We are back in territory I had hoped we left long ago - sleepless night. Sam used to wake frequently as a baby but he went back to sleep pretty easily. He also went through phases when he would sleep through perfectly. Just before he was 2 1/2, he began having a lot of trouble sleeping. He insisted on my staying with him while he fell asleep. Then he would wake in the night and want the same thing. Eventually he stopped going back to sleep for HOURS. At the time I was pregnant with Maya. I was beyond tired. One night I never even go to go to sleep because he woke so often. Then I taught the whole day. At that point I decided Sam had to cry it out. It worked like a charm. THe first night was tough but by night 4 he was right to bed on his own. He still woke in the night but he stayed in his room and on his bed until he fell back asleep.
At 3, Sam began waking more and more. He would stim on his bed for hours and look like a zombie the next day. On occasion he would get out of bed and I would have to settle him back down but usually if I repeated the bedtime routine, he would go back to bed. Even if he couldn't sleep, he would stay in his room. At that point, Maya developed sleep issues. It was pretty much my fault. When I went back to work, my milk supply dropped (for my body, pumpin gjust doesn't keep my milk flowing the same way nursing does. Plus, as a teahcer, I can't always take a break and pump when I would normally nurse). I insisted on nursing at night because I wanted to give Maya all the health benefits for as long as possible. Since she wasn't getting a great feeding from me in the evenings, she would wake a feed at night. She continued long after she was weaned and really only started sleeping well a few weeks ago.
I don't remember exactly when I started Sam on melatonin but it brough some peace to his night. Every so often he had a rough night but not with the same regularity we used to see.
At the beginning of the summer Sam began waking again despite the melatonin. It sook my nerves and sent me into a panic - if the melatonin stops working will we have to turn to a medication to get some sleep? When we did the Adderall experiment, things seemed to even out. He slept better in July. Of course then we had the side effects and stopped the Adderall. The first few days off he still slept fine. Just over a week ago he began to have some problem. he went to sleep well but woke sometime between 2 and 4wanted my company while he stimmed for a few hours. Most time he wouldn't go back to sleep.
This past week Sam also began having trouble falling asleep. He screams if I leave the room before he falls asleep. Luckily this seems to only take 20 minutes or so. Then he wakes around 1 or 2 and cries for me to come back. He then proceeds to NOT sleep until morning when he falls back asleep for a couple of hours. I have to go to work at that point (or take care of Maya depending on the day) and try to function feeling like a zombie.
I don't know why this is happening (besides the obvious "autism" answer. Has he built up a tolerance to melatonin? Has being out of a routine (no school in August) been too much for him? Is he going through something physically that he can't express? I just don't know. What I do know is that I can't do this much longer. I need to be able to do my job well and Sam needs to be able to start school again next week with the ability to learn to the best of his ability. I don't know what next steps to take. Slow release melatonin? give it time and see if he does better once school starts? Beg for Clonodine? I don't know but I need some kind of plan. Letting him "cry it out" is no longer an option because he can get out of his room (climb the gate).
Any suggestions are welcome.
-We have a bedtime routine
-he takes 3-4 mg of melatonin
-he is still on Risperdal