View Full Version : Need advice or reassurance

10-15-2012, 02:54 PM
My child has always been a night owl, but it has gone over the top lately. She is staying up a good part of the night and doing her schoolwork on her own, then sleeping a good part of the day--I honestly can't wake her without it becoming a major struggle involving physically moving her and keeping her on her feet. She is showing me her work, and doing her calvert checkpoints, but I am really worried about her struggling with something, or not understanding something, and not being able to do something about it. I just can't keep her hours, and she honestly would rather work alone. She is 10, and HG, but this still doesn't sound right to me. I need reassurance that I am not destroying her future, or advice on how to shift her back to a schedule where we can work together.

(She says that she can't sleep because she worries about getting the work done and getting into a good college on scholarship because if Romney gets elected there won't be grants and loans left when she is ready to go.)

10-15-2012, 03:34 PM
Just curious exactly what hours you are talking about . . . i mean, does she sleep past noon? is she up past 2 am? My daughter went towards that schedule around age 13 and it caused big problems at school. but honestly, I would think she should be able to get help that she needs when you are both awake. I mean, the paranoia about the political stuff would worry me more - i dont think there is anything wrong with working independently, although it would be great if there were a few things she did interact with you about. Oh, my daughter now can get up before 8 am for school when she needs to. she still sleeps until noon on occasion, though.

10-15-2012, 03:54 PM
I too am curious what sort of hours we're talking here. Have you tried giving her melatonin or valerian root to help her get to sleep at a slightly earlier hour? I am with Cara about the anxiety thing, too; that sort of worry is what led my husband to a full nervous breakdown when he was 11, and when my DD's anxiety and mood issues flare up, she doesn't sleep, either. Is the anxiety what is keeping her awake, or is she just awake because she's awake?

10-15-2012, 04:14 PM
She is generally falling asleep around 3, and if I don't wake her, sleeping until 12 or 1. Last night, she woke me up this morning at 7 because she had breakfast ready and had only dozed through the night.

Part of the paranoia about politics, among other things, is very typical of gifted kids. I work through that with her as much as possible, but I have been told not to worry about it too much as global worries are normal for the way these kids minds work. Lack of sleep is also normal at her level of giftedness, as is hyperfocus on a goal. It is just really hard on the parent :) I have realized that sheltering her from the news doesn't help, it just makes it worse, so we have been watching the debates and discussing them--that way she doesn't generally latch onto the one thing that scares her and run with it.

I haven't tried melatonin or valeran yet, because she will not swallow a pill. Could I crush those up in applesauce like my Mom used to do with pills for me, or are they ones that it changes how they work if you do?

I am concerned about her working alone so much, but she is dealing with me reviewing with her even though she finds it irritating. I think part of it is that she is in one of her I don't want to be around people phases. One of these days, the wind will shift, and I won't be able to keep her in the house again. Another thing they tell me is common with HG and PG kids (she is borderline between the 2 levels). It is frustrating for a Mom to figure out. It is times like this that I miss her being in a good school with a good program--I had other parents of gifted kids, and teachers trained in gifted education to reassure me or guide me when she got weird. I am on my own now.

Accidental Homeschooler
10-15-2012, 04:43 PM
We use Melatonin and I grind it and put it in food (applesauce, orange juice, chocolate syrup). It has helped a lot with the falling asleep problems we were having. Good luck!

10-15-2012, 05:28 PM
I will try the meletonin then! If I could function on the same schedule, I wouldn't worry as much, but as I can't--she is only 10 and I don't know what she is doing when I am asleep, and after finding her watching skinemax at 3:00 in the morning when she was 2, I worry.

10-15-2012, 05:59 PM
What time do you go to sleep? Can you work with her in the afternoon/evening until your bed time? I assume you are awake at noon or 1 pm and don't go to bed until 9 or 10pm at least.

My dd has had sleep issues since she was 2 years old. I have stayed awake with her but as she has gotten older I go to bed when I am tired.
We choose a time with dd for her to go to bed and count on her sleeping 10 hours from that time. We discuss strategies for when she can not sleep. We have to be very strict about that set bed time or she will be up all night again. Dd going to bed at midnight and sleeping until 11 or noon doesn't bother too much.
If we need to shift her schedule it has always been easier to shift her bed time later each night until she is awake all day again.

Sleep Drive and Your Body Clock | National Sleep Foundation - Information on Sleep Health and Safety

(http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/sleep-drive-and-your-body-clock)Melatonin and Sleep | National Sleep Foundation - Information on Sleep Health and Safety (http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/melatonin-and-sleep)

Stella M
10-15-2012, 06:04 PM
First of all, you have my sympathies...we've got an insomniac lying awake at night worrying about college as well. Only 5 years out.

Magnesium is a good relaxant. Can you gradually work back to a compromise wake/sleep time ? I know teens have a different sleep cycle but hey, they are still family members and they need to adapt just a little.

Same wake-up every day, exposure to sunlight for 30 min upon waking. A half hour set aside in her diary specifically for worrying about Romney. I find that works for me :) Sorry, I just empathise.

10-19-2012, 12:45 PM
She sounds like a pretty mature kid... You might try talking to her about her anxiety and then learning about stress/anxiety management together. She may find that she really enjoys meditation, creating soothing rituals, or otherwise finding ways to handle the tension that's keeping her awake. It's a valuable life skill, and one she can eventually take to the more intense stresses of college, grants or not.

10-19-2012, 01:34 PM
A half hour set aside in her diary specifically for worrying about Romney. I find that works for me :) Sorry, I just empathise.

Hmmm....not sure a half hour daily on this worry would get it out of my system...:)

10-19-2012, 03:53 PM
That would kill me. No advice, just lots of sympathy/empathy and the anecdote about a co-worker who rarely sleeps more than 3 hours at a stretch. He grew up on a farm and says his mom just told him there's always work on a farm. So, when he was 10, he'd shoot rats in the barn at 2am. Which may not be reassuring but he's a grown up and been able to make the schedule he wants for himself in work he enjoys.