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Thread: Non Medicinal Sleep Aids

  1. #1

    Default Non Medicinal Sleep Aids

    Hi, my son has a difficult time falling asleep. I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime however my son is a night owl.

    We have a bedtime routine that we always follow and I bought a small tent (he loves it) that he sleeps in on the weekends to decrease visual stimulation.

    All it takes at bedtime is for my son to hear a strange noise or to have a worry in his mind and he is awake half the night. I talk to him about all his worries everyday and in reading about TS it states how critical it is for children to get adequate sleep.

    Therefore, I would love to have any suggestions. Is there anything that works for you or anything that doesn't work? Steph

  2. #2

    Default Non Medicinal Sleep Aids

    Hi Steph,

    My youngest daughter (14) is a very hyper child and often has trouble falling asleep. What she will do in that case is make herself 'Sleepytime' tea by Celestial Seasonings (the ingredients are: chamomile flowers, spearmint leaves, lemon grass, tilia flowers, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms, hawthorn berries and rosebuds). It's perfectly safe, tastes great (she puts honey in as well) and works like a charm to get her to sleep!

    Ursula
    German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

  3. #3

    Default Non Medicinal Sleep Aids

    Listening to classical or Gaelic music helps me fall asleep. I use headphones to cut out external noises. I live in an apartment building, so there are alot of them, and they often make it harder to sleep.

    Of course, it would depend on your son's taste in music. (Although when I'm concious, I tend to listen to punk or hard rock, which is quite different than the Scottish folk tunes).
    Colin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    962

    Default Non Medicinal Sleep Aids

    Steph

    We have the same concerns with my son.

    We remove anything that stimulates 2 1/2 hours before bedtime. (computers, video games including hand held, TV - cartoons or some shows)

    He has a large library of books he enjoys reading. We make a regular run to the local book store twice a month.

    I have found that if the family dog (all 8.5 lbs) of him sleeps in his room it helps.

    My son has issues with noises at night and darkness. He has a night light though using a halogen bulb desk lamp worked very well for while.

    Our Doctor changed the time he receives some of his med's to avoid light sleep patterns or insomnia. This has made a big difference for us.

    Before we got some help we would have to rotate sleep patterns just to stay up with him because he would not go back to sleep after waking up.
    We still have our moments but now they are more reasonable.

    I would recommend you do a search on this forum and you will find many more parents like us with the same dilemma. You will also find some more tips that have worked or not worked for other.
    PJK

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,909

    Default Non Medicinal Sleep Aids

    What is insomnia and what causes it?

    Insomnia means difficulty in falling or staying asleep, the absence of restful sleep, or poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. The most common causes of insomnia are medications, psychological conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety), environmental changes (e.g., travel, jet lag, or altitude changes), and stressful events. Insomnia can also be caused by faulty sleeping habits such as excessive daytime naps or caffeine consumption including soft drinks like Coca-Cola, Root Beer and Dr. Pepper.

    Insomnia may be classified by how long the symptoms are present.

    Transient insomnia usually is due to situational changes such as travel and stressful events. It lasts for less than a week or until the stressful event is resolved. Short-term insomnia lasts for 1-3 weeks, and long-term insomnia (chronic insomnia) continues for more than 3 weeks. Chronic insomnia often results from depression or substance abuse. Transient insomnia may progress to short- term insomnia and without adequate treatment, short-term insomnia may become chronic insomnia.

    Among the medications and substances that can contribute to insomnia are caffeine and coffee, tobacco, alcohol, decongestants (e.g., pseudoephedrine), diuretics (Lasix/furosemide, Dyazide/hydrochlorothiazide) given at bedtime, antidepressants (e.g., Bupropion, Prozac), appetite suppressants (e.g., Meridia, Fastin), and amphetamines. Insomnia also may be the result of withdrawal from benzodiazepines (e.g., Valium, Librium, Ativan), alcohol, antihistamines, amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana.

    What are non-drug treatments for insomnia?

    Appropriate sleep habits are important in the management of insomnia. In some instances, changing sleep habits may correct the problem without the need for medications. Good sleep habits should include:

    • Regular sleep times;
      A comfortable bed and quiet room at a comfortable temperature;
      Appropriate lighting;
      Regular exercise but not close to bedtime or late in the evening;
      A bedroom that is not used for work or other activities that are not related to sleep;
      Avoidance of stimulants (e.g. caffeine, tobacco), alcohol, and large meals close to bedtime;
      Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises; and
      Avoidance of naps during the day.

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