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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

how do you get your teenager to sleep threw the night. without meds?

Posted by on Apr. 23, 2014 at 9:36 AM
  • 10 Replies

 I have a 14 year old son. who has a very hard time sleeping threw the night. we have tried a bath, soft music,reading. nothing works. Due some stuff he has done. He no longer has toys,T.V. anything like this in his room. Because he will stay up all night long. He has dinner at 6pm. Gets ready for bed by 7 lights out at 8pm. We have tried later bedtime. That was a big no no. He was very hard to deal with the next am

by on Apr. 23, 2014 at 9:36 AM
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mypbandj
by Jen on Apr. 23, 2014 at 9:46 AM
We have used melatonin. It's a chewable pill from the health food store. Melatonin is actually the hormone secreted in your brain to make you tired. I've even used it on my three yr old. But I'd say it's more for getting to sleep than sleeping through the night.
I'm glad you took out the tv. I think when kids have a tv in their room it can hinder their sleep. My kids used to have one so I'm not judging anyone who has one but they certainly became better sleepers when we removed it.
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BethB111
by Member on Apr. 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

You're doing everything right with the bedtime routine, especially the consistency of the time. 

Have you tried Melatonin?  That is a natural and safe hormone that your body produces to help you sleep.  Some people just don't make enough of it.  My child has been safely taking melatonin for 7 years; his pediatrician is perfectly OK with it, and some peds even recommend it for ASD kids.  My son gets to sleep and stays asleep better.  It's not perfect, but it really helps.  It helps enough that I haven't had to try presciption meds, which I want to keep to a minimum.

Is your son on any other medications?  If so, they might be interfering with his sleep schedule.  My son takes Intuniv for ADHD symptoms, and we have had to adjust the timing on that so that he's awake during the day and sleepy at night.

Puberty might be an issue too here; many teens become nightowls who want to sleep in in the morning because of how their brains are developing.  But you have to find that balance that works for him and for your family, of course.  And if you want to try changing his light's out time, it helps to move it gradually, over several weeks or months.  (I know this from my own experience.) 

Good luck, Mom!

Bobcatridge
by Carol on Apr. 23, 2014 at 10:49 AM

My 13 yr old daughter takes a time release melatonin that helps.  She also has a cup of hot tea (Sleepytime Extra with calming valerian) before bed.  My daughter starts shower and bedtime routine at 8 and is in bed with lights out by 9.  She listens to relaxing music and does relaxation exercises after the lights are out.  After 7pm there are no electronics such as computer or video games.  We will sometimes watch as a family a science show such as Cosmos or Nova.  My daughter likes to read for awhile before bed but we make certain it is not too exciting.  There are no electronics such as TV or computer in my daughter's bedroom.  She does have books and stuffed toys.  She takes 2 stuffed toys to bed with her every night.  If she awakes in the night she first tries the music and relaxation exercises.  Sometimes if she is too anxious she will call me in.  In that case, I will give her a backrub, do guided imagery, and try to ease her anxiety.

Sedona24
by New Member on Apr. 23, 2014 at 12:13 PM

 he is on Focalin XR 15 mg in the Am to get him threw school. we have tried melaton up to 10 mg. it does nothing.he hate hot tea,we have also tried over the counter sleep- aids. Back in VT his Dr had him on Trasadone(sorry for spelling) It worked great.But the Dr's down here drive me crazy when it comes to putting children on meds. I moved here to Fl Jan of 2013. took 6 months for any Dr's to want to put my son on meds. Drove us crazy. Now trying to find a school that is able to deal with him. the school he goes to gives him homework and he hates the school and kids there. it's been very hard of a move. we lived in vT for his whole life. so it's really hard

emarin77
by Silver Member on Apr. 23, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Does he have a routine for bed time?  Brush his teeth, clean his face, PJs on, read a book?  I'm surprized music has not helped.  Is music on until he falls asleep?  If nothing else has helped I would have him in a sleep study.

lucasmadre
by Kari on Apr. 23, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Melatonin is wonderful. My son is 10 and I give it to him about 3 hours before he goes to bed. I also tuck him in and read with him or have him read to me. For my son if he is left to his own devices he is like your boy and will be up all night "doing stuff" or "worrying about stuff." I made some changes in his room too that made it more cozy. Ikea sells these big jungle leaves made out of fabric that you can hang over the bed, it gives the bed a kind of tent like feeling and he loves it. Maybe ask your boy what the perfect sleep environment would be if he could design it...oh yes, I bought him a heavy fur blanket too. He loves it and says it is so soft and heavy that once it is on top of him he can't move and goes right to sleep. Good luck, hope these ideas helped!

Rust.n.Gears
by Member on Apr. 23, 2014 at 7:42 PM
Ha. No idea. I could never sleep. I tried everything. My folks gave up early on.
darbyakeep45
by Darby on Apr. 24, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Not sure but good luck mama!

tictacmama
by Arlea on Apr. 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM

 I was an insomniac too. My sons do well but they are still young. Sounds like you are doing everything right. Hopefully these ladies will have more insight.

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Apr. 25, 2014 at 5:45 AM

 My son just turned 13. Although he has a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep, he leaves the tv on and positions his blankets around him in a way that makes him feel safe I guess. I say the same to him each night, reminding him that I am right here if he needs me.

Somehow it works!

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