The FASD Trust
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Sweating excessively at night/Sleep probs

Hello - new here, glad to find a forum for FASD

My eldest adopted son sweats massively at night. The pillow, pjs and cover will literally be wet to touch and his head will be soaked. This is no matter the weather/room temp etc. He is also a very poor sleeper, waking on average every 3 hours for apparently no reason and taking at least 45 mins to get back to sleep

He is 3 and 1/2 yrs old. His Birth Mother is known alcoholic and known to have consumed and particularly binge drank during the pregnancy. We have not had any formal diagnosis all we have been repeatedly told and warned about it that she did this and 'we dont know the affects if any' Likewise, his sister and brother (both younger) who are also adopted by us, experienced similar when she was pregnant with them both too. They are not poor sleepers - at the moment.

I guess what I want to know is: Does anyone know of the excessive night sweating being because of the prenatal alcohol exposure? and likewise, the poor sleeping - is it likely this is because of this too? I've been told both could be, but I want to find out from people with experience of FASD...


3 Replies


I have found the following very useful

I have a 20 month old in my care, sweating is not yet an issue, but she is always very hot in her bed, I am always making sure she doesnt have too many covers on.

but we have lots of experience with interrupted sleep, she is usually better at getting to sleep than staying asleep, although thats not consistent either. she can wake once or twice or many times, sometimes for a dummy or sometimes shes just awake, she can be awake for minutes or hours, and can be upset or just chat away to herself. nothing seems to help, she doesnt sleep better if shes tired or if shes well rested, it doesnt matter how much activity we do in the day time..., I am told that a very rigid routine can help, where , they eat at exactly the same time and do the activities for teh same length of time , then follow the same bedtime routine at exactly the same time every day... we have good routines , but as we have 2 other children its impossible to always eat at 9 am then play for 3 hours then have lunch at 12,etc and keep our evenings the same always..the other children have needs too, I suppose its like school, so maybe sleeping will improve when school starts. But I do know, other people who have chidlren with fasd, and all have said sleep is an issue. I am sorry I dont have a wonder cure, but rest assured I know exactly how you feel.. having described how poor her sleep can be , i just want to say, when she wakes up in the morning the first thing she does is smile at me, and no matte rhow tired I am its al worth it

all the very best


Mine used to announce very loudly, "I have finished sleeping" - definitely adorable, even at 5am..... Used to have problems in summer with the light nights (if it is not dark, it is not time to sleep).

Majority of kids with FASD have sleep problems. It is also like they lack an "internal bodyclock" and you have to impose from outside the fact it is bedtime and sleeping time.

Rigid bedtime routine is what matters, not the rest of the day routine.

Lots of parents of slightly older children find melatonin supplements help (some GPs will prescribe).

Lavender oil in the bedroom and drinks of hot milk or camomile tea have been recommended.

Ensure they know it is bedtime which means staying in bed, or as they get older, staying in their room. Have acceptable activities for them to do in their room so they don't distrub the rest of the household and they are safe.

Consider trying to get some sleep yourself during the day; can a friend or relative sit with the kids for an hour while you snatch a nap??

Don't worry, most of us feel like we are sometimes living in Zombie land.............!!!

Julia Brown of The FASD Trust and Dr Mary Mather are writing a UK Parenting Book full of tips which should be out next year.


I have a 6yr old adopted son with a probable diagnosis of fas who has had this problem since a baby. No one can give me an answer to the sweating even after medical tests as he has often complained of a sore foot. As regards sleeping, he has always been an extremely poor sleeper and is now on melatonin with excellent results! He still sweats profusely but not every night. I think there are often so many different reasons for the poor sleeping, such as separation anxiety, particularly in children who are adopted, sensory issues and mere poor sleep hygiene. Of course the poor sleep has an effect on their functioning during the day. Keep asking.


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