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Anyone found anything to help with sleep (esp early waking)?

(21 Posts)
minipie Mon 25-Sep-17 21:58:45

DD is 4 and has mild CP. Our biggest issue is that she will only sleep about 10hrs at night (7-5). Because of the low amount of sleep plus the CP, she is exhausted by lunch. She also can't get back to sleep easily if she wakes at night, says she 'can't switch her brain off'. She is a very tightly wound child, overtired all the time I suspect.

Just wondered if anyone has found anything which helps with sleep or general relaxation? We have melatonin which helps with getting her back to sleep after a night waking (as long as it's before 3am) but not the early mornings.

zzzzz Mon 25-Sep-17 22:28:17

How many hours should she be sleeping?

That sounds like loads to me.

I’d do 8 to 6 but I guess if 5 works for you it makes no odds.

NoNamesLeft86 Tue 26-Sep-17 06:33:41

Thats a great sleep to be honest! My son sleeps 8pm till 2/3am and i would love him to sleep in till 5am. He doesnt nap in the day at all other than if he drifts off in the car. He is 4.

Polter Tue 26-Sep-17 07:21:13

Afternoon nap?

minipie Tue 26-Sep-17 17:41:58

Sorry I realise that is good sleep compared with many on these boards.

I think if she didn't have the CP it would be enough for her. But it's not with the CP as she uses so much extra energy just getting around. I'd say she needs 11+ hours.

We do a nap twice a week but can't do more due to school (I take her out early once a week to get the second nap in).

If we put her to bed at 8 she still wakes at 5... might adjust to 6 over time I guess, but can't afford her to lose extra sleep during the adjustment period. Maybe we'll try that in the holidays.

thanks all!

CaptainKirkssparetupee Tue 26-Sep-17 17:48:15

What if she was to nap at about 4 as soon as she gets in from school?
Then try bed time at 8.
Youight have to mess around with the melotonin a little.

BoogleMcGroogle Tue 26-Sep-17 18:15:55

Hi. I'd agree that ten hours sounds about right for a 4 year old. You might want to talk to her OT and PT about this, as the issue might be better resolved by planning how her pace is monitored and managed during her waking hours, rather than through extending her night time sleep. It's the sort of thing a good OT would be able to support you and preschool with. I think there's not much to address early waking beyond the obvious blackout blinds, comfortable room temp etc. But again the OT might have some ideas ( although I guess if they worked she'd have made her fortune by now wink

BoogleMcGroogle Tue 26-Sep-17 18:17:19

Oh, I do think that my son sleeps later when he's had melatonin before bed, but that might be because he's been up three times in the night. ( you win some, you lose some)

minipie Tue 26-Sep-17 19:38:32

Captain I have wondered about that option, though there is a history of even earlier mornings if she naps late in the day. But may be worth a try if she gets even more tired later in the term.

Boogle we don't have an OT but I'm not sure how DD could do much less in the day tbh. She goes to school, comes back (a 10 min scoot each way), zonks in front of TV for a bit we read a story or do some colouring etc and then it's tea bath and bed. I guess maybe an OT would have ways of making things easier for her at school, but it's hard to think of anything, other than her just skipping any taxing activity or missing more school. Is that the kind of thing you had in mind?

I'm a bit worried you say 10 hours should be plenty, is that even considering she has CP? if so then maybe there is something else going on? She is definitely knackered.

BoogleMcGroogle Tue 26-Sep-17 20:44:54

If you don't have one, then I think request an OT referral. They really should be on board, given your daughter's needs. From experience ( not my child but DD's best friend has CP), tiredness is par for the course but there's lots you can do to manage that, and it's worth thinking about it now as this might be an issue you need to keep revisiting.

minipie Wed 27-Sep-17 09:06:36

Yes I think I should. We did see an OT once when DD was 3 and the conclusion was there wasn't much they could help with, but that may have changed now she's older and at school. I still can't imagine what they would suggest but then I'm not an OT!

minipie Fri 06-Oct-17 10:43:48

Update: she is sleeping even less (I think because she is overtired). Now awake by 4.30 most days. 4am today. She is white with tiredness when I collect her after school and behaving appallingly at home (not at school... so far). Melatonin doesn't work to get her back to sleep, nor do cuddles or anything.

I need to find some way to get her to sleep more if I possibly can. Has anyone tried eg Piriton or Phenergan for sleep issues in a primary age child? Realise I may be flamed for suggesting this but I am desperate. She is missing out on so much due to tiredness and her resulting behaviour.

