Monday, November 3, 2014

Sleepless in Austin and Princess Ellie Bellie Bear


Back in mid-August, Ellie started to exhibit some strange sleep patterns.  She started to wake up 2-3 times a week at 3:30am.  Ellie had a sinus infection that lasted nearly 3 weeks and we attributed her sleeplessness to the nasty, snotty nose.  Other than that, nothing had changed; medication-wise or health-wise.

By late-September, Andrew & I realized that these very early morning wakings were not going away.  I contacted Ellie's neurologist and they recommended administering 3mg of Melatonin before bed.  The introduction of melatonin decreased her early risings to just once/week.  Until mid-October, when it started back up again.

Interpretive dance as Elsa


When I say that Ellie is up early.  I mean early.  Plus, she is up for the day.  That means, she does not fall back asleep until the following night.

The average preschooler should get 10-13 hours of sleep per night.  Two to 3 days a week, Ellie is getting anywhere from 5-7 hours.

Her magic time is 3:30am.  Of course there are those times when 2:00am is perfect.  Yet, last night was Midnight.  Yes, 12:00am.  Just 1.5 hours after I went to bed.

One would think that she would nap, not so.  Occasionally, she might take a short little snooze.  This is usually in the car on the way to and/or from her later therapies.

Did I mention that she wakes up HAPPY?!  I am so not a morning person.  I could sleep in until 10am and still be grumpy without a cup or pot of coffee. Nope, Ellie wakes up at 2:30am ready to conquer the world.

She plays and plays and plays.  Fortunately, she has not figured out how to turn the door knob yet (knock-on-wood).  She is content to build with blocks, rummage through her closet, and host tea parties.  That being said, she is LOUD!  She communicates via vowel sounds:  "A", "AYE", "EEEEE", "Ahhhhh", "ooooooohhhhh!". That means, the entire house hold is awake.  And we are cranky.

Ellie decided to switch costumes mid-dance class

While Ellie may be happy in the early morning, but lunch time, she is a wild mess.  Sleep deprivation, leads to hyperactivity.  This means, it looks like Ellie never got her Adderall.  Halfway through school, she is hyper and impulsive  By 4pm, she is cranky, tired, and having epic tantrums.


1. Keeping bedtime the same no matter what time she wakes up.
2. Putting her to bed earlier everyday.
3. Putting her to bed later everyday.
4. Maintain good sleep hygiene with the same 3-part routine each night
5. Blankie goes to bed.
6. Light Blocking shade and blinds over the shade.
7. White noise using an air purifier.

Snow White dress, Elsa crown

1. Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy due to sleep apnea and chronic sinusitis 18 months ago.
2. Continue Tenex (short -acting guanfacine) at 3 x day with the last dose being before bed--side effect for Ellie is fatigue)
3. Add in 3mg of Melatonin 30-60 minutes before bed.
4. Testing for : thyroid panel, thyroid antibodies, liver panel with ultrasound, CBC, complete metabolic panel, IgA testing, complete celiac's screen, C-reactive protein, sed rate.
5. Repeat of above bloodwork.
6. GI problems resolved!!!!!  Happy Dance!  So we know it is diarrhea, cramping, constipation, or hunger keeping her awake.--SHE IS EATING!!!!

The Plan of Action aka What Mama Wants to Try
Essential oils
Sleep study to further rule out sleep apnea
Trial of non-stimulant ADHD medication as the ADHD brain wiring may be preventing her from staying asleep

Big plan after the neurologist didn't call back for over 48 hours last week: call every single day until we get a game plan.


Do I honestly have to spell it out?

I am Snoopy.  Linus is Ellie with her blankie

I am hoping to see more of this!

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