View Full Version : New Behavior-bedtime anxiety


Vandeluca
09-22-15, 08:56 AM
Hi. Well, we have a new issue that has developed the past few weeks..Since school started and am seeking some help or suggestions.

She is 11.5 and has never loved to go to sleep alone..though she does. Occasionally(rare) she would find herself in our room in the middle of the night.

Since school started, she has been very anxious about going to sleep alone..in tears and this arguing leading to not sleeping enough hours. She wanted to ocome in our room with us.

She will fall asleep and within 30 mins to 1 hour seem awake (maybe conscious maybe not) and start talking in her sleep and it's ALWAYS about school and she's upset in the talking. One night I felt her heart and it was racing and she was upset.

I have told her at this point that she can go to sleep and if she wakes up worried she can come in our room. I don't know what else to do because I need her to sleep. This did not happen on the weekend btw.

They seem to have an awful lot of work at school and I am sure she is overwhelmed. But she needs sleep or she shuts down.

Any suggestions? I'm exhausted as well...TX

dvdnvwls
09-22-15, 03:09 PM
I'm not a parent, so perhaps my sense of this is skewed, but I would expect that the sleep problem might be more or less un-fixable until the school problem is properly resolved.

sarahsweets
09-22-15, 03:43 PM
You have to get to the bottom of what is upsetting her at school. Contact the guidance counselors and her teachers and also consider therapy.

stef
09-22-15, 03:44 PM
Could she " talk it all out" sometime before or just after dinner? and some nice, soothing downtime before bedtime. ( i say this because although i dont have trouble sleeping i will replay a busy day over and over in my mind, and wake up anxious; i sleep best i dont get ready for bed too late and do some crochet.)
oh - you could have her get ready for bed making it really clear, just put on pajamas and she doesnt actually have to go to bed yet.

TygerSan
09-22-15, 03:55 PM
I feel for you. I was the child and am not the parent in this situation. When I was your daughter's age I also had a huge problem going to sleep at night. For me, the fear wasn't falling asleep alone, it was trying (and failing) to go to sleep at all. I'd get so worked up about not sleeping that I . . .wouldn't sleep. And like your daughter, I really, really needed my sleep. It was also an anxiety thing for me.

I did wind up in therapy for it and other related issues. I don't honestly remember a lot about what we talked about in therapy. I do remember the structure was that I would go and talk with the therapist for around 30 min alone, and then my mom would have a session afterwards as well.

We did wind up with a couple of strategies for dealing with my tendency to pop out of bed and bug my parents. One was a diary in which I would write down what was worrying me. The idea behind that was I was not allowed to get out of bed and voice my worries to my parents; I had to let go of them.

If your daughter is not actually awake when she's talking, the diary may be of only limited use. It may also be worth looking into getting a sleep study done if she's talking and/or walking in her sleep.

Vandeluca
09-24-15, 07:54 AM
Hi thanks for responses. She actually in the past has had a sleep study done--because she has epilepsy with controlled seizures. That is been fine unless something has changed..

I know what is bothering her--it is the transition and amount o work they have..Having lived in another region of the world for a long time, I am not overly happy with education here in US (sorry if any of you are teachers) but it is ridiculous in many ways and I would have never believed had I not lived away. Back to basics is best....instead they don't teach them bases and building blocks and dump on the HW.......This is not healthy IMO... I noticed they treat grades 1-5 like play land and busy work and then grade 6 comes and slam.....This should have been a gradual thing but I guess that whole another story. She has been up each night LATE for homework..as in 10 pm. They gave them science fair (THIS SUMMER !!!) , etc and are treating it like a college project...I sitll am letting her fit in her fun activities because I Don't believe in all of this work at age 11..The downside it has affected sleep and now this situation...

In order to get her to go to sleep so that she has the right amount of hours, I have been letting her go to sleep in my room (without us there) the past 3 or 4 nights...and she has at least been getting a block of time. She only wakes up or talks once now (still about school) ...but it hasn't been every night...so I am hoping that catching her up on sleep first will settle the sleep problem in time....and lessen the anxiety she is having about school....

Thanks for the journal idea.

I was just wondering if this can be part of ADHD...I know it can be related to epilepsy but she did have an EEG in the summer...

Vandeluca
09-24-15, 07:59 AM
I think she replays her day in her head for sure or replays what she is thinking about.



Could she " talk it all out" sometime before or just after dinner? and some nice, soothing downtime before bedtime. ( i say this because although i dont have trouble sleeping i will replay a busy day over and over in my mind, and wake up anxious; i sleep best i dont get ready for bed too late and do some crochet.)
oh - you could have her get ready for bed making it really clear, just put on pajamas and she doesnt actually have to go to bed yet.

Vandeluca
09-24-15, 08:02 AM
I agree...I have things in her profile like IEP that she supposed to get more time if needed, etc. They never seem to follow it and I haven't needed to pull that card and she's done very well.....however, I think I may have to do it for sure this year. I just personally don't believe in getting homework done just because it is due. To me , it;s more important to understand it fully even if you have to do 10 of the 20 problems assigned....at least I walked away knowing it...not having to have mom doing the other 10 with her because it is just taking too long!



I'm not a parent, so perhaps my sense of this is skewed, but I would expect that the sleep problem might be more or less un-fixable until the school problem is properly resolved.

