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Newly diagnosed teen can't sleep-HELP!!

Discussion in 'Parents of Teens' started by rebecca, Mar 14, 2013.

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  1. rebecca

    rebecca New Member

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    My 14 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 four weeks ago and has trouble falling asleep. In fact, the past two nights she hasn't slept at all. Yesterday she was still awake at 6 am. She was exhausted when I went in to wake her up for school, so I let her sleep a couple of hours in the morning then kept her out of school and active hoping she would be exhausted last night. Nope! Same story this morning... no sleep. Her BS has been between 120-180 at bedtime.

    Has anyone experienced insomnia with their teen?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

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    My daughter's sleep habits changed at diagnosis. Not insomnia like you're describing, but she has a very hard time falling asleep if she still has bolus insulin working from supper. She can feel herself dropping and worries about going low in her sleep. It's much, much better now that we CGM and she knows I'll be alerted, but for the most part, it's best if we have IOB worn off in time for bed.
     
  3. nanhsot

    nanhsot Approved members

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    My son was diagnosed at 15, it's a tough age with or without diabetes, lots of things going on in their world.

    Do you do night time testing at all? Perhaps letting her know that you will wake up at midnight and 5am or whatever will allow her to sleep more comfortably? Do you think she's concerned about going low at night? If that's the problem then you need to assure her that you will set an alarm and test her.

    My son does sometimes have insomnia, but he's also naturally a night owl so it's not really related to diabetes in his case.

    If she's having a lot of anxiety related to her diagnosis you might consider taking her to a counselor. My family also has very good luck with a product called rescue sleep, a homeopathic sleep aid, if you are interested in something like that.

    Hope you find some answers.
     
  4. Helenmomofsporty13yearold

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    My thoughts are that it has more to do with anxiety over the diagnosis. It is tough to be diagnosed as a teen when ones priority is to be like everyone else. If you have access to a social worker or any counselling, I would take full advantage of it. The thing that has helped DD accept her D the most is being around other CWD's. See if JDRF or any of the pump companies are offering any get-togethers or seminars in your area. DD loved going to diabetes camp. Many top athletes with D offer camps, retreats and one day events. These folks are so inspirational and just so darn cool, they make it cool to have D.
     
  5. Christopher

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    Before jumping to any assumptions about it being anxiety related I would first ask, have you talked to your daughter about this? Can she tell you what is going on with her that is keeping her up at night? That would be where I would start.
     
  6. Michelle'sMom

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    My 2 older daughters (now 32 & 28) went through periods of insomnia at around the same age. I was told then that it's completely normal. Having said that, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of anxiety over the dx. Sounds like a good time for a discussion with her.
     
  7. Richard Wooten

    Richard Wooten New Member

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    Response to sleep question

    The first few weeks after the intial diagnosis are a challenging transitional period in which sleep, appetite, and mood can be affected. After my daughter was diagnosed 4 years ago, the entire family felt the effects of her health concerns and sleep was one of the primary things that suffered. The good news is that it will get better, but you need to remind yourselves that all of this is very new and will take some time to make adjustments. T1D is a family illness that will be felt by all members in the home, so if everybody is not on board, then your daughter may feel resentment over time regarding her condition. The hospital where intital care was received is a good starting point for advice in this area, as well as a good place to seek support groups and psychoedcational materials that are diabetes specific. Encouraging family members to remain involved (for example,taking turns helping with early a.m. blood glucose checks) is also a good way to involve everybody in the care process and create empathy for a challenging new transition. Your daughter will become empowered to work harder if she feels supported with her condition.You may also want your daughter to begin charting the gains that are being made so that she can see any positive strides that she is making over time and use these as behavioral reinforcers. Be aware of any negative responses and attempt to give them an encouraging spin, because stress will affect many things with a T1D patient; namely because Cortisol is a hormone that affects the way in which insulin is metabolized. Hang in there; it will all get easier and your daughter will do the same things that she did prior to her diagnosis with minor adjustments. All of this will become second nature in no time at all. As my daughter said to her distraught parents and siblings after coming home from the hospital after being diagnosed with T1D, "I am bigger than Type 1 diabetes, and it will not stop me from enjoying life". This mantra has served her well and has reduced the stress that may have made things more difficult in the beginning. My best to all of you, because I am confident that things will get easier. Please feel free to email if you would like to contact me directly.
    Respectfully, Richard Wooten
    r.wooten@hotmail.com
     
  8. Christopher

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    I think it is important for parents to occasionally point out positive things that their children are doing wrt diabetes, but it seems a little much to have the child actually chart it all out. I can't see a 14 year old doing that. A much younger child, maybe....
     