CheeseCrackersAndWine Fri 06-Oct-17 10:58:30

My youngest who is currently undiagnosed but has substantial delays with all her development is like this. She is 2 and usually sleeps 7ish-5ish and like your DD later bedtimes make no difference, still up early! She also wakes up tired & grumpy. The days she can be persuaded (milk or cuddles occasionally work) back to sleep until 6/6.30 she wakes up so much better! She usually naps around 11am for 1 hour but I to feel like she needs at least an extra hour at night to be getting enough - haven't found a solution yet - sorry!

Also, with regards to 10 hours being enough for a 4 year old. I disagree. Maybe for some, but not for others. My NT 8 year old still regularly sleeps 10-11 hours at night with the odd 12 hour night some weekends!

minipie Fri 06-Oct-17 11:05:15

Thanks Cheese. my DD used to nap daily around 11 when she was 2. Gradually we changed this to 12 (post nursery) and gradually reduced the frequency of naps. She still naps twice a week at 1.30 ish, I have to take her out of school once a week to do this but I think she wouldn't manage without it.

Yes I am certain 10 hours is not enough for my 4 year old. There may be some 4 yr olds who can manage fine on that but it's fairly few and certainly not ones with CP.

CheeseCrackersAndWine Fri 06-Oct-17 11:22:16

It's difficult when you know they need more sleep but you just can't get them to sleep any more! My DD is also still up during the night but mainly we just bring her in with us when she does and she sleeps until 5ish from then . We haven't gone down the route of medicating (yet - as not sure it will help as mainly it's only the early mornings that's a proper issue), but it does drive me insane being up and awake at 5am with a child who is clearly still tired and is grumping! It would be more tolerable if she was at least wide awake & happy. Thankfully she can still have naps otherwise she would be complete nightmare most of the day, but I can see us being in the same position in a few years.

A friend of mine who's child was a terrible sleeper recently started them on melatonin and now sleeps most of the night, has seen such a difference in their development since they have been getting the rest they need, so it is important to try and make sure they are getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, I am as yet to discover the magic remedy!

minipie Fri 06-Oct-17 12:49:05

Yes unfortunately melatonin only helps with going to sleep (and maybe a bit with night waking) not the early mornings!

Agree about development too - we are given exercises etc to do for DD and told to keep her active, but she is so tired it's impossible. Difficulties playing with other kids too from being so tired. All fine in the morning but downhill after lunch.

I will let you know if I find a magic solution!

BoogleMcGroogle Fri 06-Oct-17 19:52:16

minipie oh dear, 4.30 sounds no fun at all for anyone. We had years of disrupted sleep and early mornings because of glue ear, sleep apnoea etc. and it was horrid and really affected my son's development, so you do have my sympathy.

If it continues, there is the possibility of being referred to a sleep specialist or a sleep clinic. To be honest, there are children with much worse sleep patterns than the ones you describe, but given it is really affecting your daughter, and she has a neurological condition, it might be worth asking about. If you see a neurologist, they might be more sympathetic and have better access to specialists (perhaps a clinical psychologist or a specialist nurse) than a paediatrician.

Melatonin is a wonder drug for getting my son to sleep, but it definitely makes him wake more in the night and wake earlier in the morning. Not sure why, but that's a pattern we have noticed.

minipie Fri 06-Oct-17 19:59:45

Hmm interesting Boogle. We have been using more melatonin than usual recently. Maybe it's made the mornings worse. I will try laying off for a while.

Tbh she is remarkably good at keeping quiet in the mornings and mostly doesn't bother us until her gro clock shows the sun (6.45). So it's not affecting our sleep too much (except when I hear her awake and lie there worrying...). It's really about the impact on her, she just goes so downhill in the afternoons.

I will ask about the sleep clinic but as you say, suspect it gets kept for those with much worse sleep patterns!

Polter Fri 06-Oct-17 20:33:45

Melatonin made my sleep much worse. There really isn't enough research into dosage and use in children, but generally it's prescribed at too high a dose and increasing dosage is likely to make it less effective than more so.

It can be amazing when it works but it doesn't always and can have horrible side effects too which are often not explained or acknowledged.

minipie Fri 06-Oct-17 20:41:53

Yes she has been prescribed 2mg which seemed high to me, I try to use 1.5 but that's still quite a lot and it probably has been more like 2 recently. I must admit I never really looked at the side effects blush

Polter Fri 06-Oct-17 21:08:46

Nobody talks about the side effects minipie, so don't be blush about it.

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