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My 10yr old is only getting 2hrs sleep per night only!

(32 Posts)
Spacegal Mon 09-Nov-15 03:38:19

Please I need advice and I may feel better if there are other parents who have kids that are around my Daughters age who aren't getting hardly any sleep! Firstly it started off with her being tired all the time and she was sleeping 10 - 11 hrs per night, then it switched for no reason to roughly 5 - 6hrs, then 4hrs, now its 2hrs or less per night!! This has progressed for months now. Been Drs loads, done blood tests to check for thyroid, Vit deficiency all normal. Now trying to get her referred to see someone and they wrote back saying she should see the school nurse and if the nurse says she should see someone then they will look into it!! Am worried and disappointed that they didn't even want to see her or monitor her. Dr intially said its just part of growing up. But for this long? She's getting tics which could be lack of sleep, rubbing her eyes alot cos they are bothering her, again through lack of sleep. Tired all the time, understandable! She never bothers us in the night even tho' I say if she can't she could come in. She's not anxious or worried about anything. Nothing happened to start this, except she had her tonsils and adenoids out about a month before so am even thinking its all the chemicals that may have caused this. Am at my wits ends. If she does get referred, it could be months! I have read loads online to try and find a result but not found nothing. Its all toddlers/babies with sleep issues. Only ones I can find around my daughters age have night terrors or can't sleep alone which isn't her. I would feel better if someone said they were having similar probs with theirs thats the same age roughly. Feel alone in this. Been up most of night researching with no luck. It just can't be good for her only 2hrs if that a night, even on a school night. She hardly watches tv, doesn't use any screen before bed. Lights are dim and she still has a bedtime story read to her so is all relaxed!! Cut down on sugar as well, not that she has much, but no difference. Please help!

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 09-Nov-15 03:45:06

How do you know its just 2 hours?

BBQueen Mon 09-Nov-15 03:49:01

Your poor daughter, that must be really distressing for both you and her. She's definitely not having any caffeine or other stimulants (in assuming not as you're cutting out sugar etc). Have you tried sleeping on the same room as her, or moving her elsewhere to break any bad associations? What is she doing all night whilst she's awake? Is there something soporific you could provide (really boring audiobook perhaps) that might help her to be lulled to sleep if she wakes?

Alternateen Mon 09-Nov-15 05:40:41

I have to agree with Sally - how do you both know it's only two hours? It's possible she is getting more sleep but 'feels' awake and 'ticks off the hours' before dozing again.

Does she catch up with sleep at any point?

Anyway, regardless of that, this is something you have to push for more investigation because it can have repercussions. If you need to get the school nurse involved, do it. Keep pushing. And then push some more.

Try to break the cycle somehow - there are loads of options; try a completely different bedtime routine, be drastic - perhaps even let her fall asleep on the sofa by you one night. Lavender and clary sage essential oils are good, just a drop or two on her pillow. Just brain dumping now, so probably not making much sense, sorry.

And yes, I've been there. Still there actually and DD is now a teenager. She was a poor sleeper from birth. There was a short period during primary school of sleeping well, but she went back to 'her normal' from puberty, at about 10 years old. Now, if she could sleep her own hours, she would probably sleep from 4am until noon. Typical teen, I guess. Unfortunately she has to get up at 0530 for school. Last night I should think she had about 4 hours of sleep max.

I hesitated about sharing the next bit, but feel I should - DD now has mental health problems, but rather than these being caused by the lack of sleep, her doctors feel her sleep pattern is a symptom instead. She is currently having investigations for epilepsy.

Sorry for probably worrying you - hopefully unnecessarily - but if at all possible, I would be pushing for an EEG exam.

FWIW, I too have little need for sleep and average 4-5 hours a night with occasional nights of none at all. Ive always been like this, by the way. Apparently my brain is fine and I don't have MH problems.

Again, I apologise for the length of this post, and the content. I truly hope you and your DD can find your way through what may be just a blip.

Happy for you to pm me if you wish. Good luck.

