Sleep is something I thought I would get again after we had gotten past the nursing years. You know those sleep deprived nights where your baby needs to eat every couple hours. I was always jealous of those people that said their kids were sleeping through the night at a few weeks old. I cannot remember sleeping through the night for many years....I mean a full night of uninterrupted sleep. It might have only happened one or two times.
Needless to say in the past, almost 14 years, that is a lot of lost sleep. Add in the extra stress of trying to meet special needs, my health issues and daily life ...... I feel like the Walking Dead more days than not.
You might be sitting there and saying, "Seriously, another post about autism....we all need sleep." Well I thought, after another night of getting woke up continuously, that I would introduce you a little to what life in like at night in our home. And why if you are talking to me, and I have a glazed look....you know I am not being rude, just not functioning.
Every single one of our kids is uniquely different. They are all on different levels of medications for various problems. And of course, their bodies all react to those meds in different ways.
Joey has an issue with sleep walking. He will wander around the house, both asleep and awake during the night. I sleep near the kitchen so that I can hear him getting in the fridge and cabinets. He also likes to get himself a snack in the night. This might not sound like a big deal, but he likes to fidget with stuff when he does this. So he will wander to Joe's office and pick up stuff on his desk and we'll find it laying in the bathroom, the boys room or sometimes the living room. Food is an issue too. He will eat things that he shouldn't be, and he would know not to eat if he were more awake. He walks around with eyes half open, barely able to take steps until about 10-11 pm every night. Slurring his words as he tells us he can't sleep. Then pops up about 3-4 am like the Energizer Bunny....a bipolar Energizer Bunny with Tourettes. Runny manickally through the house screaming, and hopping unable to control his actions. Some days he sleeps until 5:30 and then starts his Energizer Bunny routine.
Brayden used to be asleep by 8 pm. He had to have a small fan blowing directly at his head. He normally didn't wake up until 7 the next morning. He has had sleep issues before, but has followed this pattern for a couple years. Before he would wake up off and on and sneak food also. Now a new sleep pattern has evolved. He no longer watches the clock and shuts down at 8 pm. Now he wanders the house and watches his iPad until 1-2 am. Then sleeps in later in the am. Which messes with our sleep because someone needs to be up with him, but someone needs sleep for when the others pop up in the am.
Lydia fights us and fights us. DOES NOT like to sleep in her room. If we make her sleep in her room, she will be up past midnight. If we let her sleep in our bed, she goes to sleep at a normal hour and sleeps in late the next morning. I know she toss a lot though. She may be getting a sleep study soon along with Joey. I give in and let her sleep in our bed, since I usually end up on the couch listening for Joey and Brayden.....and Caty.
Caty......she is sooooo hard. She MUST sleep with someone. MUST...MUST....MUST....I am considering getting her and Lydia a full/queen bed instead of their bunk bed. But then Lydia wouldn't sleep in there anyway. Caty will fall asleep for a couple hours, and then wake up and wander around too. Usually not getting in trouble though. She tries to sleep with me on the couch. She talks in her sleep and has night terrors. Which then in turn keeps me awake, either laughing at what she is saying or wondering if she is ok.
We have tried Melatonin and continue to use it, because the kids do not seem to respond to anything else. But with it, you can see that sleep is something that is not had in this house. Joe and I tag team sleep schedules. Some days I stay up late and other days he does. I usually am the one up early in the am though.
Do you have any miracle cures that you use in your homes? I would be interested in suggestions. But to be honest, I have come to the conclusion that we will never be sleeping through the night and Joe and I will NEVER get to sleep by ourselves again.
And this is another day in the life of living with multiple kids with special needs.
Linking up with other moms at Blogging Through the Alphabet.