I don’t know if I can officially call this a sleep study…. but we are studying the sleeping habits of Brooke. She still wets the bed nearly every night (at age 9.5) so we know there’s sleep issues there. From what I’ve read, bedwetters often are bad sleepers- and when they sleep poorly it causes them to go into a DEEP sleep, during which they wet the bed, which wakes them, and then they sleep horribly from thereon after.
With her recent Tic Disorder diagnosis, I was curious to see whether or not sleep seems to be impacting it. It seems like when she’s super tired, she blinks more. If she’s fully rested, I don’t see it as much.
I had Brooke wear my FitBit tracker for a couple nights to see what her pattern was looking like.
Before I share those findings… here’s what you need to know:
Solid blue means asleep.
Aqua lines indicate times you are ‘restless’.
Red lines indicate times you are ‘awake’.
Anyway- when I’ve worn my Fitbit in the past (to bed) it registered ZERO awake or restless periods. I decided to try it again…. I wore it for two nights back to back. I did find myself waking up when I changed positions and I recalled this happening about 4 times during the night. I don’t normally wake when I change positions, so I think I was just hyper-aware since I had the bracelet on for tracking.
My alarm goes off at 5am, which is why there’s Restless periods at that time- I’m reaching over to hit the snooze button!
But look! It shows that I sleep SOLID all night long. Which surprised me since I had awoken several times. Even though I was changing positions, those times did not register as Restless or Awake periods. Hmmm. One must REALLY have to be doing a LOT of movement in order for it to register!
Now let’s look at Brooke’s reports:
Um, really? 67 minutes of lost sleep due to being awake or restless?
Again- many many restless periods?
Red bar- awake from wetting the bed.
Another bed wetting.
Um, not sure what happened this night.
Overall she’s averaging about 20 periods of restlessness each night and at least one awake period. CONSECUTIVE nights!! This cannot be good.
I decided to have Brooke take some Melatonin to see if that would help. I bought a low dose- 3mg chewable. Gave it to her while we were still in the store- so 7:15pm. Look what happened that night:
First off, she got 9 hours of sleep! Secondly, only 11 periods of restlessness. Did you notice that she was asleep by 7:54pm? That stuff works fast!
I didn’t have her take it again for a few days to see what happened:
Then she decided that she wanted to start taking it- she said she felt like it made her sleep better and I don’t want to argue with the power of the brain. Here’s the next few nights:
I dunno. I mean, how do I help this?? If she’s taking Melatonin and STILL having 20 periods of restlessness…..and when I’m turning over in my sleep and changing positions it’s not registering anything… WHAT THE HECK is she doing in her sleep?
There’s another chart I can pull on her….this one is kind of interesting, too:
Sunday, Oct 26th:
Monday, Oct 27th:
Tuesday, Oct 28th (she really DID fall asleep before 11:53pm, not sure what happened here):
Wednesday, Oct 29th:
Thursday Oct 30th:
Friday Oct 31st: Took Melatonin for the first time
Saturday Nov 1st: No Melatonin
Sunday Nov 2nd: No Melatonin
Monday Nov 3rd: Melatonin (asleep before 9!)
Tuesday Nov 4th: Took Melatonin
Wednesday Nov 5th: took Melatonin, asleep before 9!
So it appears there’s no difference in the quality of sleep between taking the Melatonin or not…. but taking the Melatonin (if done early enough) does result in MORE sleep because she falls asleep much sooner.
For a kiddo would can easily stay up until 10pm on school nights, I’m thinking it’s something we should do just to ensure she can fall asleep before 9pm. I just have to make sure she gets her homework and reading done before she takes it!
Anyway- just thought I’d satisfy any curiosity you might have on how she’s sleeping and if the Melatonin is making any difference or not. She’s been consistently taking it for the past 3 nights, and it’s my goal to have her start taking it earlier- like at 8pm so we can get her to bed earlier so she can get MORE sleep, if not better sleep. And I’ll keep an eye on her Tic disorder to see if that improves at all. So far I’m not seeing anything.
We will keep monitoring this for a while.