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DS struggling to sleep...

(3 Posts)
Floridagirl Fri 13-May-16 09:06:13

This is a completely new issue for us as previously DS (7), who has a diagnosis of ASD has been a fantastic sleeper, goes to bed, listens to an audio book for 10 minutes then just goes to sleep with no messing.

However, around 10 days ago he was watching some video's on the YouTube Kids app and watched an optical illusion video which really upset him, crying, screaming, said it made everything he looked at go wavy and he was terrified it was going to happen again.

I calmed him down, he seemed fine but at bedtime he started having what I can only describe as panic attacks about it, and saying he couldn't get to sleep. We eventually managed to get him to sleep about 2 hours later but as soon as he woke up the morning after he started panicking again. Eventually this wore off during the day but every night since then has been the same thing of him going to bed and getting back up again several times until he eventually falls asleep anywhere between 1-2 hours later. He hasn't really mentioned the video since but I'm worried that he has now got himself into the habit about worrying about bedtime and I don't really know what to do for him to help. He ended up sleeping in with me last night which is fine but that was a last resort when it got to almost 10pm and he was shattered.

Any idea's? I don't know whether to just let him get in bed and watch TV or play on his Ipad until he says he wants to go to sleep, but I'm worried that could be 11 or 12pm and he needs his sleep (as do we all!!)

singlemum2013 Thu 19-May-16 00:07:38

Hello, I hope I can help, I took my DD to the Paediatrician this week and sleep was one of the things we discussed. the Dr gave me a leaflet called The Good Sleep Guide. Here are some extracts:
sleep schedule
Bedtime and wake up time should be about the same every day. There should not be more than an hour difference in bedtime and wake between school nights and non-school nights. sleeping in on weekends should be avoided.
Bedtime routine
Consistent 20-30 minute bedtime routine. Calm activities such as reading a book or talking about the day, last part to occur in the bedroom.
Bedroom
Comfortable, quiet and dark except for dim nightlight, cool 18degC.
Meals
Heavy meals within an hour or two of bedtime may interfere with sleep, a light snack (milk and cookies) before bed is acceptable to avoid going to bed hungry.
Caffeine
Caffeine to be avoided for at least 3-4 hours before bed. Caffeine can be found in many drinks particularly Cola, coffee, tea and chocolate.
Evening Activities
The hour before bed should be a quiet and calm time. High energy activities and heavy exercise and stimulating activities such as playing computer games, should be avoided during that time.
Electronic media
Televisions, computers etc should be kept out of the bedroom to avoid establishing television viewing and playing video or computer games as a learned sleep onset association. These activities are also often highly stimulating.
Naps
Prolonged daytime sleep can contribute to difficulty initiating and maintaining nocturnal sleep.
Exercise
Time should be spent outside every day, with a period of daily exercise.
Sunlight
Spending time outside every day, especially in the morning and exposure to sunlight, helps maintain normal sleep-wake circadian rhythms.

leaflet was written by Dr Cheryl Bailey, Consultant Psychiatrist.

claw12 Thu 19-May-16 00:24:31

That's good advice. Can I also add if anxiety is making it difficult to sleep. Relaxation and visualisation techs might help.

Think of a happy memory for example and visualise it, with eyes closed, step by step. What happened, how did you feel, what did you do etc, etc.

Relaxation, lay still, send a message from your head all the way down to toes, telling them to relax, then back up and down to your feet, then your ankles and so on and on.

Massage can help too. Even if it's stroking hair or rubbing back.

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