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-   -   5 year old stays awake (http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/community/showthread.php?t=526052)

Godslilgirl225 09-11-2018 04:06 AM

5 year old stays awake
 
He will stay awake all night if he can find enough reasons....heís always been rough in the sleep department since birth. But heís been in his own bed in his own room for 2 1/2 years now.
Things have gotten worse and worse and Iím so exhausted Iím desperate. He wakes me up over nothing all night long. In and out of his room. For example he woke up at 1:30 this morning for a drink....and proceeded to take 5 potty breaks following that sip of water and never went back to sleep. How is this even possible??? He doesnít nap. His sleep deprivation is affecting everything too. He canít even manage to go from the house to the car without a meltdown.
Iím majorly summarizing here bc itís so much to explain. He is anxious and obsessive with his belongings. And refuses to ever be alone. Which as an introverted person myself, is exhausting. He talks nonstop. But when I sit down to play with him (pretend or a game) he wonít play. He would rather talk at me or interrupt his little brother who pretends off on his own happily most of the day.
He also has chronic upper and lower respiratory illness so he does 45mins of meds twice daily. Heís just beginning pre-k at home. And we have always been strict with diet and play time and sleep time etc. we follow through and are consistent. Always have been.
The only way to even get him to initially fall asleep is two childrenís chewable melatonin tabs. But he never stays asleep. But on the rare days when he happens to sleep a decent night and take a nap too, heís an incredible and totally different kid!
Someone please tell me Iím not alone here. Do I take him to a therapist for the anxiety and aggressive behaviors (mostly emotionally aggressive with all of us, but he will be physically aggressive too if anyone dares touch or move his things..)
Disclaimer-his Dad had an emotional burn out and was gone from the house for 2months at the start of 2018 which has compounded all of these issues that DS was already having.
Iím completely at a loss...Iím so sorry this is a crazy long post [emoji15][emoji51]


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ThreeKids 09-11-2018 04:35 AM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
You can get an extended melatonin, but I'd think the chewable would stay in the mouth and give an extended effect, too, if it's not washed out (that's how it does for me).

Don't feel bad about the melatonin. It took me ten years of exhaustion trying to stay awake to put my son to sleep to realize you can fall asleep one of two ways: melatonin or exhaustion. If someone won't produce melatonin naturally, then the choices are supplementation of melatonin or exhaustion.

I don't think ten years of being exhausted so much were good for my son's development and he's really blossomed in the years he's been sleeping better. After three years of supplementation, he's going to sleep on a more natural rhythm (as a teenager, yes) and will ask for melatonin if he thinks it's not going to happen.

Godslilgirl225 09-11-2018 04:45 AM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
Threekidsówhat melatonin did/do you give him? Weíve been using zarbees brand 1mg chewable. Amazon isnít showing an extended release option for kids. His Peds pulmo said we could give him up to 6mg. He needs sleep. He has grown Phsyically emotionally since we started melatonin a year ago and he was sleeping better. Since heís ditched the naps though the lack of sleep is building up again.


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CelticJourney 09-11-2018 05:35 AM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
I have a few questions before I can ponder a suggestion:

You say you are strict with his diet, play time and sleep time. Can you expand on that? Do you mean very strict exact times, or do you mean you make sure his eats well, has plenty of opportunity to play, etc?

Also I'm confused by your what you described - he interrupts play to talk to you. If his need is to talk, to communicate, etc then why would that be a bad thing? It sounds like he has a lot going on in his head and really need to talk about some of it.



Beyond that I would suggest first you see your pediatrician. Ask for them to check his thyroid numbers (my son has an autoimmune condition that caused rages untreated). And yes, a therapist might be able to give perspective on all of this. Perhaps he is afraid that if he sleeps, someone else will disappear from his life, even temporarily.

mamacat 09-11-2018 07:21 AM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
I would also try adding magnesium. maybe in the form of a warm Epsom salt bath before bedtime. Since it seems to be anxiety,need for reassurance related, would make a small bed in your room where he can come and knows it if he needs to. Sometimes knowing they have that safety net option is enough to help them go to sleep more easily and stay in their beds more. This is quite common for that age

Virginia 09-11-2018 07:41 AM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
First, that must be so exhausting :hugheart

There is a lot more going on than just sleep issues :yes
Yes, I would take him to my pediatrician and possibly a therapist for the anxiety and aggressive behaviors.

charla 09-11-2018 08:00 AM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
Yes, I would definitely start with the pediatrician and therapist.



