F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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Hello Fellow Parents and Caregivers,

My 17 year old daughter has been experiencing disrupted sleep for a year and a half....basically the entire time she has been bingeing and purging (although we only found out about the b/p 2 months ago).  We went to an info session today at the local hospital as she/we are about to begin FBT (Maudsley Model).  In the presentation, the facilitator mentioned that sometimes the psychiatrist will recommend an atypical antipsychotic at bedtime to help with sleep. Are any of your teens taking a drug like this to help with sleep?  I would much rather her be on something that will help that is not within this class of drugs....frankly they scare me.  I would love to hear what is helping your teens with sleep if they have experienced sleep issues.

Thank you for any insight!

(((hugs)))   SP
17 year old D - diagnosed with bulimia at beginning of December, 2018.  Has been bingeing and purging for a little over a year without our knowledge. Beginning outpatient hospital ED clinic which uses Maudsley Approach in January of 2019.
Yes we did use both Olanzapine and Seroquel at different times in my daughter's journey. They did help a lot with the constant thoughts and ruminations which are commonly contributing to the disrupted sleep. She did sleep much better. Altogether she was taking one or the other for around 3 years. The only issue we had was day time sleepiness with Olanzapine. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
Hi there,

we had sleep issues for months and months,  I understand you’re keen to help and read you’d prefer if possible to avoid medication. I felt the same, open minded but eager to try other things first.

i bought a weighted blanket and it’s been marvellous to be honest as has an OTC drowsy antihistamine, I give one tablet around 5pm, then she has a lavender bath followed by dinner. Another tablet around 9 and for the past week or so has been asleep by 10. Before she was awake until 3 or 4 am, then sleeping too long during the day thus cutting out valuable eating time.

If this stops working I’ll consider meds but I’m hopeful right now that we’re in a much better sleep routine. I’d certainly recommend weighted blankets as it’s been a game changer for us.

Hi SpiritedPossibility
Yes, my 17 y.o. ED D (now well into recovery but not out of the woods) was given olanzapine and has been on it since March last year and it really helped both with sleep and some of the early anxiety around food. It's strong stuff, doesn't work for everyone and not everyone can tolerate it.  They don't like them on it for longer than necessary. However, they should be well monitored to check for any blood changes so they should be able to tell fairly early on if there are any issues and she ought to come off it.  

A small dose can work wonders but too much can lead to daytime sleepiness.  At the moment we are coming off it, cutting in 1/2 the smallest tab they do. It has a long 1/2 life so we are thinking of taking it every other night. My d is really only on it now because it helps so much with sleep. 

Ellesmum, well done on cracking sleep without medication. Can I ask for the name of the OTC drowsy antihistamine? 

All the best with whatever you decide to do and every blessing as you and your daughter embark on recovery. xx

Hi Smileymum,

yes Phenergan as recommended by our doctor. I think the weighted blanket has really helped but the combination of feeling drowsy, full with food and warm after the bath then under the blanket must be very comforting.

I’m not against prescription drugs at all, but this is working well right now xx
My d is 17 also and AN binge type so she has had a lot of insomnia from bingeing at night. She refuses to take any medication so we tried melatonin which did work, but she said made her groggy in the morning. Now she is using GABA and valerian. We think that seems to be working for the insomnia and the anxiety, but I also think the food is helping a lot.