. Get the book The Out of Sync Child. See if it fits.
  11. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Sleep disturbances and difficulties are pretty common. My oldest daughter, now 19 and soon to be 20 slept ok at nite as a baby, but her "nite" was 1 am till 6 am. Before she was a month old, she gave up naps entirely, if she dozed so much as 5 mins dureing her day, she would NOT sleep at nite. By the time she was 2, she did not sleep more than 3 hours a nite, and nope, no naps. Again, if she napped even simply 5 minutes, she could not sleep at nite. I myself always always worked evenings and nite shifts, went to nite classes for college whenever it was ppossible. My easy child daughter is a "day person" but the oldest is more a nite person, no matter in psychiatric hospital, anywhere, she always was one who did her sleep later than normal, and eventually she also emerged as not being on a typical 24 hour body cycle, either. Im not sure but I think that is pretty rare....but instead of her body adhereing to a 24 hour cycle like most people, hers is more of a 36-48 hour cycle. Once she wakes from her "nite" sleep- she naturally functions far beyond most peoples 16-20 hours and usually goes at least 24 hours and often 36 hours and then she will sleep for 5-8 hours. This is a very difficult thing to adjust to in a family. Marg has spoken some of ways, I think to help keep people on a better cycle.or maybe she spoke of the importance of it.......maybe she will post here.

    I myself normally only sleep 3-5 hours a nite.....and have been that way most of my life. and typically I go to sleep in wee hours. I do my best work in evenings.

    CHildren CAN have insomnia. They can also have mania or those to learn more about them.

    We here have not ever tried melatonin, but I know a lot of people on this site have. When my kids were small, many people used benadryl per doctor.....I am not sure if docs suggest that much anymore, - and I wonder if it is becuz while for a few people it might help- for a LOT of kids instead of helping them sleep- it activates them worse. (my kids get activated on it) I also know a couple people who give their child a small cup of coffee, (ironically) before bed. For a few kids it seems to help.

    For my difficult child.....we had a long bedtime routine. It actually began immediately after school. DInner.....a bath.....and then things were the same every single nite, from dinner on....a warm bath...often with lavender....low lighting.....quiet sounds, no TV....(altho in my home due to multiple diagnosis in multiple family members, this fell by wayside-husband has to have strong lites and loud sound 24-7- so the rest of us use "white noise") gentle hairbrushing, snugletime...the lighting thruout the house was dimmed along the same schedule as the sunlight outside dimmed. Baths were down mostly laying back quietly.

    Mornings were a nitemare here....and our psychiatrist eventually wrote a long term note demanding my difficult child have a later start to her school day after observing her in psychiatric hospital. Even then mornings were horrible.

    My son, on the other hand, had a different problem with sleep etc. Originally a doctor put him on ADD medications..rialin, concerta etc. We quickly found out that even the smallest dose at 5 am held on to him, makeing him unable to sleeep AT ALL or EAT......from 5 am until it wore off AFTER midnite. AT midnite on the nose, poor kid would collapse....exhausted, but he would cry in is sleep and wake often, even tho he was ex hausted.....becuz since he could not eat all day, he was ravenous. But he was also too tired to stay awake to eat. and too hungry to sleep.

    If you read other posts here, and check archives etc.....a LOT of kids here were originally diagnosis'ed one thing, and had diagnosis changed over time. some of the kids had diagnosis changed many times over the years. IIt has seemed to me for a long time that most of the kids begin with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD, progress to add on anxiety, depression etc..progress to mood disorder and or bipolar.....and then even go on to aspie, autism spectrum etc. It also seems the medications had a progression that was pretty standard, too--altho they medications have changed a lot since my now 19 began us on this path. But at the time, kids began with ritalin (or concerta or adderall) and then got antidepressants added in, and then mood stabilizers, and maybe antianxiety medications, and then antipsychotics.......

    If you read many threads here, you will find a wide variety of diagnosis'es and medication coctails that work for some kids really will find some kids that are still searching for a successful medication coctail to help will find other parents who tried all kinds of different things, some worked great, some made things worse.....mostly, I think, in my opinion you will find there is no one size fits all answer about medications or how to handle your chld.....but you will find all kinds of things you COULD try...and some might work for your child. What else you will hopefully find is people to be there for you-letting you know while this is a hard life to have a difficult child.....there are people who have been thru similar. and we can offer moral support.

    Yes, children can have insomnia. And it stinks becuz yes, schools need to have rules and guidelines etc.....and some kids do truly have a terribly difficult time conforming to the schedule. And then even if you can get such a tired child TO school- they are so tired, so sleepy- it often creates more problems at school, becuz any person who is sleep deprived has a shorter temper, is more irritable, and a sleepy child is also not able to learn, ANYWAY. and is very likely to exhibit more behavior difficulties.
    SOmething else you might look up is long term sleep deprivation. it can make people psychotic.
    SO the sleep difficulties are something else to talk to doctor in length about. Maybe a therapist can work with self relaxation techniques for your child to try?

    does your child wake after she has been asleep for a little while? Is her bed, blankets, lighting, temperature of room etc in her room conducive to sleep?
  12. Lillyth

    Lillyth New Member

    My son wets, and he is the same age as your daughter. I also suspect I am Aspie, and I wet until 11. Of course, I had emotional stuff going on too.

    Asperger's doesn't so much "flare" as they can have major meltdowns. Anything can trigger it - changes in routine, extra stress or pressure. It is a condition that needs to maintain a very precarious balance to avoid meltdowns.

    Can you tell me more about her "totally crashing", and I can tell you if it sounds familiar at all?
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh how I remember those sleepless nights. My difficult child is BiPolar (BP). He would be up til all hours (staying up with him late one night is how I found this board). He also likes his bedtime ritual-many kids do. The thing for him is he would get up with no problem-had endless amounts of energy.

    We did finally have to get medications to help him sleep. Even with his other medications, if he doesn't have this he is up till all hours.
  14. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi ok im still up....i got to sleep a bit between 2 and 4 then she woke me again she couldn't sleep so it's 7 now.

    wiped out see what i mean BiPolar (BP) fits with what i'm going through here. that's why doctor's think it's that to be quite honest. i'm exhausted.

    she slept 3 to 5 hours a night for 5 weeks was bouncing off th walll then suddenly a week or so after school started shc crazhed one a.m. at 6 and didnt'[ wake till 2 in the afternoon, then back to bed ten that night. ever since then she's been getting a little more rest and anxieties been a little lower. yet now tonight once again i think we are swinging...........

    yes room lighting, bed, all of it is the way it's supposed to be. i've been doing this for years since she is a baby yet it's getting worse the older she gets i've noticed and simply put i'm waring down.

    wiped out how did you do it? weren't you totally exhausted? that's how i am now today will be shot for me i get nasty when im tired :)
    so what am i supposed to do now ask the dr. about testing her for yet another thing? or should i just pop her on the thorazine?? ugh. assuming it's BiPolar (BP).
  15. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Jen, I think you should tell the psychiatrist you're not comfortable giving your difficult child Thorazine and you would like to try something with fewer side effects (like Seroquel, which worked for her in the past). If he says it's Thorazine or nothing, I'm afraid you'll need to find another psychiatrist.

    You can't keep going on like this. She needs sleep, and so do you.
  16. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i agree. i already have call into him. there's a place not far from here that is excellent they specifically deal with autism spect disorders. i could take difficult child there and have her tested just to be on safe side and rule it out. hate to put her through more testing but i'm not at my answer yet and dr.s don't even know what medications to use