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Trouble sleeping???

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and one more question :) sorry!


my dd is 10 and has always had problems sleeping. she takes intuniv 3mg for impulsitivity in the am. the psych. had her taking melatonin 3mg for about 6 months, seemed to work will, but then she kept waking during the night. so he then started her on trazadone, first 25 mg then 50 mg... this has been working great for the last year, up until 2 months ago. now she is up 4 or 5 times a night with trouble going back to sleep each one!


i went over to whole foods last week to grab some more melatonin, thinking to maybe try that again and see if it helped and when talking to the knowledgeable guy on staff there, he said to avoid melatonin. that it shouldnt be used daily (even though the psych is telling me to use it). he said to give her 2 teaspoons of magnesium called calm and add it to a sleepy tee at night. so its been a week... she sleeps great for the 1st 3 or 4 hours and then is still up half the night.


any ideas?? do any of you have sleeping issues with your special needs children that they take something for? im going to call the pschy on monday for more ideas, but im afraid the next step may be a sleeping pill which i want to avoid!



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My kiddo had a hard time with just melatonin and once I switched him to Schiff Sweet Slumber he sleeps much better....I've finally gotten more than 3 hrs of sleep for the last 3 yrs!! Sweet slumber has melatonin (which is fine for asd kiddos to use daily as approved by your provider) and also theanine and gaba. When he was on melatonin alone, he would wake up 2-3 times a night (if I could get him to sleep at all) or would have night terrors.


• Melatonin, produced in the brain, sends a signal to the body that it's time to sleep. As we age, our bodies produce less and less melatonin. At age 70, the body only produces 25% of the melatonin it produced at age 20. Taking melatonin at bedtime supplements healthy melatonin levels and promotes normal sleep patterns.


• Theanine is a compound found in green tea and is known for its stress relief properties. Theanine helps you wind down before sleep, and then once asleep, to sleep more soundly throughout the night.


• GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an important amino acid and neurotransmitter that works fast to support relaxation and restful sleep patterns.


• Chamomile and Valerian are two herbs traditionally used for their calming properties.


• Vitamin B6 is critical for healthy production of GABA and melatonin in the brain.

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My ds11 struggles with this also. We tried Melatonin but it gave him vivid dreams. His most recent eval suggested getting a sleep study. The doctor also suggested Intuniv for him, which we haven't gotten to yet, and said to take it at night as one of the side effects was sleepiness. Could she take it in the evening? Just a thought! Good luck!

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Have you tried a time release melatonin? That might help her FALL asleep and then STAY asleep.


As to safety of melatonin, we used it here for years with very good results (don't seem to need it now) and our psychiatrist, neurologist and endocrinologist ALL approved and suggested it over other options for our girls.


I won't say it is the best choice for all kids but if your doctor that knows your daughter suggests it, I would take that advice over a guy at a store. If the magnesium works, great. If not, look for a time release melatonin if your daughter's doctor is suggesting it for her.

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Q - is your child gifted? Many gifted kids just plain don't need as much sleep as others...no clue why, they just don't.


Does she suffer the next day from lack of sleep, or is it just that she doesn't sleep much at night (but does fine the next day)? My ds12 has pretty much never slept more than a few hours per night (except when he's sick), but doesn't have any problems because of it. Honestly, I just keep audiobooks and quiet activities that he's allowed to do at easy reach, and he's learned not to wake me unless it's really important ;) (Happy Mom = happy child the next day lol...)

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I'm sorry you and your child are struggling with sleep issues Maggie. My daughter also struggles getting to sleep and staying asleep. I know how exhausting it can be for them and for you. We use melatonin and it has worked for her - mostly to get to sleep.


You may do this already but as for waking up in the night and getting back to sleep, we worked with our daughter to develop calming and relaxing techniques she can use if she wakes up and we looked carefully at her room to see if we could make changes that would facilitate sleep. Here are a couple of things, we did that may work for you:


1. Lavender is calming. She keeps a small handkerchief scented with lavender oil under her pillow. If she wakes at night she can hold it and smell it and it helps her calm down. She also applies lavender lotion on her hands and arms before she goes to bed.


2. We have a 15 minute calming/sleep ritual we do before bed. This includes a small candle, very little light, a message with lavender lotion and a few calming exercises given to us by her OT.


3. We have tried several alterations to her room as well. For example, she needs a night light but the white light was too bright and created shadows. Instead we purchased this cute little turtle that has a soft body but a hard shell. At night, when you turn the turtle on, soft blue and green light shines through his shell and makes stars on the ceiling. My daughter finds this very calming and reassuring if she wakes up in the night.


4. My daughter is very tactile and sensitive to texture so we tried different blankets and sheets. For example, we tried jersey sheets, flannel sheets and different cotton content sheets. Sure enough, she is more comfortable on the jersey sheet. We did the same materials test on pajamas as well.


5. We also worked with our daughter on techniques she can use to get back to sleep if she wakes up. We found a series of physical exercises she can do herself that help her relax. We also found a series of mental exercises she does to help her calm her mind.


It's not perfect. As she grows and changes, we have to revisit what works and what doesn't. But it has been possible and we have noticed a difference in our daughter's quality of life when she can get enough sleep.


Good luck to you!

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