Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's Sleep Got To Do With It??










"When I was a child I used to hate going to bed... Now I cherish every hour of sleep!"

I saw this posted up on Facebook earlier and I couldn't help but physically nod in agreement as I read it.  Sleep... its something we all need in order to survive and keep our mental faculties intact.  Unfortunately Munchkin doesn't realise that!  She's never been a great sleeper from the start, often waking three or four times a night and ending up in bed beside me, as it would be the only way I could get one eye shut if not two.  In the early days, while she was still a baby, I accepted that there would be some degree of sleep deprivation involved as with all babies... (you can spot a sleep deprived mother a mile off, with the telltale black bags, and I'm not talking Prada dahling!) Thats what babies do... they eat, poop, sleep and cry and repeat this cycle over and over.  Usually though, sometime midway throughout their first year of life, they will eventually settle into a sleep pattern, waking less and ending up sleeping their 12-13 hours straight through to morning by about a year...

Unfortunately, with Munchkin, and with many other children I know on the spectrum, sleep deprivation is more common than sleep.  For some reason, our kiddies need so much less sleep than other kids their age.  I occasionally get lulled into a false sense of security when my pixie decides to toe the line and give me a night or two in a row, making me believe that perhaps the torture of the night time waking is actually ending.... But no!  Bam, we're back at square one :(  I do hold onto some hope though... Her older sister woke every night until she was over 4 so maybe, just maybe....

The effects of this broken sleep don't appear evident in Munchkin, who can happily run around, and laugh and smile etc as if she's had a 12 hour marathon kip.  Nothing seems to knock her off kilter.  She does her puzzles, plays with the toys, does her tablework without fuss and stays in relatively good form during her sessions in school and with tutors.  So why is there a problem I hear you ask....

I guess the problem lies with me...  I struggle to function to the best of my abilities when I'm tired.  Standards slip when it comes to everything as I wouldn't necessarily have the energy to give things my best focus.  Just the other day, after a 5am rising with madam, I had to go to work which I found very stressful as the child I work with was extremely frustrated with not being mobile, so took it out on my hands using her nails.  I then had to go collect Munchkin from school and go to the local book shop to get some stationary and books that Yani needed for school.  We went up to the top floor to buy the books and then came downstairs to look at the puzzles for madam.  Being tired, I looked at a box and when I looked down... she was gone!  Oh no, where is she... theres a door that opens out onto the street... panic.... I start shouting her name over and over hoping she's going to answer me.  Next thing, a counter staff girl shouted over "I think she just went up in the lift"!  Great!!  I run up the stairs and find her on the upper level.  I got angry, really angry...  Not with her, but with myself for letting my guard down and letting her give me the slip!  Even if I'm exhausted, I cannot let the guard down!

Time for action... I can no longer function as a law abiding, kind, happy, intellegent, useful member of society without my 8 hours a night. I have discovered the frightening "Sleep Deprived Driving" which means I can be often seen having a catnap at the side of the road when can drive no further... When I was younger, they used to joke that if sleeping was an Olympic Event, I'd bring the gold home for Ireland every time.  I LOVED my sleep.I had it down to a fine art, and could sleep standing upright on the 75 bus to work every morning.  Gawd, I miss those days!  So whats my plan of action....




I have in my possession now, the holy scroll (well GMS prescription for Melatonin liquid)  I have previously bought Melatonin over the internet and given it in small doses but that obviously didn't have the desired effect.  The paediatrician gave me clear instructions and the dose she recommended is far greater that the amount I had been giving her.  So fingers crossed everyone... If it does the job you will probably hear the squeals of delight coming from me in the morning :)

Watch this space.... but if you hear snoring, wake me at your own peril hehe...

14 comments:

Autimom said...

I hear u and completely understand. Charlene never really slept either, now she does (wen I finally get her down) but for the lastyear and half she's muttering, screaming and even cries hysterical in her sleep, banging and flapping her arms. This happens about 5-9 times during the night, she even sleep walked s few times but hasn't done that in a over a year. Talk about frightening. Fab blog & so so true xx

Andra said...

I love this blog and identify with all of its sentiments, I too have a child who is Nine and still is bouncing around the bedroom at all hours of the night and sleep deprivation has me narky and off my game, for me its the getting her to sleep part is the difficulty rather than the waking at night although that has been happening more and more frequently lately and its not just her its him now, my kids have it to a fine art and can be timed as to what hour they will wake now:(

Jen said...

Lack of sleep is hard, it affects everything in our lives. I count my blessings that HRH sleeps well usually but I know that this may not last. Thanks to posts like this and our FB group I will know what to do if the time comes when he is bouncing off walls. I hope the new melatonin works well, happy sleeping:) Jen.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I totally identify with this as I was obsessed with sleep for about 16 years, due to night-time issues, mainly with the 3 kids. Luckily my aspergers child is the best sleeper of all of them, and the other two have grown out of their issues. Now you have the melatonin, hopefully you're on the way to reclaiming sleep!

Taz said...

Sweet dreams chicken xx

Petunia said...

Thanks girls. It didn't work its magic last night so will up the dose tonight. If all else fails, I'll take it myself and pad her bedroom hehe xx

Jean said...

I have everything crossed for you hun. Sleep deprivation is cruelty.
Funny enough, my oldest NT fella was my nightmare...even as a small baby sleep was soooo last year...the first 3 years are a blur.
Hope to hear some good news in the morning! XXX

coolkid said...

oh hun, i so hope it works, im ging through this with ryli and hes not on the spectrum, luca sleeps like a dream, ky is and always was an insomniac but at her age, she doesnt need me, but ryli is killing me

i so know how you feel, so yes everything crossed it works for you hun xxxx

claireh said...

fingers crossed hun. nothing worse. im a demon wit no sleep and cant function at all. i dont even try driving if im that tired.

hope tonights better
xxx

Hammie said...

Don't forget the Mark Durand Book "sleep better" because the problem can be reinforced by your reactions when she wakes. Bedtime timing can also help, sometimes we start the whole thing too early.

I learned to survive on coffee and chocoate instead of 7 unbroken hours years ago. Would sooner have 5 in a row than 10 broken by visits and tantrums and demands. That's why we have a gaggia espresso maker I guess. Coffeezilla! xx

Lora said...

Oh dear, I do relate to what you are going through. Griffin went through a long period of insomnia and so did I before I was diagnosed as bipolar. I finally got him on Melatonin and I got on sleep meds but there for awhile it was pure hell. I feel for you and hope that things get better for you real soon. Hugs xxxxx

Clive said...

Hoping that things have worked out a bit better for you by last night.

Reading all the above comments and your post makes me realise how lucky we have been with the NSLM - he actually sleeps so much it used to worry me. Now I just accept he needs a lot of sleep.

Fingers crossed for you that the melatonin works.

Maddy said...

I've heard good things about melatonin - I even have a bottle of them in my kitchen drawer ready to start. They're a few months old those as I'm too tired to remember to dose them out!

jazzygal said...

I hear ya Petunia! Although WiiBoy sleeps great now it wasn't always the case. I found it extremely difficult on my week in work when I was job sharing. I will never forget how bad it feels to be sleep deprived. Sleep is like food, it's nourishment.

I hope the melatonin works for you...I wish I'd heard about it when WiiBoy was younger! It was Dozol in our house, for all the good it did! xx Jazzy

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