I have had a rough week in the sleep department. I am lucky enough to have a husband that gives me a break when I need it. Last night the Monster went to bed early morning again. And he slept until about 9:30 a.m. Mike had to work tonight so he needed his rest and sleep. I got up with the Monster and he didn’t want to be awake, but he couldn’t go back to sleep either. He cried for about an hour and half, I tried everything. Mornings like this I could care less about sleep, I feel bad for him. Sensory vs. sleep and it seemed like sensory won. He finally “woke” up a little bit.
He finally took a nap at about 1:30 p.m. and by this time I was exhausted. Weeks like this week I can’t help but ask myself “how do I do it?” Honestly, I am pretty amazing if I say so myself! 🙂 We as parents adjust to new sleep schedules. The Monster wasn’t sick this week, he just had a bad week.
The worst about lack of sleep, is lack of knowing why he isn’t sleeping and sometimes nothing will help him. The Monster is a very energetic child, I am going to assume somewhere down the line he might be one that is diagnosed with ADHD (because autism and sensory NEVER seem to be alone). Whether you are a melatonin person, weighted blanket and/or different type of medicine, it just doesn’t end up working in your favor all the time. See while other parents of NT (neurotypical) children are having to adjust to getting up an hour earlier than normal or loosing sleep because their child isn’t feeling good. We as autism parents are having to prepare ourselves every day. Could today be a day of him waking up at 3 in the morning? Will he go to bed tonight ever? Will he go back to bed? We forget what 8 hours of sleep straight feels like. I am usually the one that is up with him, mostly because I get a nap in during the day and if I need a nap and it’s one of Mikes days off, I take one. I get the break when I need it.
Our adjusting is the lack of sleep every day. We get used to going to bed late and getting up early. We might get grouchy, but we have went without sleep for so long it gets a little rough sometimes. Everything seemed to bite me in the ass this week. One night after the Monster went to bed, I got in the shower and by the time I was out he woke up crying. Two nights later I stayed up and finished watching the last twenty minutes of a movie and decided to watch a 30 minute TV show. As soon as I was going to sleep the Monster woke up and he was up for awhile. Living on a few hours of sleep some nights or no sleep some nights…well that is lack of sleep, that is no sleep.
We also know our kids need their rest too, for things like school and therapy. I notice a difference in the Monster when he actually sleeps and doesn’t wake up constantly or gets enough hours of sleep. He is energetic and on top of his game. He isn’t grouchy, isn’t as sensitive to things. He is more calm and more loving. We stress not just because we are lacking sleep and rest, but because our poor kids are lacking in the sleep department, which puts us on edge even more.
I think we should also get a sleep deprived diagnosis, (he won’t sleep like a NT child, so he will be sleep deprived and so will you. So he also gets a sleep deprived diagnosis) when our kids get diagnosed.I mean why not? Autism seems to never be alone anyways. Plus it’s just another thing we get to add to the list. You know, the list of “yeah my kid has that too” while explaining everything that our kids got diagnosed with or have trouble with, while we watch their mouth drops open like “WHAT……!” My son would most definitely qualify for the sleep deprived diagnosis! Good luck autism parents on getting as much sleep as possible! 🙂