Monday, September 15, 2008

Early to Bed, Early to Rise Makes One Tired Mother


Ashley visited her neurologist last week for her 6 month seizure med 'tune up'. One of the questions I posed to the doctor concerned sleep - or rather, the lack of sleep - mine and Ashley's. On the average of one or two days a month, Ashley will sleep pretty well at night. That means she only gets up 2-3 times. The other 28 days of the month, she turns into a nightime party animal, and feels the need to include me on all her celebration activities. It's really wearing me down.

I've posted several times in the past about Ashley's sleep difficulties. So, it's not like this is a new situation. I guess, though, that with my Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis beginning to take more of a toll on my body, I'm less able to cope with just a little bit of sleep. I pleaded with the doctor to help me figure out how to get Ash to sleep better.

He recommended Melatonin. I tried Melatonin with Ashley when she was much, much younger, and it seemed to have no effect. But, I'm willing to try again. I am curious, though, what other people's experiences have been with Melatonin.

Have you tried it to help your child sleep? If so, how much do you administer? Does it help your child fall asleep and stay asleep, or just fall asleep? Have you noticed any side effects to its use?

I started Ashley on Melatonin two nights ago. The first night was her normal party till the sun comes up kind of night. Last night, she only got up twice. So, is it starting to work, or did I just hit on one of her twice monthly sleeping nights? I sure would love to think it was the former...

8 comments:

Amazing_Grace said...

I've tried it and it seems to do the trick. I think on the bottle that I had said it can take up to 2 weeks to see a difference (this was a few years ago).

Since I have allergies really bad I take Tylenol PM which has Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) in it. My head isn't as stuffy when I wake up in the morning either. LOL!

My husband does the fish usually every night. He flops around on the bed and this wakes me up and keeps me up. I think I need to put him on Melatonin. :)

Dark Angel said...

I've been taking melatonin for about a year now. In my case it's 'caus I'm blind; something to do with light entering your eyes.

It definetely helped me sleep better, but then, what I have is a well known problem amongst blind people and melatonin is known to help.
So I couldn't say anything about using it for other sleep problems.

Ashley's Mom said...

Dark Angel, my daughter is blind and deaf, so I hope the melatonin will help her as much as it has helped you.

Amazing grace, I've tried BEnedryl for Ashley also. But, it has a tendency to cause ear infections (the way antihistamines work is that they thicken mucus. So, if there is any fluid at all in her ears, it thickens when on benedryl and then an ear infection happens.) It's too bad also because benedryl worked really well.

Sheri said...

Nothing has worked for Dustin. We could use Clonidine that would take down a horse and he would be up partying as you say. THe only thing that has worked is Chlozaril that also helps with the hallucinations. It does however require weekly blood work.

Lori said...

I'm so sorry! There is nothing worse than sleep deprivation and I know bad it affects the body.

For YEARS we were in the same boat. Myah could not sleep and I could feel it wearing and tearing our entire family down. My health took a big hit and I am still recovering.

We tried melatonin and it didn't work, we tried Benedryl and it would work for a time, then she would seem immune. Finally, out of desperation, we used Clonidine. This really worked, but I accidently overdosed her one night (long story, thought I was giving her a different med) and she ended up in the emergency room, battling for her life (Mother of the Year!). Needless to say, I didn't use it again. After years of struggling, we decided to try a small dose of a different medication. I don't want to get into any medication debates, but this one is working and I am so thankful. I don't know how long it will work, or how long I will feel comfortable using it, but for know we feel o.k. about it.
Just do what you feel is best for your daughter AND yourself and family:) Good luck!

cdlsva said...

I use it with my daughter on occasion (1 tablet, 3mg) when she is having trouble going to sleep -and it seems to work well. Usually she is drowsy within 30 minutes of taking. She's never had problems with staying asleep though, so not sure how effective it is in that area.

Hope you have some luck with this so you both can get a good night's rest!

Trish @ Another Piece of the Puzzle said...

We LOVE melatonin! My son used to take between 45-90 minutes to fall asleep and would also wake up for long periods of time in the middle of the night and have a really hard time falling back asleep.

He takes 1 mg per night and usually falls asleep within 20 minutes. He also does not wake up hardly ever in the night. I have read that it doesn't actually help you stay asleep, so the not waking up may be because you were able to fall into a deeper sleep.

My husband also takes it and I do occasionally. So that's my experience as just another mom.

Katrin said...

I have chronic insomnia, the degree of which varies at any given time, but I have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and usually wake up at the crack of dawn. And have bad nightmares. Needless to say, I don't get a lot of sleep (which when you have fibro, that is exacerbated by lack of sleep, its not a good thing) yet the folks at the sleep clinic tell me I sleep very normally, just not enough (that was a very helpful report, er, not)

Have tried everything under the sun including melatonin and the controled release melatonin, neither helped. One of my docs even went to a continuing ed seminar that focused on sleep issues becuase of me and that's where he learned about the controled release melatonin and how that helps some people. Yeah, I'm not one of the lucky few.

I seriously hope your daughter is. I feel for you and her.

Right now, the more useful thing is actually weight and temperature. the dogs sleeping on me, heavy blankets, etc. if I'm too cold or too hot, I can't sleep. And trying to find the 'right temperature' can be a challenge. While it isn't a cure, some nights it does help.

Best of luck