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10year old son with sleep anxiety/ OCD

(3 Posts)
Anonymum40 Tue 27-Dec-16 21:15:26

My son has got very nervy recently, and has become completely pre-occupied with his sleep. He worries about not being able to fall asleep, waking up in the night or waking up too early and then being tired and it 'ruining' the next day. He talks about it all the time. No matter what we say, nothing helps. At the moment in the holidays it doesn't matter how long he sleeps either but that doesn't help his anxiety.

He has had a few issues with his teacher since September. He thinks she picks on him and doesn't like him. At one stage she blatantly told him she didn't believe him over some issue where I think he must have been telling the truth and he just couldn't handle it. He has taken himself to see the home school link worker to talk about it a few times. He's quite clever and popular but does have a tendency to talk too much which gets him into trouble. He can also be very strong willed and stubborn.

It strikes me as an OCD-like issue, which I suffered from myself from around his age and it pains me to see him suffering. There seems to be nothing that helps, apart from sitting for ages talking him down from his anxiety with common sense, but he soon works himself up again.

Any advice???

user1477282676 Wed 28-Dec-16 06:23:20

Anxiety is a terrible thing...I feel for you both. Before making an appointment with CAHMS I would consider trying to tool him up with strategies to help him take control.

The "catastrophizing" he's doing is a common sign of anxiety and I have found that for me, what helps is planning and organisation.

I would buy him an alarm clock...show him how to set it and help him learn about the ways in which we can all help ourselves to sleep better. Such as

Avoding sweets and sugary snacks and drinks after 4.00pm
Avoiding screens after a certain time
Having a bath before bed
Herbal tea

The herbal tea is a good one I have found for my DD aged 12...she's a bit funny over her sleep and for her, a nice herbal tea designed to aid sleep helps her...I wonder if it has a placebo effect...either way it helps.

With tools and actions he can take, he will feel more in control.

He might also benefit from keeping a journal.

Anonymum40 Wed 28-Dec-16 17:19:45

Thanks User, lots of really helpful tips there - you really seem to understand the problem! I've had a chat with him about your suggestions and we're going to see how it helps. He likes the journal idea. He's also trying a 'Sleep Easy' Radox bath tonight... Hopefully this phase doesn't last too long, though knowing him he'll just find something new to worry about!

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