TygerSan
09-24-15, 09:57 AM
In 6th grade she will need the extra time and extra supports. Also, be aware that if she doesn't use her accommodations in class she likely will have trouble justifying them on standardized testing like the SAT, so it is important that she use the tools she's entitled to.

One additional accommodation I had was reduced workload. Because I tended to work more slowly than most, I was allowed to do things like complete every other assigned problem in math class. Mastery was a bit more difficult with less practice, but I managed just fine, and it sounds like she may be in a similar situation.

KarmanMonkey
09-24-15, 10:51 AM
For me, bedtime was horrible at that age as well; that's when all the wonderful distractions disappeared and all my thoughts would flood in. When it's just me in a quiet room, there's nothing for my brain to do except ruminate on the horrors of the day. Music was helpful to me; something familiar enough that it didn't distract me from sleep, but still interesting enough to engage that part of the brain so it doesn't dig up the unpleasant stuff.

I also had a brief experience of "voice hearing" at night, though it was when I was younger. I eventually realized it was the same thing; a croud of thoughts just overwhelming in the quiet dark space. I eventually trained my brain to have one train of thought that basically tried to marshall the rest.

One of the things that was helpful for me pre-diagnosis was when my parents recognized that I needed less practice to get some concepts down, and the volume of homework was causing me lots of stress for no benefit. They talked to the teacher, who thankfully was supportive of a "quality over quantity" philosophy for my homework. Basically if I could show that I understood the concept I didn't need to repeat it a million times.

It definitely sounds to me like there needs to be a change to her school experience. Sometimes this can be accomplished with a discussion with the teacher, while other times you may need to go through other channels (councellor's office, vp, principal, or even the school board if it comes to that)

I like the "50 tips for classroom management" that Hallowell wrote:

http://web.cortland.edu/andersmd/add/tips.html

It's aimed at teachers, but it might give you a good framework to use for any conversation you have with the teacher or school.

Anyway, best of luck, and hope this was helpful!

Tmoney
09-24-15, 12:03 PM
Well it could be something going on its better to check and make sure just for peace of mind. I hope its not bullying by other kids. She obviously doesn't want to just come out and tell you which unfortunately can be typical with bullying. Especially if its from other girls.

11 1/2 is she in 5th or 6th grade? That's a big leap if she went from elementary to middle.

If it were me I would ask the school like sarah said and I would ask her and see if I could get her to share.

I wish good things for you!

Vandeluca
09-24-15, 11:59 PM
Well good news... She went to be no anxiety..on her own in her own bed...I have convinced her that this science thing is not the end of the world .I think she will be ok in the end..but I never saw her stress over school like that....Thanks for the responses..I hope that was a temporary issue now..

sarahsweets
09-25-15, 03:42 AM
I meant to respond to you yesterday but I so get what you are talking about. Let me tell you a shortened version of what last year was like for me.
My daughter Ella is 12 now. She started 6th grade last year, shes in 7th now. Last year was like culture shock. You are right the amount of work they are expected to adapt to combined with being in a school with 8th graders, combined with an adhd child is so much for them to handle. And I agree, up until 6th grade the work and expectations were not the same. Ella began a descent into depression that came to a head in May when after repeatedly reaching out for help, she wanted to kill herself. We made the very very difficult choice to seek hospitalization and I thought I was the worst mother around! It was the best thing we could have done for her. It turns out that her depression was more than situational. She needed medication (lexapro) and intensive therapy. She went inpatient for 10 days and then stepped down to partial hospitalization (9-3) and then finally intensive outpatient (4 hours a day). She graduated her program in August. This was such a hard thing for us to go through.

Feeling like a failure, I wondered what I missed and how I couldve been so blind. I cant speak highly enough of how much this helped her. This year she is a different child. She learned coping skills, how to self advocate and perspective. I am not saying this is where your daughter is at, but I caution you to take everything she says and does seriously. Sometimes as parents we are thinking stuff is just "that age" and there could be more to it.



I know what is bothering her--it is the transition and amount o work they have..Having lived in another region of the world for a long time, I am not overly happy with education here in US (sorry if any of you are teachers) but it is ridiculous in many ways and I would have never believed had I not lived away. Back to basics is best....instead they don't teach them bases and building blocks and dump on the HW.......This is not healthy IMO... I noticed they treat grades 1-5 like play land and busy work and then grade 6 comes and slam.....This should have been a gradual thing but I guess that whole another story. She has been up each night LATE for homework..as in 10 pm. They gave them science fair (THIS SUMMER !!!) , etc and are treating it like a college project...I sitll am letting her fit in her fun activities because I Don't believe in all of this work at age 11..The downside it has affected sleep and now this situation...

I was just wondering if this can be part of ADHD...I know it can be related to epilepsy but she did have an EEG in the summer...
This can be related to adhd and it can also be something more.
If she has an IEP its up to you to make sure it is followed. Schools can get lazy and they have no oversight lots of times to make sure they are following it. She deserves those accomodations and if she isnt getting them,as the work gets harder, she may feel even worse.
Check out the website wrights law. I cant link it here but it has a ton of info about PRISE and other resources and suggestions on getting your daughter's needs met.

Vandeluca
09-25-15, 07:39 PM
Thanks for the reply...I read all and digest all of them:)