One of my children had issues sleeping and counseling for anxiety along with taking calcium/magnesium at bedtime really helped. There are other health issues that played into it, too, so that was important for me to address as well.

Soliloquy 09-11-2018 09:04 AM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
He could be stuck on fight-or-fight (sympathetic nervous system out of balance with parasympathetic). Kids can be born that way if mom was stressed during pregnancy. They can also get stuck in that mode from stress and trauma, which you alluded too.

Other things sound like developmental delays which could be tied in to the nervous system being very off balance, or at least exacerbated by it.

I would look for time-release melatonin as a start. I wouldn't look for a child's version since you know how much you can give him. Just look for time release that's within the dosage limits. Too much melatonin can cause nightmares so I'd start low.

Several people have recommended a program called "turn around anxiety." That might be helpful.

I wouldn't push school just yet unless he really enjoys it.

I had a child who behaved very similarly to what you described, with some differences. It took a look time to figure things out but we're making progress. Expect healing to take time.

Godslilgirl225 09-11-2018 10:42 AM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CelticJourney (Post 6155627)
I have a few questions before I can ponder a suggestion:

You say you are strict with his diet, play time and sleep time. Can you expand on that? Do you mean very strict exact times, or do you mean you make sure his eats well, has plenty of opportunity to play, etc?

Also I'm confused by your what you described - he interrupts play to talk to you. If his need is to talk, to communicate, etc then why would that be a bad thing? It sounds like he has a lot going on in his head and really need to talk about some of it.



Beyond that I would suggest first you see your pediatrician. Ask for them to check his thyroid numbers (my son has an autoimmune condition that caused rages untreated). And yes, a therapist might be able to give perspective on all of this. Perhaps he is afraid that if he sleeps, someone else will disappear from his life, even temporarily.

Sorry! I'll explain :) I have never been able to have "strict" scheduling beyond knowing that lunch is between 11/1130, nap is at 1:00 bedtime is between 7:30/8. I meant that I am careful to make sure he's eating a balanced healthy diet, and has plenty of outside time and play time. He also has small "chores" like feeding the dog twice a day and cleaning up toys.

I don't mind if he wants to talk, we do tons and tons of talking during the day. But if I am trying to make a phone call or help his little brother or quickly accomplish loading the dishes he will persistently (and it feels like emotional aggression to both his dad and I) and relentlessly talk to us to the point of exasperation. A 10minute task ends up taking 25minutes because of the constant interruptions of "look mommy" "watch mommy" or "come here". I don't like having to constantly say "wait a minute" but he is only content and self contained if the tv is on...otherwise he is literally constantly talking. And if we tell him that its time to go pretend on his own or quietly play, he won't. His dad and I can't even have a conversation without him cutting in to ask questions or interrupt. Just typing this out and reading it back to myself, it sounds like we have some cracking down to do behaviorally. But I'm at a loss. I have no idea what to try. He won't leave anybody alone. Now on top of that he won't sleep.
We are in a place where we can't afford a counselor unless insurance completely covers it. And the situation with his dad and I was so emotionally ugly I'm afraid to let a counselor in on it. His dad has been home for 6 months now and everything is calm and back to how it was (minus our finances)..I keep hoping he will calm down too. But he hasn't.
Does that make sense?

