October 7, 2014

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

Posted in Life's Little Moments, My Take on Autism tagged , , , , , , at 2:07 pm by autismmommytherapist


Today’s post should come with a warning- it’s messy, there are no pretty vocabulary words, just truth.

My boy is struggling, and by extension his family is too.

Today, I’m just done.

Zach’s been plagued by insomnia for the better part of four months now, and since sleeplessness with a child is a family affair, his mom and dad have experienced it too. We were on top of it from the start- I enrolled him in a sleep study through the Autism Treatment Network/ Autism Speaks at CHOP (the nurse made house calls, it was fabulous.) We cut off technology after 7:00 PM.

We made his room as dark as he could stand it. We’ve upped melatonin, given warmer baths, used massage, yoga and breathing techniques to relax (all of which have worked to make me sleepy, not him.) In an act of desperation I even tried aromatherapy, which sadly my boy finds disgusting (but hell, at least I like it.)

Truly, we have left no stone unturned (and I know because I’m the one turning them.)

And I’m trying not to go to my dark place (it’s where the awful thing is PERMANENT AND WILL NEVER GO AWAY, anybody else ever visited there in their autism journey?) as it’s obviously counterproductive. Hopefully, it’s not true either. Today, as I hauled my tired middle-aged ass out of bed at an ungodly hour to deal with a tangled blanket I reminded myself that we kicked this demon once this summer, enjoyed a two month respite from seeing our child 24/7.

Today I am really up for a respite repeat.

Short of that I’m going to remind myself that so much that happens with autism is cyclical, that we’ve been through periods of aggression and insomnia and extreme OCD with Justin and have come out the other side. We will with Zachary too.

At least I’m telling myself this, because I’ve already eaten three days worth of chocolate to “wake up,” and the situation’s getting serious. The holidays are approaching after all.

The truth is I just feel so badly for him, because he’s a wreck after these nights, and I know his little body wants and needs the sleep. And since the “sleep spell” I made up for him no longer seems to be working, I’m throwing this out to the universe.

Let this boy sleep. Let his mom and dad sleep too.

And hurry up about it because I’m running out of chocolate.

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  1. Sending sleeping fairies, sandmen and prayers that sleep comes back quickly tonight! xoxo So very sorry to hear this Kimi. ♥ P.S. I don’t like this situation for you, but wanted you to know I was here and read your post xo

  2. Heidi Allen said,

    Oh… I am so sorry that your boy and your family is experiencing this. My suggestion for what it’s worth- VISUALIZE HIM SLEEPING. Create that vibration within you so that is what he will match up to. Do not picture him any other way… just your precious, beautiful boy sleeping peacefully at bedtime. ❤ I will be praying for rest for you all.

    • Will give it a shot Heidi, thanks for the good thoughts!

      • Amy said,

        Did you ever break the cycle? Do you have any tips for a mom going through it for the last six or seven months?

        • We did after four months, we have problems periodically but it’s much better now. Here’s our routine. Bath at 8:00 and I let him hang in there a while. Then melatonin, then a massage (I know,) then reading in the rocking chair with me. Then I let him read (but not on the bed) until 9:00. We do “magic spells” to bring on sleep, and he has a sleep song. His room is mostly dark with some lights in it, he won’t sleep in the total dark. He has a sound sleep and we turn a fan on for him. We stick to the routine, takes a good hour, but worth it. I wish you the best with this, I know how horrible it is to go through it and you’re exhausted too. Best of luck and let me know how it goes!

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