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Nightime Soothing

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  • Nightime Soothing

    My son (10) often wakes up more than once a night. I suspect this is due to his TS. He says he is lonely, afraid and bored (!) when he wakes up. Naturally he calls out for me. Problem is I'm getting pretty tired. Unforunately as a single mom, I've trained myself to wake up pretty easy to attend to him if he is in trouble.

    Has anyone found any nighttime strategies that work for their child? I considered a radio with earphones, but I am worried that he won't fall back to sleep and that he will get too tired. Then everything else will get worse. Anyuseful tips are greatly appreciated!

    FK

  • #2
    Nightime Soothing

    FK,

    You may wish to discuss your son's night time awakening with your doctor and more specifically ask for a referral to a pediatric mental health specialist.

    His night time awakening may just be anxiety, which is frequently a by product of Tourette, if he wakes up after falling asleep or wakes up in the very early morning reporting he is lonely, afraid and bored, you may wish to rule out signs of depression which sometimes manifests itself in this manner.

    The difficulty with using a radio or TV for getting back to sleep is the risk of becoming habituated to the radio or TV for falling asleep.

    It might be more to his advantage to identify the root of his awakening, and treat it directly.

    Does your son exhibit any other signs of depression such as loss of interest in pleasurable activities, significant weight change, loss of energy, restlessness or agitation, difficulty with concentration?

    You may wish to read this Forum posting which describes the diagnostic criteria for clinical depression.
    Steve
    TouretteLinks Forum

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    • #3
      Nightime Soothing

      Thank you for responding so quickly. I appreciate that you are trying to help. However, I find your jump to lay diagnosing my son quite disturbing. We do see doctors regularly and I don't think it is the role of anyone using this bulletin board to start diagnosing. I realize that you started out just suggesting we see a doctor to rule depression out but from there it was a slippery slope.

      I was truly just looking for ideas that had been tried by parents and were successful. I think that we are too quick to medicalize our situatins.

      Thank you,
      FK

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      • #4
        Nightime Soothing

        FK

        I think what Steve was trying to express is that TS alone does not usually cause these wake ups you describe or the lack of falling to sleep. Usually it is a good thing to run your concerns by the family Doctor.

        In my case, my son has TS+ and it is mostly the plus part that causes these nights to occur. You will find a lot of posts about sleep concerns from other parents.

        I found if you use the radio or TV my son can become dependent on it to fall asleep and does not program himself to fall asleep or get back to sleep naturally.
        What you have described we have lived and this is why I mentioned trying to live on three shifts earlier. You can't leave a child unattended while you sleep and they roam through the house. It can become exhausting. The feelings you explained your son experiences, again are not related to TS in our case but are very real.

        My son no longer takes med's for his TS but does take med's for his other concerns (+ part).

        I try to cut back the TV and pick my shows wisely, no cartoons for example
        let him soak in a tub two hours before bed
        Make sure he gets a solid snack
        No computer or video games after 7:30pm
        Eats a good evening meal

        If we are able to take a walk or do something active then we do after dinner and before his tub. That helps too.

        Keep a journal and see how often it happens and when. Record his snacks and see if anything could be causing it. Review with your Doctor.

        Does your son take med's for his TS?

        Speaking to the family Doctor can help if it is related to medications he is taking and when he is taking them.

        Hope it improves for you and please do a search "sleep" and see all the posts others have made. There are some good tips already on the forum.

        Take care and keep us posted.
        PJK

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        • #5
          Nightime Soothing

          FK,

          There is no lay diagnosing taking place on the TSFC Forum, as there is no recommendation of treatment options.

          We do provide scientific resources for your consideration, so that you may make an informed decision about the options available, in your discussion with your health professional, in developing strategies to deal with Tourette and its related disorders.

          When you mentioned your son experiencing sleep disturbances, accompnied by some mood changes, I merely proposed you inform yourself about the diagnostic criteria for depressive disorder, which may or may not be relevant but for your benefit, but the DSM IV criteria are readily available here for you.

          The NIH tells us mood disturbance is reported among people with Tourette and sleep disturbance is sometimes a sign of clinical depression.

          I am sorry if this was interpreted as anything but using the knowledge and experience we have in dealing with Tourette and related disorders to help point you in a direction where you might gather additional information.

          My comments to you were based on my experience and training in Tourette and related disorders and my questions were intended to raise your awareness so you would be equipped to have a meaningful conversation with your health providers.
          Steve
          TouretteLinks Forum

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