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My Son's Constant Awakenings and Aggressive Behavior

by Jennifer Tedford
(Newmarket, Ontario Canada)

My son is 7 years old and ever since I can remember, he has had difficulty falling asleep. He always asks my husband and I to lay with him to go to sleep (usually we do not, but sometimes, we give in if we are exhausted). Once asleep, he will generally sleep for a few hours, and then wake up, again coming to us to sleep with him. After he has fallen asleep, we leave the room and it's like he has a built-in sensor telling him that we are no longer there. If we refuse to join him, he begins kicking and punching and becomes very aggressive. This happens several times a night so as you can imagine, it is not only affecting his quality of sleep, but also ours.

In addition, he still wets the bed...not every night but a few times a week. We have tried restricting his fluids in the evening, but this does not work. The only thing that works sometimes is for us to wake him up to go pee through the night, again, affecting sleeping for all of us.

Bedtime is a VERY stressful event in our household and we desperately need help.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Comments for My Son's Constant Awakenings and Aggressive Behavior

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Sep 05, 2010
by: Anonymous

I would get a sleep study to find out what the awakenings are all about. Some of what you describe could be due to something like sleep apnea. My son has had sleep apnea since he was born. He is seven now. He is very aggressive and behaviorally challenged due to sleep deprivation. Is your son aggressive only at night? Ihope this suggestion helps point you in a direction towards help. I understand your exhaustion...

Nov 08, 2010
Sleep apnea
by: Linda

I would like to reach out to the parent with the 7 year old with sleep apnea. My 7 year old son has sleep apnea too I would love to be able to swap info and ideas with you. This is a big struggle for us. My son has also suffered since he was born. Now it is affecting his HW as it is hard for him to concentrate after a long day at school. Just wondering if you have found anything to help. I have gone through numerous masks and he is on his second CPAP machine. His school does not understand and I feel they are pushing him into the Special Ed category even though last year he read above grade level. He has had every behavioral and psychological workup and they show no problems except sleep apnea. As if that's not enough. Thank you. John's mom . My email is

Nov 21, 2010
by: Anonymous

my son is only 3 and a half just been diagnosed with autisim he just wont sleep and he lashes out and can be very aggressive day or nighthe just doesnt listen to us and hits us sometime any suggestions please

Nov 28, 2010
sleep and then day time behavior
by: Anonymous

My daughter is 6. Ever since i can remember she has problems falling asleep. Once asleep she wakes up during night at least once, sometimes more, and results to climbing in bed with me. It's been suggested to me to use Melatonin. This does help with falling asleep, but she does'nt stay that way. So of course she has major behavior issues, temper outburts, crying, aggresiveness, and so on. I catch myself blaming this on ADHD, which i do have another child with that. My daughter on the other hand doesn't meet the criteria of ADHD, so now here i am. Any ideas on the sleep issues and behavior issue i would appreciate!!

Nov 29, 2010
Melatonin Success
by: Kevin Morton

Great to hear Jennifer! Congrats on your melatonin success and best wishes for you and your son on into the future.

Jan 18, 2011
Has the aggressive behavior decreased?
by: Anonymous

Hi Jennifer,
I am so happy to hear you found something that helps. I was wondering if you could share whether or not his levels of aggression have decreased. I am experiencing something similar and am interested to see if you think the behavior was mainly due to the sleep issue. Thank you.

Jan 20, 2011
by: Anonymous

My son's aggression generally took place in the middle of the night when he woke up and we told him that we would not sleep with him. That does still happen sometimes, but not often, as he normally only wakes up to go to the bathroom once a night (which is completely normal).

His behaviour during the day is much better. He is not aggressive and has a much better focus on tasks/activities, and has much more patience.

Hope this helps.

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