Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Night Owl Behavior Harmful to Preteens

Night Owl Behavior Harmful to Preteens - Psych Central News

An interesting article. I have 5 children, and have seen this behavior in some of them. Kyle was the worst about going to bed. When Kyle was a pre-teen my wife worked nights. I made sure I put him to bed every night, but when my wife got home at 2:00 AM, Kyle was waiting up for her, fully awake, every night. I don't know if this was a contributer to, or a result of, his bipolar disorder.

I now see this behavior in my oldest daughter, now 12. I don't think she has bipolar disorder, she's entirely different from Kyle at that age, but these sleep patterns still bother me.


Dream Writer said...

My son is only 7 years old but he had night terrors for a while and now he is horrible at night when going to bed.

I worried about him for awhile but I cannot be paranoid every time my kids make a move or a mistake and assume its bipolar.

The funny thing about all of this is that Sleep Patterns are a symptom of Bipolar as well as other things..but I think we have to draw the line and not always assume or analyze their actions.

A lot of teens I think are up at night because "That is the thing to do" at their age. Some sleep late and of course they are going to be up at night.

Some enjoy watching TV or have jobs and when they come home they are just looking for some Vegging out time.

Its part of growing up and some Psychologists and psychiatrits anaylyze too much, I think.

anonymous mom said...

i just learned from the tdoc that my night owl tested out as bp, adhd, odd, with depressive negative traits, antisocial traits, and aggressive traits.

then i clicked your link.

coincidence? don't know.

Dream Writer said...

Night Owl behavior can be from anything...Anonymous mom just proved that doctors will diagnose us with just about anything.

Jon said...

DW - I agree with you, we can worry too much about things. But this being said, it's like observing the symptoms of a physical problem, if symptoms arise we have an obligation to seek medical attention if we suspect a problem. As parents we have to use our judgment on issues like this. I have been through this with one out of 5 children (so far), so this hits close to home for me. If you want an account of raising a child with bipolar disorder, read my first blog, Bipolar Support or Anonymous Mom's blog, Tenuous At Best. If I see the signs of bipolar disorder in another one of my children I'm going to begin therapy or treatment at a much earlier age than we did with my son Kyle.

AM - coincidence? Doubt it...

Dream Writer said...

Jon - I agree with what you are saying as well 100%...I am the first to admit that a lot of parents are in denial about their children and they sugar coat their behavior.

But we are talking about Sleep Patterns not Bipolar.

Not every single person with a sleep problem has Bipolar.

I, too would send my kids off to a shrink if I suspected anything.

I told ALL three of my Adult children that If I want them to seek therapy and I pay for it would they go?

They all said "YES."

cp said...

its funny. i posted about my son today and the fact that I am afraid he has acquired my disease as well. seems to be a lot of that going around lately.

my son is a horrible sleeper. stays awake til all hours of the his mommy.

Jon said...

CP - depending on the study, I've read that there is a 10 to 20% chance of direct offspring having bipolar disorder if one or both parents suffer. And as you know, sleep patterns are one of the biggest indicators of bipolar disorder.

jane said...

Me & both my kids are pretty much nocturnal. My mom used to have a fit cuz I'd still be on the phone at 4am when she'd get up for work. I have no idea what causes it, but I do know it's extremely hard to change.

Just Me said...

I think sleep is one of the ways bipolar has always affected me. I never slept well or easily from birth. I was actually on phenobarbital at one point because my colic was so severe I didn't sleep at all. The "colic" lasted nearly a year, but I continued with sleep problems that ultimately turned into clearly having bipolar.

At the same time I don't think sleep is the only thing causing bipolar. I think bipolar sleep issues are much different than typical insomnia. I think that's why regular sleep meds like ambien are of limited usefulness with most of us.

Jon said...

Jane - I'm trying very hard to change my sleep habits, and it's working. It took a lot of Ambien for several months to change my body's clock, but it is getting better.

JustMe - that sounds exactly like my son Kyle. My wife didn't sleep more than an 2 hours straight for the first year of his life, then it only improved a little. I assume sleep issues are a symptom of bipolar disorder, although it wouldn't surprise me if they found that it was a contributing factor in developing bipolar disorder.