SWEET DREAMS

A running theme in my life is a lack of sleep. It’s expected when you have children but at a point everyone starts to sleep again. I’m thirteen years in and I still don’t get a solid night of sleep. I average maybe four straight hours, and then the rest of the night/early morning is spent waking and dozing in few minute segments, which is utterly unsatisfying. There are times when the average consecutive sleep is a mere two hours. Those days are unbearable, but more frequent than I like to admit.

The restless sleep is the doing of my son. He too sleeps well for a period of time but then routinely will wake a certain times and have difficulty falling back asleep. I spend countless times readjusting his small frame in the bed or curling up around him, spooning which helps sometimes. He will often drift back to sleep for bits of times but I’ve been up and moving which makes it harder for me to fall back asleep, and often when I finally do, he wakes up again. It’s an endless cycle that’s been going on for years.

I see the effect of our unstable sleep on both myself and on Cole. I worry about the long terms effects of poor sleep. I find myself dreaming about spending nights alone in a hotel room and just sleeping as if two solid days of sleep can remedy my weary body and brain.

We’ve tried all different ways to extend his sleep. Everything from melatonin to creating a bedtime routine to, yes, I admit in desperation, dosing him with Benadryl. Nothing works. The difficulty is that he falls asleep fairly easily and sleeps soundly for the first hours, but that’s not enough sleep for a growing child. I know it’s typical for kids with neurological issues to have sleep issues as well but I feel like there has to be a way to help him sleep better and for longer periods of time. Which, selfishly, would make my life much sweeter…

A girl can dream, right?

2 Responses

  1. My husband is notorious for not sleeping. He finds that working out helps a lot. Boys have a lot of physical energy, I guess. The best I ever slept was the summer I worked on a horse ranch. I was on my feet and running (pretty much literally) in the desert heat from 7 AM to 3 PM. By the time I got home I was exhausted. That summer started a pattern of falling asleep very easily and sleeping soundly through the night. 🙂 Does your son do a lot of physical activity?

    • I completely agree that physical exertion is a key component to good sleep. Cole’s physically exhausted at the end of each day. For him, spending time in his gait trainer, or practicing using a power wheelchair, or using his eye gaze device are all physically taxing for him. Him taking 3,000 steps is akin to typical kids running a 5k. The effort it takes him to do anything requires a lot of energy. I think that’s why he sleeps well at the beginning. It’s the waking up at 2am for the day that is the battle…Thanks for your input! It’s really appreciated.

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