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to want to sedate my child in the evenings!

(61 Posts)
friendlysort Thu 13-Oct-11 10:58:11

Obviously I don't mean this, am not in favour of unnecessary drugging.

However, my 6 year old DS is impossible in the evenings and it breaks my heart. Following on from the 'all sleep issues are the parents fault thread' he has always been difficult to get to sleep and we have tried everything since the day he was born.

He finds it impossible to wind down, and the more tired he gets, the more frantic and irrational he becomes and the less sleep he gets.

He eats really well, we walk to and from school plus he has plenty of other physical activity.

His concentration is poor, and far far worse when he's tired and I worry that it will have more and more impact on his abilities at school.

Last night, he was exhausted. He becomes impossible to keep still, can't sit down for story - makes snorting noises, contorts face, thrashes legs about, kicks off covers. If I leave him to it, he gets up and starts emptying cupboards.

It is proper hyper active behaviour, although he is perfectly fine, bright and lovely when not tired (although always very energetic)

I eventually got him to go to sleep at about 8:15, but he was still up at 6, thrashing around, being fidgety and grumpy.

All of a sudden I just feel so sad about it, I don't like him when he is like this and I feel like I am letting him down.

I just wish I could do something to knock him out for 12 hours so he can reset himself and get back to his normal lovely self.

[sleep deprived and emotional cavat]

I am not actually going to drug him

mousyfledermaus Thu 13-Oct-11 11:00:10

poor you.
have you seen a gp? or talked to the school?
sorry I don't have more helpful suggestions but you both sound exhausted.

TiarasTimeOutsAndTantrums Thu 13-Oct-11 11:00:31

I did with DS. Health visitor told me about a medicine/sedative thing to help him get back into a routine. Only used it a few nights and it was a godsend as he was a little shit all night and a day as he wouldn't sleep. Not everyone will agree but it saved my sanity and I got my son back instead of the devil he'd become

throckenholt Thu 13-Oct-11 11:01:21

Why do you think he is so tired ? Mine are all a pain to get to sleep if they are overtired (as I am myself !). I think I would try and keep after school really quiet and low key and give him a chance to wind down.

I often wish my lot came with an oo/off switch or at the very least a volume control smile

TiarasTimeOutsAndTantrums Thu 13-Oct-11 11:01:46

Devil may have been a bit of a strong word actually. Replace with challenging, lively little angel grin

friendlysort Thu 13-Oct-11 11:03:03

He has just started year one so I think that is a struggle for him. I find it difficult to find a line between his need to blow off steam and overdoing it.

He is a very active boy and needs lots of running around (like a labrador in so many ways wink.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 13-Oct-11 11:04:47

I think you should talk to a GP. A lot of babies have sleep problems but they usually fade out by age 6. If he hasn't got a good sleep pattern established by now and it's affecting his behaviour and ability to concentrate, a short course of prescribed sedatives may be necessary to help him. Insomnia is horrible but treatable condition.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 13-Oct-11 11:05:28

BTW... sleeping 8.15 to 6am is quite normal...

mousyfledermaus Thu 13-Oct-11 11:05:38

can you move bedtime a bit forward? maybe if you catch a better window iyswim, it is easier for both of you.

throckenholt Thu 13-Oct-11 11:09:25

I think the trick is detecting when the running around to let off steam is actually the I am so tired I don't know what I am doing thing.

My lot actually get more and more hyper the more tired they get - when what they need is sleep but they don't realise that themselves.

Maybe be stricter at enforcing in bed by 7.30 (or whatever) and lights out maybe 15 minutes later.

aldiwhore Thu 13-Oct-11 11:11:24

8.15 to 6am is perfectly normal imo. For a 6 year old anyway.

We play 'just dance' before a bath and before quite settling down story time, to get rid of that pre-bedtime frenzy. Timing is crucial, after their bath they're upstairs in their PJ's, in bed whilst they're still warm from the bath!
My kids have a sleep 'lull' at about 4.30 and its very tempting to put them to bed then, but then they'll wake in the middle of the night.

I would discuss this with your child, seriously. If he needs to let off the last of his steam just before bed, have a dance/run around for 20 minutes and ALLOW it, explain that after crazy time, its quiet time. My eldest LOVES snuggling down in bed, my youngest would rather stay awake 24/7, but even he gets the routine now.

worraliberty Thu 13-Oct-11 11:13:36

I don't think I'd attempt to put him to bed til around 8pm at that age. Some kids just don't need the same amount of sleep as other kids do.

Is he allowed to play out in the street?

Hardgoing Thu 13-Oct-11 11:14:58

I am not sure it is the amount of time that is the problem, my dd1 started only needing about 10 hours of sleep from 6/7, she was also very active in the day and had/has difficulty winding down. I have tried hard to get her to go to sleep earlier, but it doesn't work, and we both end up frustrated, so now I let her go to bed at 8- 8.30 and she falls asleep between 9.30-10pm, and she wakes 7.30-8am.

He does sound overtired, but not all children can wind down immediately. If he's thrashing and jumping about, I would leave him to it, read your story and then go, as long as he stays in his room, that's ok for me. My daughter (now 7/8) often writes stories, makes models, cuts up pieces of paper and designs things at this time, as well as reading, I don't want her to and I wish she would go straight to bed, but ultimately, short of chemically coshing her (which I don't think is needed as she is not over-tired all day), I don't see how you can physically make a child sleep.

