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Old 02-10-2012, 10:43 AM   #1
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Please Help! DS is practically an insomniac. Melatonin?

DS is 2.5 years old. He has always had trouble sleeping compared to DD, who is 1. DD slept through the night at a normal age and sleeps all night unless something significant wakes her, like sickness, etc. DS also slept through the night at a normal age, and didn't have any particular problems as a baby. No colic, he did have acid reflux that made him a little fussy until he was about 6 months old and started sitting up more.

But DS seems to have always had trouble falling asleep, and he doesn't stay asleep. He doesn't even really seem like he is actually asleep at all, all night long. He head bangs himself to sleep, and moans and generally makes a lot of noise trying to fall asleep. He tosses and turns all night. If you creep past his room and step on a floor board a little too loudly, he wakes up and has to start all over falling asleep. He always seems like he's on the verge of waking up and he spends most of the night moaning and head banging and periodically waking up and calling for us.

If he sleeps in bed with us, he seems to sleep a little better, but still tosses and turns. But we don't want to co-sleep with him right now because we want him to learn to sleep in his own room, and because I'm prego and our bed isn't big enough.

Does this sound like anyone else's LO?

Does anyone have any experience or advice?

Should we try melatonin, and can anyone tell me more about that?

TIA!

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Old 02-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #2
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Re: Please Help! DS is practically an insomniac. Melatonin?

That sounds kind of strange, does he do anything like that during the day? Have you asked your doctor? Do you have a bedtime routine?
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:06 PM   #3
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Re: Please Help! DS is practically an insomniac. Melatonin?

Just random thoughts based on my DD2 (who is my non-sleeper)

Does he complain of stomach aches or act like his stomach hurts? Maybe he still has reflux issues that are causing discomfort?

Could he be allergic to a particular food? Are his bowel movements regular and normal? Does he have eczema or any unexplained skin rash?

If you try several things and nothing seems to work, I would suggest a sleep study or perhaps you can get a dr. to do an overnight pulse/oxygen monitor at home. It records O2 levels while the person is sleeping. If there are dips in O2 levels, then a full sleep study is in order or perhaps having tonsils removed.

DD2 was a horrible sleeper. From infancy, she had terrible reflux and a generally crummy disposition all. the. time. When she was 3, DH worked 3rd shift and occasionally she would get in bed with me. One morning I woke before her and not wanting to wake her, just laid there listening to her breath. She would stop breathing for upwards of 30 seconds at a time and then gasp for air and nearly wake herself up every time. Come to find out that her tonsils were so large that when she laid on her back they fell back in her airway making it about 2 hairs wide--she had serious dips in her oxygen levels while sleeping.

Tonsils were removed and she immediately began sleeping for longer stretches at a time (3-4 hours without waking). We have discovered she has a milk intolerance which eliminating dairy has helped her eczema and constant itching/scratching cycle and is on a strict acid reduction diet for the reflux, both of which have helped her. At 9yo, she averages about 6-7 hours of sleep at a time, which is by far the longest stretch in her life.

I don't know that any of the above applies to your situation, but maybe it will resonate with someone.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: Please Help! DS is practically an insomniac. Melatonin?

My youngest ds started waking up every night after previously being a fairly good sleeper. My sister suggested melatonin after her doctor put her 4yo on it for the same kind of thing. She had a hard time falling asleep, woke up multiple times, light sleeper, and up early. It has worked wonders for both our kids. I got the 1mg tablets and started out with one before bed. He was asleep within 20 minutes. That worked for a couple of nights then I had to up the dose to 2mg before bed. Then after a few days I had to do 3mg. We have been doing 3mg since then and he doesn't wake up anymore. I give it to him 20 minutes before bedtime when I put his pajamas on. He is always either asleep before I put him in bed or he goes right to sleep once he's there. My sister's doctor told her it was safe to go up to 5mg per night for her 37 pound dd (my ds is the same weight). We actually ran out last night, so your thread reminded me to call dh and have him pick some more up.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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Re: Please Help! DS is practically an insomniac. Melatonin?

For a kid that age, I'd talk to your Ped before starting any supplements. Just because it's a supplement, doesn't mean it can't be dangerous. It's best to talk to your HCP.

Anyway, my oldest has ADHD and an anxiety disorder, and as a result she has insomnia. We started her out at about 3 or 4 on a placebo. your dd is probably too young, but we'd use one of those syringes you use for like liquid Tylenol and we'd put milk in it and tell her it was this super powerful night-night medicine. You gotta play it up hard, but OMG, worked like a frickin charm. I have to say, one of dh's more brilliant ideas, lol. Just because it's placebo, doesn't mean it doesn't work! She's too old and cynical for it to work now, so we do use melatonin, but she's also 9. I don't know how I feel about putting a 2 year old on it, to be honest. Your brain does produce it, but with some neurotransmitters you can screw up how much the brain produces for a long time if you mess with the amount in there. I'm not sure there have been enough long term studies on how it affects a growing toddler brain to use it myself. HOWEVER, I do use it myself, my dh uses it, and we have used it with our oldest. I just tend to be super cautious about giving really small kids anything.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:23 PM   #6
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Re: Please Help! DS is practically an insomniac. Melatonin?

Thanks for the info mamas!

I don't think he still has reflux, he rarely complains of a stomach ache or any sickness, and he has regular bowel movements. I'll look into the tonsil thing though and talk to the ped.

I used to chalk it up to his high energy, because he is very energetic all day and very smart, strong willed, etc. Always thinking and always moving. I used to think he just doesn't need a whole lot of sleep. But at the same time, DH and I NEED sleep, and being woken up literally every hour or 2 by a crying whining toddler who can't sleep is getting old.

We definitely need to talk to the ped, and I'm always hesitant about going down the medication route, even for myself, but I've tried everything else at this point that I can think of.
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