LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – It is difficult for everybody to get a good night’s sleep in the Lambert household. That’s because two of the four young children have serious sleep disorders.
It turns out, their issues with resting actually run in the family.
When we visited the Lamberts, Luther, Thorin and Esme were busy building Legos, while baby, Selma, was asleep in grandma’s arms.
But getting two of her siblings to sleep is another story.
“It was shocking,” said Hannah Lambert, their mother.
She explained at nine months, Thorin would wake up screaming.
“His legs were just like shooting rods, like they were so stiff,” she told Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
Hannah said when Thorin was old enough to describe it, “He would say there was spicy ants in his legs at night or he would scream saying there’s spiders in my bed.”
At seven months, Esme showed sleep issues.
“She definitely was restless and she would wake up for several hours throughout the night,” said Hannah.
Tests showed both kids had low iron levels. After sleep studies at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, the Lamberts learned that Esme has periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD).
“I want to say 40 times per minute her little legs were just moving a ton,” Hannah explained.
Thorin struggles with severe restless legs syndrome(RLS).
“It was comforting knowing that there was something actually going on,” said Hannah.
And they also learned that their father, Josias, has had similar pain keeping him up for decades.
“It does seem there is a genetic predisposition,” said pediatric neurologist and sleep medicine specialist Dr. Jessica Litwin.
She said RLS in kids is not uncommon.
“I think it’s often underdiagnosed,” said Litwin.
Litwin has prescribed iron supplements and medication to help. Esme is better. Thorin still has hard nights, but Hannah has hope they’ll find the right treatment.
She shares their story to help other parents struggling with sleepless nights and no solution.
“And maybe connect some dots for them. That’s just such a gift,” she said.