my daughter struggles getting to sleep. This is always on a school night and never in the holidays. I understand she has anxiety with getting to sleep, the other night she said she felt she needed to read a book on « How to get to sleep » I wonder if anyone knows of anything to help ?
We already have circadin medication, a strict routine of relaxation breathing exercises, relaxing, special meditation stories and a lavender oils diffuser.
However, even with all the above in place, she said she thinks horrid thoughts, nightmarish vivid thoughts about horrible things before she goes to sleep, i need to help her with this.
Any other advice ?
Hi Mum on a mission,
We have a page here on the NAS site about sleep disorders that you might want to have a look at - https://www.autism.org.uk/about/health/sleep.aspx - some of the advice here it sounds like you've tried, but there's more info about causes of sleep disorders, routine, keeping a diary, diet, medication and links to other resources to help with sleep and ASD. Hope you can find something helpful there.
Ross - mod
I've struggled with this all my life - it's only in recent months that I've found out I have OCD (e.g. I'll have an intrusive thought, often centred around someone dying/being hurt, and I have to insert random phrases into my head to prevent those thoughts from entering - it's exhausting, but it also massively interferes with my sleep). In the short-term, I'd recommend having some kind of podcast on in the background while she sleeps. If you can encourage her to exercise more during the day, that might also help to tire her out more before bedtime. Swimming was good for me when I was younger (my OCD's developed to the point where I'm afraid of contamination in swimming pools, so I've not been able to go for a while). Swimming uses all of your muscles and helps with your breathing, but it's also a gentle, calming exercise. I also found dog walking very therapeutic.
As a long-term solution, it might be worth discussing this with her GP to see if they can get her any support with her mental health. I'm going through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) at the moment and I'm slowly but steadily noticing some improvements.
Thank you Ross :)
Thank you Duckbread,
i’ve written to the paediatrician asking about CBT which has helped her in the past. I had not thought that the intrusive thoughts are part of OCD, I’ve read up on this now and it’s been very helpful and put some clarity there for me so thank you. My daughter won’t tell me in detail what the thoughts are but she has said it’s about people and death just before she goes to sleep. I’m hoping we can get CBT soon. Hope you have a good day :)
I'm glad you found it helpful I never wanted to tell my mum either; I was so convinced that these thoughts were true that I thought I'd be endangering her by saying them out loud (or I thought people might think I was bad for having the thoughts in the first place).
You sound like a very supportive mum and CBT is a great idea, so I'm sure there's help out there for your daughter. I hope she gets the support she needs soon.
Thanks - have a good evening