Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No Sleep 'til Brooklyn

So it is not working. At least not yet. Sam has regressed back to where he was a while ago. He wakes around midnight and wants to sleep in my bed. I take him to the bathroom and put him back in his room. He yells and cries and tries to leave. I hold the door shut until he settles down. Repeat every 1/2 hour to hour for the rest of the night. At around 5 or 6 he will end up in our bed so he can grab an hour or two of sleep before school. It is too late for me at that point. He manages to stay awake with 2 meds that should make him sleep and melatonin. That is one messed up brain.

A friend at work suggested that I might have to put a lock on his bedroom. Then I wouldn't have to stand by his door most of the night. I know many families have had to do so for safety reasons. I just hate the idea. When I became a parent I never imagined locking my child in a room. But I know I may have to. If any of you have had to secure your child in a room at night please share.

I don't know what to do next if this doesn't change. Sam is holding it together since he gets that nap before school. But how long can a little boy last on so little sleep? I am trying to function on about 2 hours of sleep a night and I feel horrible. So far, I don't think it is affecting my job or the preganancy but how long can that last? I sort of snapped at my mom that other day because she said, " you really need you sleep; you're pregnant." I know she was just showing concern but in the moment it just made me mad - as if I don't know I need sleep? As if I am not getting any on purpose? If I had a solution I would go for it but I don't.


Stranded said...

No it is not enough sleep and you will see it. In our house it affects everything. Khaleds moods, appetite, bowel movements, ability to self regulate. All the obvious stuff that would affect any normal HUMAN being who wasn't getting a nights sleep. God made night for sleeping and people's bodies such that they need to sleep during night.

I put a child lock (those white round ones) on the door knob on the inside in khaleds room. He knows he cant open it and doesn't try. When he is asleep I open the door.

He wakes up once during the night and wants to come in to bed with me.

My husband has an extra mattress in khaleds room and will often go to sleep on that on the floor and Khaled sleeps calmly on his bed when he sees someone else is in the room too.

This has worked so far. Our plan is that we will move the mattress away maybe outside the room over time until no one is in his room.

We tried attaching soft toys to him, it worked for a few days...but he wants the person#s presence and it helps him regulate himself back to sleep. That in itself was HUGE progress for us from a boy who wandered the house all night.

It may take him years. I dont care, as long as everyone is getting a good nights sleep, that extra mattress will stay on the floor of his room for the nights he wakes up. Some nights he doesnt wake up until dawn and dad doesnt have to change rooms.

These past fwe weeks he has been waking up every night but going back to sleep.

I think a number of reasons - the weather change, and we have moved apartments - although it is an identical apartment (with an extra room) - it is still a change. We never know what causes it.

We try to keep diets, routines, physical exercise etc consistent.

MJ said...

While we have never had to resort to locking our children in room at night (although we have been tempted), I know that other parents have had to do so. In fact, one of the first times that I heard of anyone doing that was when our children's pediatrician was telling us about how she had to do that for her children on the spectrum because of similar issues. I remember being shocked at the time that anyone would do that but now I understand why it would sometimes be needed.

Just a random suggestion, have you looking into the lights that are used for seasonal affective disorder? These are very bright lights that are (typically) used for 30 minutes or so in the morning to help combat some of the depression caused by S.A.D. We started using one for my twins a week or so ago to try and deal with some seasonal mood issues and it seems to be working well for them. Their mood had been greatly improved and, more importantly, they seem to have more energy and be less tired. They are still in a waking up at night phase but they are not as cranky when they wake up and are more likely to go back to sleep.

While your son may not have seasonal mood issues, the main function of the light is to help synchronize your biological clock and get you back onto a predictable schedule. Part of the way that it does that is by triggering the mechanism that shuts off your body's melatonin production.

So in a way you could think of it as giving melatonin at night to raise the level and then using the light in the morning to lower it. Sort of what a "typical" person's body does on its own and what sometimes seems to be broken in a child with autism.

But this is just a thought, take it for whatever it is worth.