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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Urgent HELP please DS is really frightened of going to sleep

(35 Posts)
Yurtgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 22:00:35

I am stuck (being a lone parent doesnt help)

DS is 7 with aspergers

He has been upstairs since 8 moaning that he cant sleep

Now he is crying desperate tears, frightened to go to sleep cos of bad dreams
He is determined never to go to sleep again

What can I do?
He normally sleeps well-ish, frequently with the aid of melatonin (which he has already had this evening)

Ive got to go back to him cos I promised Id only be 2 mins

Back in a few if he will let me

DottyDot Thu 23-Jul-09 22:03:58

can you bring him downstairs, cup of milk and watch a cartoon/something he likes.

not the usual routine I appreciate, but might help calm him down?

sorry - hope things are OK.

MarmMummy Thu 23-Jul-09 22:04:10

Poor you.

My DS is much younger (3) but when he was worried about dreams I sprinkled magic fairy dust on his pillow to ward them off (lavender talc grin)

Is he too old for this approach?

fishie Thu 23-Jul-09 22:04:33

yurt i have seen and been on loads of sleep threads this week. it is something to do with light or new moon or weather... adults have gone a bit odd too. can you sit with him, or bring him into your bed?

Heated Thu 23-Jul-09 22:08:06

Would he accept the idea of a dream catcher or you physically booting out pantomime stylee whatever it is that's scaring him? Or as other have said, a drink and a biscuit and a funny story?

Elibean Thu 23-Jul-09 22:08:28

I've had this on occasion with my dds, both younger and neither aspergers, and (obviously) both girls, so no idea if same things could help. But:

I let them know I understand they are frightened, so they feel heard.

Then I have tried different things, which work at different times: with dd1, I get her to imagine a safe place 'if there was a safe place for you to sleep, what would it look like? Who would be there with you?' etc and just talk her through it till she gets calm and sleepy.

With dd2, who is scared to sleep in case she dreams of monsters, we draw her 'monsters' and 'talk' to them - she calms down as soon as she has expressed wahtever it is thats scaring her, and made it more concrete.

With an older child, I think I would ask them what would help? And makes suggestions: would putting a light on help? Would me staying upstairs for a while help? Would certain toys/objects to protect you help? etc etc.

Sorry if none of that is helpful, its so hard to think of things without knowing your ds personally!

Yurtgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 22:08:38

Thanks for responses all - tis helping me to get some perspective

He is still crying tho, so am I!!! (Pathetic mummy that I am!)

He is listening to 10mins of an audio tape, to give him happy thoughts hopefully

DottyDot Thu 23-Jul-09 22:08:49

meant to say I sometimes get ds1 (7) down for a bit after bedtime if he can't settle. he likes having half an hour on the settee with me on our own (usally watching Corrie!) then goes up and gets to sleep with no problem.

the weather is a bit odd at the moment - close and sticky.

Elibean Thu 23-Jul-09 22:10:41

I also tell mine that everyone has days when they don't want to sleep, everyone has bad dreams sometimes, it will pass.

That mostly helps me remember it will pass, and that no one ever died of lack of sleep wink

LeonieSoSleepy Thu 23-Jul-09 22:12:02

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Yurtgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 22:13:24

All ideas are good folks honestly

He says he has been having horrid dreams for ages but hasnt really expressed this until 9:50 this evening

He has been really unhappy at school for ages - hence the plan is that he is most probably not going back to school in september (home ed instead)

LeonieSoSleepy Thu 23-Jul-09 22:14:35

Message withdrawn

Jbck Thu 23-Jul-09 22:14:44

I give DD1, also 7 and a bit sensitive, a particular teddy that I have told to watch over her and not let any bad dreams come in her room.

I've also told her that she knows she's dreaming and she'd to tell the bad things in her dream to go away that she's knows they ar enot real and can't harm her. Both have managed to calm her enough to get to sleep.

If bad dreams do come we deal with them at the time and depending on severity, I let her in my bed or get up to sit on the ocuch for a while whatever works. I think removing him from his room for a little while might help.

could he even lie beside you whilst you're MNetting?

Yurtgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 22:16:26

Yet more good ideas - thankyou all

I think that tomorrow I am going to give him a big bit of paper and get him to draw/write down all of his terrible thoughts/dreams/frustrations about school/other hassles - hopefully getting it all down on paper will help

I am envy that lavender and anti monster sprays will no longer do the trick with him!

LeonieSoSleepy Thu 23-Jul-09 22:16:49

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Yurtgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 22:34:34

15mins of Narnia on cassette tape and I think he is going to be ok, for now anyway

Yurtgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 22:34:56

Pants he is coming down the stairs again...........

LeonieSoSleepy Thu 23-Jul-09 22:43:44

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Yurtgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 22:45:04

Arrrgh - Ive told him that tommorrow we will draw/write all his angst down on a big bit of paper but...... although he thinks that is an ok idea.......

He is insisting that he wont go to sleep at all tonight

Crying, screaming and his legs are trembling

Genuine fear


Yurtgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 22:45:17

Arrrgh - Ive told him that tommorrow we will draw/write all his angst down on a big bit of paper but...... although he thinks that is an ok idea.......

He is insisting that he wont go to sleep at all tonight

Crying, screaming and his legs are trembling

Genuine fear


Yurtgirl Thu 23-Jul-09 22:46:00

Why did that post twice?

He is walking round the house trying to find somewhere to hide from the dream hmm

LeonieSoSleepy Thu 23-Jul-09 22:46:56

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MinkyBorage Thu 23-Jul-09 22:47:36

no proper advice for you really, but these night lights are brilliant, my dds have them. They switch off after 45 mins and project stars all over the ceiling. I often go in to see dds in the night and the nightlight is on because they have turned them on when they have woken up.

fishie Thu 23-Jul-09 22:48:03

when do you go to bed? both together, some soothing music.

this is a time to get through, not worry about what it might mean in terms of precedent or cause.

LeonieSoSleepy Thu 23-Jul-09 22:49:46

Message withdrawn

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