Things were quiet at our house last night, mercifully.
Okay, so we kinda took things into our own hands. The doctor had okayed, once upon a time, the occasional use of Benedryl to knock the Monster out, and let’s be honest – he needs the sleep as much as we do. It’s not good for us to be getting up every few hours because of his screaming, and at a certain point, giving him seriously large doses of melatonin’s going to not be doing us any favors. (Plus, I imagine he’ll build up a tolerance to it.) So last night, we medicated him – i.e., I ground up some and snuck it into some applesauce, and gave it to him as a treat after dinner – and he went to bed.
And then I spent most of the night worrying because of how quiet he was. *sigh*
Funnier still, probably, is that I then woke up every two or so hours anyway. We, the parents, had lights out at 11 – both of us were absolutely zonked, and while we normally watch the news or a last half-hour of Food Network or HGTV, I was drop-dead tired from having had to get up for another screaming match the night before, and the wife’s not been sleeping well either. While she’s wearing earplugs, there’s a limit to what she’s willing to take since she has to function in the mornings… so there was little fight about the idea of going to bed ‘early’ last night.
On Tuesday night, when he woke up at 1:30, I went in with more melatonin and the iPad, then sat in the dark in his room for 20 minutes to make sure he settled down. So on Wednesday morning, the iPad was only at 87% charge, but he’d been using it when the wife came in to wake him… which tells me that he probably fell asleep, didn’t use it, and used it when he got up, which is perfectly fine by me.
But there’s a flip-side to the whole issue of his sleep – he’s not sleeping well himself. His being up in the middle of the night leaves him out of sorts for camp and first-thing in the morning, when we’re faced with a sullen, silent Monster. It’s hard enough to get him ready for camp, much less to have him get any value out of it, if he’s drowsy and overtired, so clearly, he needed the help himself… so I don’t feel as bad.
Now, my waking up could have come from multiple things, least of which is the fact that I became anxious about whether he was alright because of how quiet he was. But I did get a decent night’s sleep, as did the wife… and most importantly, as did he, since he was far sunnier this morning when he came down to breakfast.
We still need to figure out why he’s having trouble sleeping, but that’s a longer-term issue.
Benadryl is a life-saver for me. Glad it worked for him. From what I have read, sleep problems like insomnia are common among people with autism.
The insomnia actually doesn’t make me worry as much – as long as he can function the next day – as the screaming does. I have my nights as well where I can’t sleep, but I’m quiet as a field mouse and find ways to entertain myself without waking the rest of the family. (Of course, we’ve already discussed the iPad, and that seems to have helped a bit as well…)