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Sleeping for my 3 year old son.

SamC1234

New Member
Hi,
We are a family with a 3 year old son. He is on the waiting list to be diagnosed, however we both are certain he has autism. He is generally a really happy boy however in the past week or so, his sleep has become really poor. He has a real, real meltdown whenever he goes into his bed. He has fibre lights in his room and we have tried slowing the bedtime process down by putting him in his bed with a book and a fibre light to try and ease the process but this hasn’t worked either.

He seems to take comfort in his pram and wants to be taken out in his pram. Whilst this is no issue, we obviously want to use this somewhat sparingly and would want him to establish a routine with his bed. We are also from Scotland and with winter coming it will probably not always be feasible to take him out for a walk.

Last night, he eventually fell asleep at around 9.20 and woke up 3 times during the night for around 20 minutes each time before awakening at 7. In total that is probably around 8 hours of broken sleep which is not enough for a 3 year old. He napped for around 20 minutes today at midday and we tried to put him to bed at 8, however meltdown ensued.

We brought him back into the living room to calm him down as when he is heightened he cannot regulate this unless he gets something he wants. He then proceeded to bounce and run about the house. This is another area of concern as with this level of sleep he should be absolutely exhausted come night time.

We are at a loose end completely right now. He is on the waiting list for an autism diagnosis and whilst we have recently been assured we are near the top, this has been around a years wait. Should we go to the doctor for advice or is there any advice anyone can give?
Apologies for the long post however any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

LadyS

Just here for the ambedo
V.I.P Member
Have you tried weighted blankets? It didn't work for us but has worked for others I know. I also know keeping any lights on in his room never helped our son, so we kept it as dark as possible to avoid any sort of stimulation. Warm milk before bed has sometimes helped too. And on rare occasions we would administer some light melatonin in order to get him sleep he needs.
 

SamC1234

New Member
Have you tried weighted blankets? It didn't work for us but has worked for others I know. I also know keeping any lights on in his room never helped our son, so we kept it as dark as possible to avoid any sort of stimulation. Warm milk before bed has sometimes helped too. And on rare occasions we would administer some light melatonin in order to get him sleep he needs.
Thanks for your response. Could look into weighted blankets. For some reason, recently he has become really triggered when we put covers over him so not too sure. We are definitely going to look into melatonin although we are a bit unsure if we should wait for a doctor to prescribe this due to him being just 3.
 

LadyS

Just here for the ambedo
V.I.P Member
Thanks for your response. Could look into weighted blankets. For some reason, recently he has become really triggered when we put covers over him so not too sure. We are definitely going to look into melatonin although we are a bit unsure if we should wait for a doctor to prescribe this due to him being just 3.
I had the same response of weighted blankets with my son but figured it could be considered.

With melatonin I was able to find melatonin drops and used it without a doctor prescription. You're able to somewhat adjust the dosage with that as opposed to tablets and gummies which are usually made for 6 yrs and older. But also to keep in mind to use it sparingly as possible.
 

Outdated

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
No advice for you here but my mother always complained that I was like that as a 3 year old. She said she even tried giving me a shot of brandy once but that just livened me up and made me worse.

She said the only way she could get me or my sister to sleep was to put us in the car and go for a drive. Apparently that worked like a charm but we didn't have child safety seats back then, we could lay down and go to sleep.

So although you're probably pulling your hair out with frustration at the moment it's not too uncommon and he'll probably grow out of it. As an adult I sleep like a baby.
 

Aneka

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Hi,
We are a family with a 3 year old son. He is on the waiting list to be diagnosed, however we both are certain he has autism. He is generally a really happy boy however in the past week or so, his sleep has become really poor. He has a real, real meltdown whenever he goes into his bed. He has fibre lights in his room and we have tried slowing the bedtime process down by putting him in his bed with a book and a fibre light to try and ease the process but this hasn’t worked either.

He seems to take comfort in his pram and wants to be taken out in his pram. Whilst this is no issue, we obviously want to use this somewhat sparingly and would want him to establish a routine with his bed. We are also from Scotland and with winter coming it will probably not always be feasible to take him out for a walk.

Last night, he eventually fell asleep at around 9.20 and woke up 3 times during the night for around 20 minutes each time before awakening at 7. In total that is probably around 8 hours of broken sleep which is not enough for a 3 year old. He napped for around 20 minutes today at midday and we tried to put him to bed at 8, however meltdown ensued.

We brought him back into the living room to calm him down as when he is heightened he cannot regulate this unless he gets something he wants. He then proceeded to bounce and run about the house. This is another area of concern as with this level of sleep he should be absolutely exhausted come night time.

We are at a loose end completely right now. He is on the waiting list for an autism diagnosis and whilst we have recently been assured we are near the top, this has been around a years wait. Should we go to the doctor for advice or is there any advice anyone can give?
Apologies for the long post however any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Have there been any recent changes? Furniture, bed time routine, happenings, new situations?

I would also recommend weighted blankets.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
Our daughter slept at the foot of our bed in a crib. Then she graduated to the bedroom with no issues. But she had colic early on which meant driving in the country with her in her car seat. She basically just screamed in discomfort. In stopped in 3 years.
 

SamC1234

New Member
Have there been any recent changes? Furniture, bed time routine, happenings, new situations?

I would also recommend weighted blankets.
No nothing really unfortunately. Part of me thinks he is maybe outgrowing his nap but then again I still think he should be knackered by bed time even with a nap.
 

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Melatonin: Sleep aid
L-theanine: Glutamine blocker
Chelated magnesium: Muscle relaxant
Minimize carbohydrates/increase "good" fats/oils in the diet: Minimizes insulin-induced cerebral vasodilation
A broad spectrum probiotic: Gut-brain axis. Enhances neurotransmitter production
Resveratrol and N-acetyl cysteine: Anti-oxidant support for the brain.
Methyl B12 and methyl folate: Many of us have an inability to methylate compounds/nutrients, effecting several metabolic pathways.

I tend to approach this from a metabolic and neurotransmitter perspective.

*Do your research on this. Google scholar and PubMed are good sources. Talk to your pediatrician. Small children are not small adults and may metabolize differently.
 

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