The following is a visitor-submitted question or story. For more, you can submit your own sleep story here, or browse the collection of experiences and questions other visitors have shared here.

My Son's Constant Movement During Sleep

by Christina Schye
(Billings, MT)

My 3 year old son with Down syndrome started having sleep problems a year ago. Two sleep studies later, we are no closer to an answer.


He goes to sleep at night fine, and sleeps soundly for about the first 3 hours. From then on he has constant movement, sometimes just an arm flailing back and forth, sometimes rocking his whole body back and forth, and sometimes rolling all over. He will sit up and flop forward too.

He is not awake during all this, but not really sound asleep either. If you pick him up he's wide awake. He was diagnosed with sleep hypopnea in December and put on singulair and flonase, which have helped his nasal congestion but not his sleep quality. He wakes up in the morning tired and crabby, until his nap which he sleeps fine for, then is happy the rest of the day.

I'm at my wits end. Any suggestions or opinions of what could be wrong?

Comments for My Son's Constant Movement During Sleep

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 11, 2013
same here! NEW
by: Anonymous

My son is now 13 and also has DS he started out the same as your child but around the age of six he pretty much stopped sleeping, I would put him to bed at 8 and by 230-3 he is wide awake,he had one sleep test that showed his lack of REM sleep and he was placed on a sleep aide but now he wakes up and falls asleep again wherever he happens to be(toilet/bus/watching tv) the sleep[ aide are NOT working in keeping him asleep, If you have nay answers or suggestions that would be helpful

May 30, 2014
Daughter giggling heavey breathing rocking at night NEW
by: Pals

Daughter 16 yrs. started rocking ,giggling at night , i can talk to her she said shes fine .she has sleep apnea but wont wear o2 or cpap. She is tired but wont sleep she wont nap . It keeps me awake .this has been going on now for 5 months .we have seen many drs. But they have no answers .they tested for sciezures
Please help us,

Jun 02, 2014
*update* NEW
by: Christina

I'm sorry to see others have the same problems! In several of the facebook groups I'm in I hear very similar experiences. I thought I'd share some of the things suggested, and some things I've tried. Melatonin may help the May 30th commenter. I've tried, and still use, essential oils. There's blends called peace and calm, balance blend, etc, the more reputable EO companies, such as Young Living and DoTerra. You rub these oils on their feet, mainly toes, and can diffuse it into the air via a diffuser. Our doctor has prescribed iron supplements, they say our kids with sleep disturbances ferritin levels should be around 75-100. Iron usually causes constipation, but in my son it causes large amounts of loose stool, so be careful! That's all I have to add for now. Good luck!!

Jun 02, 2014
*update* NEW
by: Christina

I'm sorry to see others have the same problems! In several of the facebook groups I'm in I hear very similar experiences. I thought I'd share some of the things suggested, and some things I've tried. Melatonin may help the May 30th commenter. I've tried, and still use, essential oils. There's blends called peace and calm, balance blend, etc, the more reputable EO companies, such as Young Living and DoTerra. You rub these oils on their feet, mainly toes, and can diffuse it into the air via a diffuser. Our doctor has prescribed iron supplements, they say our kids with sleep disturbances ferritin levels should be around 75-100. Iron usually causes constipation, but in my son it causes large amounts of loose stool, so be careful! That's all I have to add for now. Good luck!!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Experiences With Sleep Disorders In Children.




Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?


A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

More Questions:

Ask | Answer

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

Important Disclaimer

Please Note:

The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.

For more info, see our
Terms of Use.