adoptive parenting · Little Man · sleep · sleep study

Sleep Issues: Conversation with the ENT

The ENT called this week to further discuss the results of Little Man’s sleep study. Although there was one episode of apnea (cessation of breathing), it does not warrant a diagnosis of apnea or surgery on the little guy’s throat.

Little Man slept about 70% of the study time. Docs like to see closer to 90%, so the ENT was a little concerned about that, but has no solutions. Basically he has diagnosed the kiddo with parasomnia.

Go ahead and google it, then come back. I will wait 🙂

Nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking (although he cannot get out of his crib), head banging, difficulty falling asleep and restlessness.

Yes, we have all of these, although not every night (thank God). The “sleepwalking” is almost nightly. Between 11pm and midnight every night, he sits up and wedges himself into the corner of his crib and cannot get back to his pillow and blanket, because he is still sound asleep.

The ENT has said that, essentially, there is nothing medically that can be done. We have to watch and pray that he outgrows it. He also said the study indicated that Little Man’s brain never really “shuts down” so he can sleep. He has a hard time calming down, in other words.

The other suggestion from the doc is that this is an environmental issue, aka he does not have a healthy, stable home. However, the doc was quick to say he does not suspect that AT ALL in this case, but if we wanted to delve into the psychological realm, we could.

Keith and I discussed the possibility that this is adoption related, but we really do not think that is the case. Yet, with what little we know about his pre-natal situation, we *could* see where he has some issues stemming from that time in his life. These issues would mostly manifest themselves physically, as evidenced by the parasomnia. Even the nightmares, etc., could be from physical brain things.

So…all this to say…sleep is marginally better, but not twelve hours a night. He normally sleeps from 9:30 pm until 5:30 am, and then he comes to bed with me, and sleeps (after some milk) until 7:30 or so. The Zantac has seemed to eliminate the multiple crying-outs that were occurring, and other than that 11-12 window, nighttime wake ups have significantly decreased in the past two weeks. Keith and I are getting a solid 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep most nights (which is a vast improvement over 1-3 hour blocks!).

We will continue the Zantac (one dose about an hour before bedtime) and I am researching herbal calming remedies (think camomile and sleepy time tea!). I feel like if he could fall asleep before 9:30 (like 8!) and still sleep until 5:30, his mood (and ours) would improve even more. But no matter when we start the bedtime routine, he doesn’t sleep until 9:30.

We will also continue to closely monitor what he watches on television; I am so grateful we chose to be very “overprotective” in that area from early on. I cannot imagine how much worse his nightmares would be if we allowed him to watch whatever on the screen! We are also making a concerted effort to be calm after dinner. Unfortunately, Keith often arrives home right before or right after dinner, and LM wants to roughhouse and play active games with Daddy. We are trying to avoid running and roughhousing after dinner in hopes it helps him calm down.

So that is our diagnosis. Just having a name for it is relief! Knowing he will eventually outgrow it and/or learn to manage it is also a huge relief!

Thank you to those of you who gave advice on the melatonin; we haven’t made a final decision about that yet, and I appreciate hearing everyone’s experiences.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

3 thoughts on “Sleep Issues: Conversation with the ENT

  1. I was a sleep walker and had night terrors. I think it's because I'm a worrier. I was/am shy so I never talked about problems/issues just kept them inside. Around 4 years old my mom would have to walk me around the house to show me that all the doors were locked during a sleep walking episode. I did grow out of it. I don't think that I've had an episode of sleep walking since 7 or 8, a couple of years after my parents divorced. And during their divorce I didn't have more episodes, so I don't think it wasn't attributed to the home environment. My mom tells me that the night terrors were hard to deal with because I would cry and scream but I was asleep so there was nothing they could do to help.

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