Sleep disorders in a 3 year old?

Meagan - posted on 01/09/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Back story: I have a 3 (almost 4) year old girl who doesn't sleep well. She has no issues going to sleep, her issues are staying asleep.

This has been going on for a long time now. At least a year, with it getting worse in the recent months. Her life isn't drastically different at all. No real stresses. She goes to preschool 3 days a week and loves it! She is overall a healthy kid.

I have seen her pediatrician and she has been seeing an ENT. Apparently her adenoids are enlarged, but he isn't sure that's the cause of the sleep problems, so a sleep study is next on the list. If that comes back with no problems (he can fix), then he suggests it's psychological. How the hell do you treat a psychological sleep problem in a 3 year old?!

My daughter is already in counseling, so I'm working every angle here!

She is up and down all night, moves around often, snores at points, sometimes tries to get up and sleep walk, and has nightly (repeated) nightmares. She used to have night terrors, but now it's just mares. I don't know if that's better or not... I do know that a lack of sleep will cause nightmares, which will cause her to wake up, which is a factor in this hellish cycle.

I am not really asking what I should do. Trust me, I've done all the books/suggestions/etc before hitting up the Doctor. None of that works, since this isn't an issue with a kid not wanting to sleep, rather than one who can't.

My question is, has anyone been through something like this? What was the result?

Right now I feel like I am at my wits end. I'm feeling hopeless (and exhausted). I need to know I'm not alone here. Sometimes it feels like the Specialists are so dismissive, and I just know there has to be a fix. My daughter is exhausted. She has dark circles under her eyes every day. You can physically tell she is drained, and she needs a good nights sleep.

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Meagan - posted on 02/04/2013

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Thank you for you comment, Sarah. She doesn't sleep if the sun is up. It goes against her nature, and she will throw a fit if I even suggest it. To her, sunlight is the time to be awake, and it isn't worth the fight. I spent a year fighting with her to nap before I realized that it really wasn't worth the battle anymore. No one naps and it created a year of bad days! lol I mean nothing bad by this, but God do I hope you are wrong! lol I know that a lack of sleep affects a child developmentally, and although my daughter is ahead of the game in that aspect, I believe that she is emotionally stunted because of her lack of sleep. She tends to take what people say to heart, and has lost her self-esteem because of a preschool bully recently. Aside from that, she is moody, and I think that has more to do with going without sleep. So, knock on wood, this will end soon!

A general update: She went to the sleep study. I was surprised at how nice the place was! It was like staying at a hotel with Big Brother watching you! So, I got no sleep that night, but she did sleep. Better than normal, but still bad. lol The tech told me that they did get stuff, but I wont find out the results until I see her Doctor. I'm just happy that they have something documented, because even if the ENT is useless, it shows that I'm not exaggerating the issue! lol Hopefully this will be enough to figure out what needs to be done to hopefully combat this problem...

Sarah - posted on 01/12/2013

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I have sleep problems myself. I have constant and i mean CONSTANT nightmares. And it's honestly weird. Sometimes what happens in the dreams feel so real as an I am actually in pain. I wake up. It's scary and I read somewhere that you can actually go to the doctor and erase nightmare or bad memories something like that. I am not 100% sure this was a few weeks ago. But if she is awake because of nightmares...unfortually they never go away. At least for me they didn't. If you haven start reading books about dreams, or see if you can take her to a dream specialist. If that doesn't help. I am sorry to say this but they may put her on sleeping medication when she is older if her sleep doesn't get better. I would try to have her take naps throughout the day instead of 8 hours of sleep at night and work her way up to that. or wake her up really early so she'll be so tired when it is time for bed.

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