Trouble getting to sleep--

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lovejud, May 14, 2008.

  1. lovejud

    lovejud MovingOn

    difficult child 6 y.o. has een on Adderall XR 15 mg for about 6 weeks now following a month on Metadate. husband and I like the few advantages of Adderall over the Metadate. (both worked well). However, it is getting increasingly harder for difficult child to wind down at night. To the point that I feel like I did when he was 2 and had just moved to a "big boy" bed. We tried Melatonin for a few weeks. I didn't notice much of a difference. I know that he is somewhat taking advantage of me at this point--constantly coming out of his bedroom when I tell him to go back. It's always some request for something--water, bandaid, bathroom, more water, new stuffed animal, more water, etc.--and on and on until I've had enough and I get mad and yell and shut his door all the way. We have a small house with all the bedrooms coming off the living area. The nights that we go to our room at his bedroom I seem to have less trouble--but the nights that I have stuff to do or any activity or even a light being left on in the living area--he is up until midnight or so. I've altered his bedtime thinking maybe it was too early--no help, so I moved it back because the sooner we start the "ritual" the sooner he conks out. I pull his door almost shut when I put him to bed (at his request because he states he is scared of the dark--has nightlite but states isn't bright enough--any more light and he plays for hours). I can't not function through the house. Sometimes I just have things that have to be done. I hate resorting to "being mean". I feel so bad to hear him screaming. Am I just going to have to work through it? Well he get it and stop the screaming like tough love? Any ideas?
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    You say it is easier for him when everyone settles down when he does? How about using that time for your quiet time? Turn down the lights, put the home to bed. If he is a deep sleeper, you can go about your work after he falls asleep?

    Maybe he finds any noise distracting and doesn't want to miss out on any action. Some people need complete silence to settle down.

    Close his door all the way before you turn on anymore lights. You can reopen it when you are ready for bed.

    You can spend your quiet time reading, folding clothes, writing checks to pay bills, journalling difficult child's day, planning a week's of meals, ect. in your room so difficult child feels the house is quiet and he can settle down in the calm.

    If he is a light sleeper, this may not work.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We've had to adjust our routine to accommodate difficult child's for similar reasons. When they were about that age, we had the same problems. Part of it was the medications not out of their system completely. Part of it was just their anxiety. Sometimes difficult child 2 still has trouble settling down.

    So our evenings are very quiet once the difficult child's head for bed. No TV, no loud chores, no music. husband goes to bed early, and I usually end up on the computer, since it's in the main room and that way I can hear if anybody gets up or needs something. The difficult child's know I'm up and in the next room, so that is reassuring for them. After they're asleep for a little while, I can sometimes turn the TV on low and enjoy something for a bit.

    Sometimes I feel like I live on another planet because of this routine because I don't have shows on during prime time like the rest of the world. So when my pals start yammering about American Idol or Dancing with the Stars or whatever the rest of the world watches, I'm sitting there clueless... or should I say, even more clueless than usual!
  4. Christy

    Christy New Member


    Sounds like a combination of the medication and a power struggle. Is it possible to give the medication any earlier in the day to help get it out of the system before bedtime? You may already do this, but have a calming down period before bed. A bubblebath, a healthy snack, a bedtime book, have a last call before bedtime when difficult child can choose his animals, get his drinks, take care of all the stall tactics, and then make it clear that after that no getting out of bed. Make the focus staying in bed rather than falling asleep. Stand your ground. If he truely can't sleep allow him to listen to soft music or a book on CD Let him play with his stuffed animals in bed. Stress that it is quiet play. My difficult child often has long conversations with his stuffed animals at night or acts out a story with them. As long as he is in bed resting that works for me.

    Another possibility, and I fought this for a long time before giving in to husband. A TV in the room. Sometimes if difficult child is wired after a crazy day and we haven't been able to wind down. We allow him to watch an appropriate dvd (something without much action and nothing scary). It saves us a fight and more often than not, difficult child is sound asleep long before the end of the movie.

    I understand what others are saying about keeping the house quiet but I would be reluctant to modify my activities too much as these precious hours betweeen difficult child's bedtime and ours is the only downtime husband and I have.

    Good luck!
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a combination of the medication and a power struggle.

    I agree.
    My husband gives difficult child his medications around 6:15 a.m. They wear off almost to the minute, 12 hrs later.

    I have to take away privileges if he comes out and annoys me.
    When he was very little, he woke up the whole house. I think that's when I first joined this bb ...
  6. lovejud

    lovejud MovingOn

    Thanks all for the responses. I do realize it has progressed to a power struggle. I know that I have to knuckle down and not give in. But those first few days sometimes up to a week of "adjusting" can be trying for me. I don't care what he does really as long as he is in his room and not too loud. His sister is next door and we don't want her woke up. He does listen to a CD to help wind down. He can chose from a library of appropriate books on CD or wind down music. We go into our room if we are watching t.v. The biggest issue is my newest baby is at 7 weeks in the crying stage and we have to walk her around to soothe her. Even if we stay in our room you can hear her across the house. And when you add difficult child's 5th request for something on top of the crying baby, the t.v., and husband's "I don't know what to do to calm her down"--I get exasperated. I might institute a bedtime pass again. I got the idea from somewhere that he was allowed one pass to get whatever he needed and then he had to turn the pass in and stay in his room. This way he had the choice for whatever and control of what was going on. He did sometimes take advantage of that as well. But not as bad.