  9. rebecca

    rebecca New Member

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    Wow! Thanks to all of you for responding with great advice and encouragement!
    Last night was better... she fell asleep about 2am. I've talked with her about having anxiety over the diagnosis and worrying about dropping during the night. She tells me that she isn't anxious or worried in either case. She has handled all of this beautifully so far and seems to take in all in stride. But then again, she's a teenager trying to be brave and acting like being diagnosed is not a big deal. We have signed her up for diabetes camp this summer! Yay!

    I have to learn all of the abbreviations you guys use on here!

    Thanks again!
    Rebecca
     
  10. Christopher

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  11. rebecca

    rebecca New Member

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    Thanks Christopher!
     
  12. wilf

    wilf Approved members

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    If blood sugars are on the low side (under 80) DD will have trouble falling asleep. I don't send her to bed under 120, but she may be dropping due to sports earlier in the day. We've caught a lot of pending lows because she couldn't fall asleep..
     
  13. skimom

    skimom Approved members

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    Yes - both of my kids had this problem - especially my son who was 14 at the time. We worked with our children's hospital who referred us to the sleep clinic - they were able to gather some important data related to breathing, heart rate etc - they wanted to rule out things like sleep apnea. My son also worked with the psychologist to learn some relaxing techniques and the sleep clinic gave us some pointers on winding down, - ie " how to go to bed" - it took some time but believe me - sleep is no longer an issue -
    Make this a priority for her - good rest is critical if she is to learn to manage her diabetes well .
     
  14. Gilliansmom

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    my daughter is 15 and has had D (diabetes) for 4 years. She also had trouble sleeping in the beginning and the nurse told her she can use Melatonin, it's a natural enzyme you can get at CVS and just helps them fall asleep. I would ask her if she is interested in checking out this website where she can talk to other teens like her and ask her questions to them. My daughter doesn't tell me, but she goes on her and it helps her. Good luck...
     
  15. Izzi

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    When I was diagnosed, I was afraid of going low and never waking up, so that caused me to stay up almost all night every night. my mom would come in and check be at 12 and 2 but I was afraid. My mom reassured me that she would check as often as I want her to. She checked at 10,12,2 and when wshe got up. Now I have a cgm and don't worry as much.
     
  16. SandiT

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    Hi there,

    I can't really help much with the diabetes aspect of insomnia. I don't know how it's impacted by that, but I am extremely familiar personally with insomnia.

    A few things I've learned:

    1. keep to your schedule. If you would get up at 6, even if you're exhausted, get up at 6. If you go to bed at 10, even if you're wired for bore, go to bed and lay there at 10. Keeping to the schedule helps to retrain your body.

    2. Get cold at bedtime. Your body's temperature falling tells it biologically that it's time to go to sleep. So take a cool bath and try to stay in it as long as you can. Lower that temp. Lower the temp in your bedroom, and don't cover up too much.

    3. Try some meditative techniques, and start to build up a routine that goes together with number 2. For example, play classical music--but only as you're lowering your body temperature and after you've gone to bed. Don't play it at other times.

    4. Linked in with number 2 again... while you take that cool bath, add epsom salts to the water. Magnesium saturation from it will help intensify the physical need to sleep. Magnesium taken orally isn't as immediate, but can also assist.

    5. If she's not on a strict meal schedule, and can have a "bedtime snack", make it milk & honey. When you warm a bit of milk with honey to around body temperature, it creates a chemical compound that helps your body go to sleep--and it's not going to leave you groggy in the morning.



    Anyway, I apologize if I've overstepped by offering not t1d related solutions. I've struggled a very long time with insomnia and learned a lot of tricks related to assisting in overcoming it. I get more sleep now than I have in my life, and these are the things that have helped me. They sort of over-ride the mental things by pretty much pushing the body to retire with or without the permission of the mind, lol. So because of that, they may or may not assist.

    My personal thinking on it is that it might fade with time. Right now, your young one has a lot of energy blazing through her system, where she didn't before. It may just be that she needs to adjust to it and relearn that "this much energy" doesn't mean being awake.

    Hopefully some of these tips might assist in that. Particularly lowering body temperature, which is a biological and natural signal to the hind brain to push the body towards sleep.

    Best wishes in this to both of you!
     
  17. MamaC

    MamaC Approved members

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    Did a quick scan of responses and didn't see this - sorry if it's a repeat. Make sure all electronics are turned off way before bedtime. My son and I both are insomniacs, and that was suggested to both of us. The brain needs a chance to settle.

    I should point out that my son has T1, dx at 13; he's now 20. I can't say that the insomnia and the T1 are related (or that they are not), as the insomnia only reared its ugly head a few years ago. It's possible the timing for your daughter is coincidental.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013

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