---------- Post added at 01:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:29 PM ----------

Quote:

Originally Posted by mamacat (Post 6155638)
I would also try adding magnesium. maybe in the form of a warm Epsom salt bath before bedtime. Since it seems to be anxiety,need for reassurance related, would make a small bed in your room where he can come and knows it if he needs to. Sometimes knowing they have that safety net option is enough to help them go to sleep more easily and stay in their beds more. This is quite common for that age

He used to sleep with us. Its how we survived his hourly waking for the first 2years of his life. Then he requested his own bed/room after his brother was born, and started preschool, which ramped up his illnesses. He was so sick he had no choice but to sleep. Now if he's near people he literally can't be quiet and shut off his mind. Ever. He was in our room for a month when we had to replace the flooring in his room after the humidifier leaked. No one slept. And our intimacy was affected too...(I know its more than the bedroom, but sometimes thats the only private place, ya know?) I have anxiety thinking about the possibility of letting him back in our room. I just need a break. I love my kid, but my nerves are frayed.

---------- Post added at 01:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:36 PM ----------

Quote:

Originally Posted by Soliloquy (Post 6155666)
He could be stuck on fight-or-fight (sympathetic nervous system out of balance with parasympathetic). Kids can be born that way if mom was stressed during pregnancy. They can also get stuck in that mode from stress and trauma, which you alluded too.

Other things sound like developmental delays which could be tied in to the nervous system being very off balance, or at least exacerbated by it.

I would look for time-release melatonin as a start. I wouldn't look for a child's version since you know how much you can give him. Just look for time release that's within the dosage limits. Too much melatonin can cause nightmares so I'd start low.

Several people have recommended a program called "turn around anxiety." That might be helpful.

I wouldn't push school just yet unless he really enjoys it.

I had a child who behaved very similarly to what you described, with some differences. It took a look time to figure things out but we're making progress. Expect healing to take time.

Would it be rude to ask what you ended up finding? I sometimes wonder if he has ADD or some form of autism/asburgers sometimes. He is so incredibly smart but he will not under any circumstances calm down and focus. We can't play board games or color or even jump on the trampoline or ride bikes for longer than 5minutes before he's moved on to the next thing. The only thing that holds his focus and he will actually stop talking for a little bit is when the tv is on. But that can't be on all day, thats insane. I admit I turn it on simply to have a brain break and some emotional distance though. He will let his little brother play without pestering him to the point of tears, and I can finish my coffee and put dinner together for a minute without constant chatter/interruption. My "high needs" baby has become and even higher needs kid...Sorry for the whine. I'm so tired. Also, his dads new job is 12-15 hour days. So its just me from the time they're up until they go back down during the week...and then he doesn't sleep, but DH needs to, so I handle the nighttime issues too...

Katigre 09-11-2018 10:57 AM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
Has he been evaluated for developmental delays or issues like ADHD? It really sounds like he's got some other issues that are major factors in his behavior and sleep.

BestLaidPlans 09-11-2018 10:58 AM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Katigre (Post 6155689)
Has he been evaluated for developmental delays or issues like ADHD? It really sounds like he's got some other issues that are major factors in his behavior and sleep.

These were my exact thoughts.

mamacat 09-11-2018 11:01 AM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
I understand that not wanting him back in there but sometimes knowng they can in their own sleeping bag on floor (not your bed and only if he doesnt wake you up)keeps them from actually doing it.Just for a season. Would also try to think of an activity for him to engage in and focus on before you are going to do something ele like working on a Lego set. Be firm about redirecting him. After I wash the dishes I will talk to you for 10 minutes so I can really listen but until then you need to go do xyor z

Godslilgirl225 09-11-2018 11:22 AM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mamacat (Post 6155693)
I understand that not wanting him back in there but sometimes knowng they can in their own sleeping bag on floor (not your bed and only if he doesnt wake you up)keeps them from actually doing it.Just for a season. Would also try to think of an activity for him to engage in and focus on before you are going to do something ele like working on a Lego set. Be firm about redirecting him. After I wash the dishes I will talk to you for 10 minutes so I can really listen but until then you need to go do xyor z

Ill pray about the sleeping bag idea. I have a dear friend with 5 older kids who has suggested the same thing. His inability to let me sleep though scares me. I covet those few broken hours. And I've tried those other suggestions too, but not very consistently. The more tired I am, the more sloppy my mothering and mind are these days. I also used to engage him more one on one, but I'm so completely worn out/burned out by my own kid. I hate even admitting that.