Spacegal Mon 09-Nov-15 17:40:04

Hi thanks everyone for all your advice and ideas. I have said to her that maybe she is getting more sleep than she thinks she is. That she may not be realizing it. Claims she is awake and what times she is and for how long. Have tried getting her to have a nap in the day but she never does or can. Her Dad said she was jumping every time she tried to sleep so don't know if its the tic she's not got causing her to not sleep. Or the tic thats come due to lack of sleep.
No she doesn't have any caffeine at all. Or any other stimulants. Tried Lavender baths and did want to get some Lavender drops on her pillow but they ran out of stock here, due some tomorrow.
We were away a couple days few wks ago and I was with her all night then sharing room, she never slept for ages, she even read at one point with a torch to try not to wake me but told her to stick the light on. Was having trouble sleeping myself because of her having trouble. And the amount of walking we did etc should've made her sleep.
Have tried letting her stay up late and go bed early, neither makes a difference. I not tried an audio book yet so could try that.
Another thing thats abit weird is she has a friend who before all this started couldn't sleep most of night as I messaged her parents cos she was always on Facebook most of night and didn't know if they knew she was on! Lol my DD doesn't even have FB yet. Her friends sleep probs went on for months I think. In end think it just disappeared but she had tummy troubles as well. I thought initially DD was just copying and doing it for attention. I still wonder if she is exaggerating at times but am sure now she isn't, at least not to her knowledge as have said she can't go away on hol if she's going to be awake all night, just to see her reaction and she loves going away. Don't like making threats but had to try a different way. But still said she was not sleeping.
Alternateen sorry you've got probs with yours. Hope it gets sorted.
I tried contacting school nurse today but she hardly at the school and they tell me it could be a wk before she gets back to me. Phoned Dr asking if he can prescribe something like Melatonin as surely thats just natural and wouldn't harm, but said he couldn't, would have to be prescribed by specialist. I said about her tic, could she have a muscle relaxant for that but same answer! Told me will have to go through the school nurse since thats what they have said. So frustrating. I hope all this doesn't cause DD mental issues. I feel she has some obsessive disorders as it is, like her brain gets in a loop and will keep repeating stuff. That was before her sleep prob. Amongst a few other issues. She is abit light sensitive too but not as bad as she was. Never used to be able to take photos as she said it hurt her eyes and gave her headache for 10secs. Again Drs did nothing! She still has it but doesn't bother her so much. Sorry this is so long. Really do appreciate all your posts. x

Sunnyminimalist2 Mon 09-Nov-15 18:09:54

I have some experience of this too but not to the same extent.

Is it just that she can't switch off? Mentally?

Not tried this myself but I read that you can try keeping a person awake all night, then putting them to sleep much earlier the next day. Meant to break the habit of staying awake till 4am or what ever.

Also excersise for a hour after school. Could just involve speed waking daily for 45 minutes with you after tea.

- take magnesium, camomile tea, valerian, children's B vitamins, vitamin D. I know your GP said her levels were fine but i would ask for the exact levels and check on line. I had to do this with my iron levels and what the NHS/gp saw as acceptable, was actually rock bottom and causing my hair loss.

- no screen time after tea, warm bath

- eye mask and foam ear plus

Kbear Mon 09-Nov-15 18:15:54

have they checked for over active thyroid? - she sounds like me when I was a 9 year old...... make sure they did full thyroid blood test

what's her behaviour like? is she emotional? shaky? eating lots? they are other symptoms I remember.

FATEdestiny Mon 09-Nov-15 22:57:54

There are watch-type gadgets that you can get to wear. They are primarily aimed at encouraging exercise (like the fitbit, I think its called). But one function of these gadgets is that they monitor sleep continuously when worn overnight.

She would get exact numbers for how long she had slept, how often she woke, for how long etc. Seeing it in black and white may be helpful.

It is quite usual for sleep deprived people to vastly underestimate how much sleep they are getting. The state of being so tired means they assume to have gotten excessively little sleep (like 2 hours) when this is wildly incorrect.

CookieDoughKid Mon 09-Nov-15 23:00:41

Try fitbit. I've used it, it's pretty accurate in measuring my sleep patterns. It's worth the investment IMO.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 09-Nov-15 23:29:56

We tried everything for DH to sleep ... shh dont tell ... I got mad one night and told him his snoring kept me awake ... he believed this and sleeps soundly. Sometimes belief is everything.

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 09-Nov-15 23:43:17

This does sound a bit like my DD who has Aspergers. The standard process seems to be school nurse to observe and refer to Child Development dept at hospital. This can be a long process.
Have you spoken to the school SENCO? If they will write a supporting letter, your GP may refer directly but it could be slow so don't expect any quick answers. We are 18 months into the process and the consultant has said she has Aspergers but we aren't expecting the formal diagnosis this side of Xmas.

MigGril Tue 10-Nov-15 06:51:32

I agree with sunny about taking vitamins, there normal level ranges are quite large and seem to effect different people differently. Unless you got copy of her bloods and had a look on the low end can be enough to cause a lot of people issue but doctors just look at the numbers.

