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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: Sleep issue, benadryl question

 Archiebald - Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:42 am

My son is 29 mnths, he has slept through the night maybe 30 times, I have brought my concerns to ped and they tell me some kids do not sleep well, he will learn, I could try Benadryl for a week to try and establish a sleep cycle. I was not comfortable with that so I decided to bring him to Neuorologist for evaluation because I notice he twitched a little after falling to sleep and wondered if that could be the problem, they advised his twitching was just part of sleep cycle and he was perfectly normal and it was safe to try Benadryl for no longer than 7 nights. I still have not given him th eBenadryl I feel guilty givining it to him so I could get a good night sleep, Can I have your opinion on the Benadryl use? Will it help him establish a sleep cycle?
 Theresa Jones, RN - Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:43 pm

User avatar Hi Archiebald,
The use of Benadryl for a short time to assist in establishing a more regular sleep cycle in children is not an unheard of practice. Using Benadryl for a 7 day period along with establishing a regular bedtime routine establishes consistency. You may want to look at this a little differently. You know how you feel when you don't get a good nights sleep, children are no different. Sleep is necessary to rejuvenate the body and is important in immune system function.
Theresa Jones, RN
 Archiebald - Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:02 pm

Thanks Theresa,
If the Benadryl does not work, can you advise the best type of dr to see for an evaluation for a sleep disorder?
 Theresa Jones, RN - Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:59 am

User avatar Hi Archiebald,
The best physician to evaluate a child is a Pediatrician. Sometimes interruptions in sleep don't necessary indicate an actual sleep disorder. It takes a little time, effort, and consistency to develop a bedtime routine. Talk to you child's Pediatrician about other measures that may be suggested to make this an easier transition for both of you.
Theresa Jones, RN
 devon - Tue Dec 12, 2006 3:23 pm

The Bendadryl works well. I've used it in the past. If you use it to establish a healthy sleep cycle you wont need it after a few days. It just teaches the body when to go to bed.

I've also heard of doctors recommending melatonin. Its a natural hormone the body produces to induce sleeping. It is safe for kids in small doses. Ask your doctor about this.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Dec 12, 2006 9:49 pm

User avatar Benadryl can be helpful in getting children to sleep, but as your doctor has recommended, it is best to not use it more than a few days because benadryl makes kids sleepy, but gives them poor quality sleep so they often wake up tired.

Other important things to do are to set a firm bed time as well as an established time to wake up. At this age, kids may like to sleep with a teddy bear or some sort of comfort object, but don't put too many toys in the bed with them. Keep the room dark (a small night light is OK) and as quiet as possible. Also, once the child has been put to bed try to minimize physical contact and allow the child to fall asleep on his own.

Another thing to try if he is waking up in the middle of the night frequently is to put him to bed about 30 minutes EARLIER than he has been going. It seems counterintuitive but can often do the trick.

There are some very good books to aid in establishing helpful sleep practices. Your doctor may have some literature for you as well.

I hope you are able to sleep through the night soon.

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