---------- Post added at 02:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:16 PM ----------

Quote:

Originally Posted by Katigre (Post 6155689)
Has he been evaluated for developmental delays or issues like ADHD? It really sounds like he's got some other issues that are major factors in his behavior and sleep.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BestLaidPlans (Post 6155690)
These were my exact thoughts.

Thats where my mind goes too...He's so extremely smart, and gets obsessive with certain things. But then, I second guess myself and don't want to start down that route bc we've been on this long road with his upper and lower respiratory issues for 2years without answers...I have already had one local specialist accuse me of trying to get attention and that he wasn't actually sick (two weeks before he was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia for the second time...) I am fearful. Fearful of more tests and drs and explaining and scrutiny and bills too.
If we had family support on either side all of this would be so much easier to endure perhaps? God has given us a village. I simply second guess myself with FEARS.
Where and how would I even begin to explore this? My biggest hitch is the possibility of his behavior being side effects...He is physically delayed from all of the oral and inhaled steroids, and he has spent so much time stuck at home without contact with others beyond occasional church services when he's healthy, that he's emotionally behind too.

sweetpeasmommy 09-11-2018 11:46 AM

5 year old stays awake
 
I wasnít going to mention it but since you did he sounds just like my son who has autism at that age. The getting up for the day in the middle of the night, the not being able to entertain self, the lack of awareness when someone else is talking or busy, wishing and hoping he would watch tv so my brain could function. And he never let me sleep when he was up either. Mine did start sleeping through the night regularly at 6.5 yo and that continued until about 10 when it got ruined again. We started meds for sleep at that point because melatonin no longer was enough.

If you can give up to 6 mg, maybe try giving him 2-3 chewables as soon as he wakes. Or try the timed release, but I doubt it comes in a chewable.


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Soliloquy 09-11-2018 03:16 PM

Re: 5 year old stays awake
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Godslilgirl225 (Post 6155684)
I don't mind if he wants to talk, we do tons and tons of talking during the day. But if I am trying to make a phone call or help his little brother or quickly accomplish loading the dishes he will persistently (and it feels like emotional aggression to both his dad and I) and relentlessly talk to us to the point of exasperation. A 10minute task ends up taking 25minutes because of the constant interruptions of "look mommy" "watch mommy" or "come here". I don't like having to constantly say "wait a minute" but he is only content and self contained if the tv is on...otherwise he is literally constantly talking. And if we tell him that its time to go pretend on his own or quietly play, he won't. His dad and I can't even have a conversation without him cutting in to ask questions or interrupt. Just typing this out and reading it back to myself, it sounds like we have some cracking down to do behaviorally. But I'm at a loss. I have no idea what to try. He won't leave anybody alone. Now on top of that he won't sleep.

I do not think you need to crack down. That would be counter productive. My opinion is that you need to reframe your perspective. He does sound like he has some issues that need fixing/healing (from the stress you alluded too) but there also may be organic differences in the way his brain works.

Remind yourself that he's not doing this on purpose. He's trying to meet a need. He doesn't know this needs is atypical and it drives most people nuts. He needs help to learn (over time, probably a long time) how to communicate his needs and learn to meet many of his needs on his own.

Get the sleep thing sorted out by whatever kind method your can. Sleeping bag in your room that he can get in if he's silent. Melatonin. Magnesium. Essential oils. Herbs. There are things to try.

My experiences with counseling at that young age were that it wasn't worth my time. I wouldn't feel badly that you can't afford it. There's lots of reading and research you can do.

Some books to look for at your library

The Explosive Child (you didn't mention rage but it still might be helpful)
Different by Clarkson
The Nemechek Protocol (dietary changes that night help, not too difficult)

Aspberger's and level 1 autism w/o cognitive or language delays are pretty much synonymous now. So you can look for info on both. He does sound like it fits but this is just a message board, you'll be a better evaluator than us.

---------- Post added at 03:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:14 PM ----------

Gah, sorry for all the typos.


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