It’s something we all need; time our bodies need to regenerate, grow and I am sure a heap of other scientifically important things.
But if you have a child on the Spectrum, it’s something that you are likely to be lacking. There are lots of reasons for this, anxiety and a lack of natural melatonin seem to be leading causes.
Poss has never slept well. Well – that’s not officially true.
As a tiny baby she slept through the night without any issues. But this was an issue in itself, as she wasn’t interested in feeding either. So she would sleep through, not wake to feed and eventually she lost enough weight for the nurse to utter words like ‘failure to thrive’.
We switched to formula, learnt to wake her and force feed her. She showed her displeasure by screaming at us, but at least she gained weight.
However, she never slept during the day. It was always too bright, too cold, too hot,too breezy, too something.
I learnt to carry her everywhere, propping her up in a bouncer just outside the shower door, so I could have a wash. She screamed the whole time, but the water on my head kind of drowned it out. I learnt that a high chair with wheels was invaluable, as she was contained, but I could move her around with me as I needed to to keep an eye on her.
She was on the go from the time she woke up, to the time she was placed in her cot at night. She was the only baby in my mothers group who screamed in the car, not fell asleep.
Fast forward a few years and we still struggle with sleep, although now we seem to have lost that respite that night once bought.
Up until relatively recently she was regularly up until midnight, screaming in frustration at her inability to sleep. It’s a vicious cycle – you want to sleep, you can’t, you get upset you can’t sleep, so you can’t. On and on it goes.
Melatonin has bought some relief. It helps with the going off to sleep. Stealing her away quickly and shuttling her off to sleep peacefully.
But we are now finding it leaves her by the early hours of the morning and yet again, we were up at a time that even the birds would find undignified this morning.
I am not sure what the answers are, but we are back at the paediatrician today in the hope she can give us some sort of relief, a new thing to try… something.