My other goes to bed at 7.30 and sleeps 12 hours.

Children are not all the same, it sounds like he needs a long wind-down time, winding himself down and this may be different than the story, kiss and sleep scenario you had in mind.

You could try the GP too, just to check nothing else is going on.

Hardgoing Thu 13-Oct-11 11:17:15

I'm not saying don't do the bedtime routine, by the way, it's really important to wind them down, but just that not all children then magically fall asleep at the end of it. By 6, he may need a bit less sleep, even if he is tired/a bit grumpy in the day (mine are like that sometimes, regardless of sleep).

aldiwhore Thu 13-Oct-11 11:19:06

Agree hardgoing though I do what works for my kids, I remember that from a very young age I'd be sat up in bed long after lights out with my torch reading books, playing with stuff, generally having quiet time, falling asleep and waking with bits of craft stuff stuck all over me!

SparklyCloud Thu 13-Oct-11 11:38:29

Try this.
Give him nice hot bath at 6.45pm.
Into pjs and then get some Medised down him straight after bath. Let him try and wind down for half an hour with a book or cbeebies bedtime stories if he prefers tv (record or watch online)If he likes warm drink, try a small cup of Horlicks at about 7.30.
only do this for 3 nights.It might give you and him some calmer pre-bed time and break this cycle. If this does not work, try the same with Piriton syrup. Oh and tell the pharmacist when you buy it (if you are asked) its for allergy sniffles, not to get him to sleep!
Good luck

friendlysort Thu 13-Oct-11 11:44:16

I am fine with him having less sleep - would actually love it if he wanted to stay up and read or something. But he really is overtired and very hyper. He physically can't stay still.

I try to get him to bed earlier but I have DS2 as well and always try to have some extra time with DS1 after DS2 has gone to sleep (around 7 / 7:15). I can't really put DS2 to bed any earlier and it doesn't work well to have them both having stories together (they squabble).

friendlysort Thu 13-Oct-11 11:46:49

sparklycoud, I might try that. I'm nervous about Medised because when he was a toddler (back in the good old days when it was allowed) it would often have a strange effect on him and make him quite violent hmm.

Have never tried Piriton though so could give that a go.

cheekeymonster Thu 13-Oct-11 11:55:53

Just a warning Piriton actually makes my DD hyper - really.

This might sound a bit 'out there' but does he snore?

My DN was a child like this and turned out he wasn't getting 'quality' sleep and therefore was constantly overtired and uncontrollable.

Tonsils out so much better but a soft palate still gives him occassional problems with sleep apnea.

Hardgoing Thu 13-Oct-11 11:57:22

He's a bit young to read though, so that's probably why he gets out of bed and starts emptying the cupboards.

I would go to the docs just to see if there's anything that can break the cycle.

But 10 hours sleep a night probably isn't going to cause too much concern, and it is quite normal for children to get cranky/cry/be a bit hyper at that time, I find some nights my other dd2 who is 6 just cries hysterically at some imagined slight or serving the food on the wrong plate/touching other food. She is tired but won't automatically fall asleep at 7pm.

friendlysort Thu 13-Oct-11 11:58:13

No he doesn't snore - but he does get incredibly hot! Has never been one for snuggling under covers and often when I go into him at night his hair and back will be soaked with sweat.

babyheavingmassofmaggots Thu 13-Oct-11 12:00:46

My DS sometimes has melatonin to help him sleep. You can only get it from a paediatrician though, but it makes a huge difference.

Its not a drug per se, but a hormone that he's a bit short on and it helps him get back into a sleeping pattern.

We also found that moving his bedtime forward by an hour helped as it meant that he was in bed before he got his second wind.

RickGhastley Thu 13-Oct-11 12:13:43

I would seek advice from your GP rather than giving him piritin or medised straight away.

BTW agree that Medised makes some children crazy, my niece is a loon on it!

What is your bedtime routine like? DS is hard to wind down so we do:

Short time playing quiet stuff - a jigsaw or lego
Long bath with lavender oil
PJs, 3 stories and milk in bed

Takes ages but it does chill him out.

friendlysort Thu 13-Oct-11 12:26:59

We've had the same bedtime routine for ever and I think that is part of the problem.

But now - either after school activity or park. Then they have tea, watch some TV.

DS1 and DS2 have bath about 6:30. It's not relaxing at all with both of them splashing around and generally causing mayhem. I'm also trying to get DS1 to do spellings in the bath as it's the only time he will do them. (I do question myself about this)

Then DS1 does something (colouring, lego etc) whilst DS2 has stories. Sometimes DS1 will have stories with DH if he's around, sometimes he will listen to DS2's.

DS2 then goes to bed (very snuggly and happy) then DS1 has his stories, followed by 2 songs. We also have to fit his school reading in somewhere. We had some success with a relaxation tape on the ipod which worked for a few weeks but now he gets angry if I try to put it on.

If I tell him to lie down and close his eyes he cries that his eyes don't work properly or that his body won't stay still sad.

CaptainNancy Thu 13-Oct-11 12:30:22

As I said on that other thread- we have issues, and it sounds like a very similar situation.
DD is better when she goes to bed earlier and now she's Y1, she is going to bed at 7, to sleep around 7:30.

There was a period where we had to put her to bed before the toddler, so that they could have individual attention- is there something that DS2 could be amused with while you gave DS1 20 minutes of one-to-one and bed first?

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