Another thing that may help at this time of year as you say it's got worseis a light box, not getting enough light can effect sleep patterns. And as you say it's got worse recently this may not be the underlying cause but a contributing factor. often people who use them report better sleep.

Spacegal Tue 10-Nov-15 18:17:57

Thanks again all. Sorry not got back to you til now. Was so tired last night and busy today. I definitely want to try this Fitbit you mention but I don't know which one. They all range in price from £37 odd to over £100. Can't really afford to get an expensive one and don't know how accurate the cheaper ones are? Or could she mess with it during the night and would it fit her as she has very small wrists and they all seem to be for adults.
Her Dad as we split 5 years ago now as was going to say she stays at his every other wkend which also breaks up her routine abit in sleeping there. But he has ordered a night vision camera and its a movement sensor god knows what he paid for it, so he is going to try that when she is there, tho' she's due to be here this wkend so again I don't know whether to buy the fitbit or not if he's got all that set up there. Obviously it has to be ok with her cos of the age she is. And she's always wanted to be filmed all night!

Yes it could be that she can't switch off mentally. She hardly watches tv because she just gets bored. Yet fine at cinema. Guess it just holds her attention more there. She's very intelligent for her age and finds alot of the school work easy. Could try more exercise, tho' it doesn't make a difference every Thurs when she has PE then swimming after.
I have got her a multi vitamin to try now so will give her one in the morning. Her Dad had some left over from last year. They did check for Thyroid but can't remember if it was just Under active for both. Will find out.
She seems pretty much ok during the day, says she's tired, rubs her eyes alot, irritable at times but then she always has been quite argumentative and moans when I ask her to do something she doesn't like lol.
She still has this tic with her head that has started since her sleep probs, tho' she did have another kind of tic with the head that started before her sleep probs then just seemed to go.
Lol thats funny about the snoring Sallyhasleftthebuilding.
Someone did call me today about Chloe, not the school nurse but within that department but I couldn't talk during work, and he never phoned later like he said he would so will chase him up tom!
I don't know anything about SENCO but can ask.
Thanks again everyone, really is a help!

Branleuse Tue 10-Nov-15 18:23:41

if you speak to the doctor, they may prescribe her some melatonin

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 10-Nov-15 19:26:02

Bran they won't usually prescribe melatonin without a consultant's say so.

Branleuse Tue 10-Nov-15 19:32:22

oh ok, both of my boys have been prescribed it, but I cant remember if it was via the paediatrician or the GP, but tbh, a ten year old on 2 hours sleep, I think theres a good chance they would try and help, and its worth a try

Preminstreltension Tue 10-Nov-15 19:36:10

Sorry to read about this. Sounds awful. She probably is sleeping a bit more than she thinks but obviously also nowhere near enough for a young girl and it's clearly a problem for all of you.

I don't understand the GP insisting on the school nurse. Presumably he can refer on himself if he wants to. Can you ask to be referred to a sleep clinic? I don't know where you are but I know there's one at the Evalina children's hospital in London.

Helenluvsrob Tue 10-Nov-15 19:39:14

Might be worth splashing out on a Fitbit to track sleep.
If she has no screens in her room and No iPod etc unless she is reading all night I really suspect if she was awake as long as she says she's be in and out to you.

VulcanWoman Tue 10-Nov-15 19:40:10

Not sure if anyone else has mentioned it, what about trying some meditating.

Sunnyminimalist2 Tue 10-Nov-15 19:41:05

Andew Johnson sleep app/CD is amazing with great reviews

AnyoneButAndre Tue 10-Nov-15 19:48:16

A story CD or download is definitely worth trying for a child (or adult) who can't switch off. DD listens to the same story every night for weeks on end and it's really helpful.

But keep on with medical tests as well, because you need to find out if anything physical is going on.

Goingbacktomyroots Tue 10-Nov-15 19:54:14

My ds takes melatonin which really helps him settle at bedtime and he generally sleeps through the night. Prescribed by psychiatrist.

I agree that she may well be sleeping more than she thinks but from what you say it is still probably not enough.

Jackie0 Tue 10-Nov-15 19:54:31

A bit off topic but when did school nurses get so much power?
A gp can make a referral .
What if she was home schooled ?

Iguessyourestuckwithme Tue 10-Nov-15 20:01:06

Have you tried the audio book of the rabbit who wants to fall asleep

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