The Monster’s been awful about his sleeping.
Now, this isn’t a surprise to us when we’re not at home. He’s routinely been bad about sleeping when we’re in a hotel, to the point that I’m not getting much rest when we’re away from home, and we’re hating life about traveling. We’ve come to the conclusion – confirmed through my working a couple of very weird shifts or getting up for my morning runs – that he’s actually waking… and we’re not hearing him being up.
That changed, in the last few weeks.
What’s really changed is that he’s started shrieking at night, giving us tastes of his meltdowns at 2 and 3 in the morning. While we’ve found that the wife can calm him more easily than me at 3 AM, that’s still leaving both of us absolutely exhausted – me for being awakened, and she for my nudging her when my initial attempts fail. And as someone once said, that’s not a recipe for long-term health.
Now, we’ve already gone with melatonin for helping him shuffle off to dreamland. It’s worked alright to date, though it seems to be losing its effectiveness with him. And yes, I do understand that melatonin really helps him fall asleep more than keep him asleep… but it’s better than nothing of late. Moreover, other things we’ve tried to help him sleep aren’t working. The wife’s started to look into essential oils and the like, and…
Last night, she used some ‘nighttime lotion’ that she had around the house, in the hopes that he’d get some rest and let us sleep. I’m not sure what’s in it, but it’s really more meant to be soothing than anything else and… lo and behold, he actually didn’t wake us up in the middle of the night last night. (The wife had an awful night’s sleep anyway, but I think that’s more just stress-aftershocks after our adventure this weekend.) So we were patting ourselves on the back…
…until the wife realized that the reason that the Monster was quiet this AM was that she’d left his iPad in his room overnight. When she went in to get him, so we could shower him before camp, he was playing on it.
I’m debating if this is a bad idea, really. I mean, if he can self-regulate and keep quiet with the iPad so he’s not waking anyone, this is a win for us all, at least until school starts and he needs to be getting up and paying attention in classes. The goal really is for all of the rest of us to get a decent night’s sleep, and hopefully for him to get rest so he’s calmer during the day, and if the iPad is the answer (at least temporarily), great. (Until it runs out of power in the middle of the night, or glitches, or something, and he starts screaming again.)
So what are any of you doing to try to help your little ones with sleep issues get the forty-winks they need?
I have aspergers and have suffered from insomnia for as long as I can remember. My mom says I was an insomniac since birth. 🙂 I take half a dose of Benadryl in order to get tired enough to sleep through the night. I don’t know if that’s an option you’ve already tried as I just found your blog and haven’t read all the posts. On the nights I don’t take Benadryl I often wake in the night and play a game on my iphone. I don’t have any kids but I don’t see anything wrong with letting a kid play with an ipad if it helps him and also allows you to sleep. The only thing is that if you decide to take it away from him once it becomes a routine he might not be too happy about that if he’s anything like me. I’m 35 and still very set about my routines.
I think that’s the route we’re ending up going with it. We’ve tried the liquid form of Benedryl – he won’t take it – but we’re going to see if we can’t slip him the appropriate dose in some applesauce instead.
Personally, I’m inclined to agree that as long as he’s not having problems functioning during the day, I don’t care if he’s on the device for portions of the night, but just worried about that functioning-at-school issue.
And welcome to the blog! 🙂