Sleep solutions for SPD 3 year old

Allison - posted on 10/30/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )





I've read many posts on sleeping disorders and wanted to start a new one to ask what has helped your SPD child sleep better at night?

My 3 year old has been seeing a sleep specialist, OT, and behavioral psychologist and we've tried many behavioral and medical approaches without consistent success. His main problem is he is so restless and cannot stay still at night. We're currently giving him iron supplements since low iron can cause restless legs but after 3 months his already low iron level actually dropped. We also use a weighted blanket and melatonin which helps him fall asleep but does not help him stay asleep. (As a side note, we're giving him 3 mg of time release melatonin and I'm contemplating switching him to a more common 5 mg time release melatonin but I'm nervous about giving so much to such a young person since he's had episodes with night terrors in the past. Do any of you have experience with higher doses of melatonin?) Restless leg syndrome does run in my family but so far my son has not specifically complained about pain or creepy crawlies in his legs that would help us diagnose RLS. It's mostly a problem he just can't lie still!

Any advice? I welcome even out there advice since I feel like I've heard it all (and tried most of it too by this point!)


[deleted account]

Do you do brushing or does that not help? My SPD boy still does not sleep as long as a child his age should, but ever since we started brushing he at least sleeps better than he used to. I was not ready to try melatonin yet some of the risk factors concerned me, but the team who diagnosed my son with SPD and sleep disturbance (mainly the pediatrician on the team) suggested trying Benadryl every night before bed. I was a little concerned about that because I know it can have the opposite effect on some people, causing them to be hyper instead of drowsy. I was also worried it would help him fall asleep fast but that he'd wake up when it wore off and be wired and ready to go in the middle of the night. On the flip side, I worried that if it was successful, he'd get used to that and never be able to go to sleep without it. But as it turned out he fought taking it every night, and after the first few days, started spitting most of it out anyway. It was at that same time we began a brushing routine, so I stopped trying with the Benadryl because most of it was wasted anyway. Turns out the brushing had the best effect. However, I will say that brushing has been very successful for ALL of my son's SPD behaviors, so it's not surprising that he sleeps better. Brushing is not successful for everyone, in which case it probably wouldn't help with sleep either. Also, have you tried epsom salt baths before bed? With that too, it doesn't work for everyone, but some people swear by it, so it's worth a try. I've heard some parents say they put a little lavender in the pillowcase, but I've never tried that personally. Not sure if any of this is helpful, since you said you feel like you've heard it all and tried it all. This might all be old news to you! Haha. But I wanted to mention it just in case. Good luck!!!

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