Sleep

My son is 7 and him and I have never slept through the night. He won't sleep or stay in his bed without someone (me) being in the bed with him. He will not even tolerate me in the room next to him. He needs me in the bed next to him. I have tried tough love which only leads to nobody in the house sleeping at all and screaming and yelling all night long with no sleep at all. It is killing my marriage because I have not been able to sleep in my bed for 7 years. Everyone said I was babying him, or that he will grow out of it. It is severe and I need help. How can I get help for the sleeping/fear of being alone issues. I don't have much faith in OT since we spent an entire year in OT for his severe food sensitivities and it never improved. Help me and my marriage and my poor son who is scared to death to be alone at night.

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Oct 03, 2010
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other ideas
by: Anonymous

Have you tried melatonin? It didn't work the first time for my children but months later, I tried 1 mg and they were asleep 20 minutes later.

Is your son scared to sleep alone or does he not want to be alone?

My children do not sleep alone. We play musical beds at night. They will fall asleep and I will find a child next to me hours later. My daughter ALWAYS needs some to be holding her or touching her. If she awakens alone, she will find a parent and fall asleep again where we are.

I'm trying to say there may be a way for your son to fall asleep and for you to have some private time during the night...

I couldn't believe that we could finally sleep, after several years!!!! Melatonin worked for our children and they are not drowsy or drugged the next day. My daughter slept 13 hours the first time she had it, she was so exhausted after years of not sleeping.

Sep 08, 2010
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my 3 1/2 yr old is just like ur child
by: melissa

My son has SPD, a phonological speech disorder and some motor delays. He sleeps in my bed every night. I am a single mum and have been seeing my partner for 1 1/2 years. I can sometimes get my son to sleep in his bed if i lay with him but he wakes through out the night and comes into my room. If my partner is in my bed he become very upset and my partner ends up leaving and sleeping in my sons room.

My son likes my partner and my partner is very understanding of my sons needs. We both worry though because we would like for my partner to move in some time in the near future and our current sleeping arrangements are "interesting".

I will have to try the weighted blanket (which has been suggested by our OT) as my doona is much heavier than my sons, hopefully that may help.

Also a thank you to everyone that contributes to this website. My son was diagnosed 4 weeks ago and this site has helped me greatly.

Aug 21, 2010
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We struggle with this for 2 years
by: Anonymous

and with the help of a clinical psychologist, we were able to move my DD out of our bed.

We began with very small steps. The first step was to get walkie talkies and place a chair out side of the bedroom, or close by the bedroom door. My DD had to stay in her bed for 10 minutes, the if she did not fall asleep she was allowed to call me with the walkie talkie (not get out of bed) to say come in and restart her "sleep" music. I sat outside the door and gradually the time was in creased. The chair was moved furhter and furhter away and finally outside of the room. I still sit outside her room for 10 minutes and then leave. Lights are on in the hallways- this seems to help and a night light and music is always on to help her go to sleep. We also had the Dr help her with relaxing excercises= counting things and deep breathes. My DD had to practice this, every night for weeks.

We also had a real turning point when my DD suggested that, we set up a sleeping bag outside of the door. After my DD was alseep, either my DH or I, would sleep outside the door. My DD told us that she felt "safe" with us nearby, so we tried it and it worked, most nights. Gradually, we kept moving the sleeping bad further and furhter away from her door to ours. Then we were able to stop the sleeping bag routine, (this was after a year and 1/2) and just left the sleeping bag in our room.

My DD gets up once a night and comes into our room to put her back into bed. She has real difficulty putting herself back to sleep. She is 11. She now just lets us walk her back to her room and then leave. If she has a troubled night with uncomfortable dreams, she also will request that someone sit in chair outside her room or sleep in the sleeping bag. We say yes, and just wait 10 minutes until we hear her sleeping and then return to our room, leaving the sleeping bag in the hallway ( we call it camping out-LOL_

We have a set routine at bedtime, that was developed to help my DD stay in her bed and sleep.

The first nights were HELL, getting her to stay in her bed and become comfortable falling asleep there. Once you have a plan that seems to work, you will be a Navy SEAL parent. The SEALs go through Hell week- you will also but they earn their Tridents- you will earn the pleasure of sleeping in your bed without your child.

Aug 19, 2010
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sleeping through the night
by: Anonymous

I can sympathize. Our son is five and until recently he spent the last year sleeping on a small mattress in the corner of our bedroom. The bad news for you is that this is going to be slow and possibly very challenging, since he now has what he wants/needs, in you sleeping with him. You can "train him" out of this. I suggest staying in his room, but not in his bed, to start. Move a very comfortable (reclining if possible) chair into his room, and tell him you will stay with him until he falls asleep. Do use melatonin, it works very well, though our son would still wake up in the night. Sit in the chair, and when you can, go to your room. According to a few experts I've read, when he wakes and comes to get you, direct him silently back to his room. Sit back in the chair until he falls asleep again. Do not talk, when this happens, or keep words to a minimum. Talking happens right before bedtime, where you explain as calmly and patiently (and briefly, too, this is not a negotiation, this is instruction) to him that everyone in your house has their own bed for sleeping. Use a social story with pictures. It is important that your child feels loved and listened to, but he (and his fear) is running the household, and in part,he knows this, and he knows that his tantrums have been effective. You must break the pattern. This will not be easy, but I am guessing that after a rough two weeks, if you keep your sanity amidst the sleep deprivation, you should have some victory here. I spent a good year of being sleep deprived, and we're not quite over the hump yet, but making great progress. Good luck, and please comment on your progress.

Aug 19, 2010
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our sleep solution...
by: Anonymous

Melatonin. My 7y/o daughter takes 2 mgs about an hour or 45 min before bedtime. We also do deep pressure massage/squeezing of legs and arms which seems to help. I haven't yet tried the weighted blanket, but notice she definitely sleeps better with her heavy comforter than a light blanket. Until she started melatonin, it took her about 2-3 hours to fall asleep. Now, once she's in bed it takes about 1/2 an hour.

Aug 19, 2010
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our sleep solution...
by: Anonymous

Melatonin. My 7y/o daughter takes 2 mgs about an hour or 45 min before bedtime. We also do deep pressure massage/squeezing of legs and arms which seems to help. I haven't yet tried the weighted blanket, but notice she definitely sleeps better with her heavy comforter than a light blanket. Until she started melatonin, it took her about 2-3 hours to fall asleep. Now, once she's in bed it takes about 1/2 an hour.

Aug 18, 2010
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Son now sleeping during the night
by: Andrea

My son is 4 and was the same way until the past month. He's getting both pt and ot and that's helped, but not with sleep. It wasn't until I read about weighted blankets then asked the ot some questions. He was unable to regulate pressure and needed something heavy to help him. I didn't have the money for a weighted blanket, but found a homemade blanket that was very heavy. I folded it several times and put it on top of him. The recommendation is 10% of the childs weight plus 1 pound and to leave it on no more than 20 minutes. The blanket I've been using doesn't even weigh what it needs to, but since using it he stays in bed now. Like you he'd crawl into our bed every night or I'd have to sleep with him. He's only gotten out of bed a handful of times since using it and he sleeps all over his bed, but he's not getting into our bed anymore.

I went round and round with our Dr. just to get a referral for therapy, but I finally got it and it's done wonders for our son. I'd highly recommend therapy and the weighted blanket. And if he won't sit still for school you might try a weighted lap pad or shoulder wrap. www.saltoftheearthweightedgear.com has the best prices I've found and a good selection. Hope this has helped.

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