If Only I Could Buy Some Sleep

Okay, I am going to engage in some whining. If you have one of those signs on your desk that says “no whining allowed,” you may just want to skip this post.

On Saturday, Josh came down with his fifth cold since mid-January. And while Josh is normally a bad sleeper, when he is sick, he is a down right awful sleeper. So, I’ve been feeling rather Blah lately. Is “blah” a diagnosable state? If not, it should be. I had been trying to figure out why I was “blah.” I mean, other than continuing down the path of a special needs parent, there is nothing particularly stressful going on in my life right now. And I am embarking on the kind of career I’ve always dreamed of, where I am directly helping others. Then it hit me. That is, I haven’t really had a full night sleep for months. In fact, I have had little more than a few straight hours of sleep at a time for the past two or so months. Last night was the worst. Josh was up from midnight to 4:00 am. It started with a coughing fit that led into Josh’s strange insomniatic pattern.

I had to laugh (and feel embraced in a kind of “misery loves suffering” hug) a few days ago when I saw this diagram posted by X’s parents. Yep. Pretty much sums things up over this way too. I mean, we have different last resorts . . . and different DVDs . . . but yep. Last night, as I lay awake listening to Josh down in the living room with Chris at 3 am (Chris took the 2-4am shift), yelling “Batman na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-nana Batman” (you know the old TV show theme song–we don’t know where he learned it), I was just wondering where I might go to get a good night’s sleep. Just one. That’s all I ask. Just one real, true sleep that begins at 10 pm and ends at 6 am, with no interruptions. But it doesn’t look like that is coming anytime soon. And so I’ll just buck up under Dr. Sear’s stern parental scolding and realize that when you become a parent, you agree to nighttime parenting. It is a nonnegotiable. And so far, they haven’t figured out a way to selectively breed to produce good sleepers (I somehow got lucky this way with #1 and #2, I guess), so I guess if you toss your name in the hat for a new child, however you procure that child–there are no guarantees of easy anything.

Anyway, this nighttime landscape is actually worse than having a newborn, cause when you have a newborn, you can sit your butt on the couch a good deal of the day and watch Grey’s Anatomy reruns while he nurses–at least if you have a first child or if you have a third child that comes when your other children are older and you can make them do their own laundry.

Okay, enough whining. Now I am looking for solutions. Has anyone out there given melatonin to their kids? My pediatrician advised that we give it a try at Josh’s 2.5 year appointment last week. I purchased some, but have yet to give it to Josh. It sort of scares me and I am not sure how I’ll disguise it well enough to pass by his discerning palate. But then, our pediatrician said, “next step–sleep clinic.” Sleep Clinic? What? No. Unless . . . perhaps I get to check in at the nearest Marriott and enjoy a good night’s sleep while someone else studies my child, the insomniac? (I know that’s not how it works, but I am so tired today that I am escaping to make-believe fantasies just to, you know, keep going).

And then, just to make things extra interesting, Josh did not even nap today! Perhaps, in his adult years, my child will be one of those people who write’s bestselling novels from 11 pm-5 am, or invents interesting renewable energy resources that save a dying planet. What I am trying to say is, I will look back some day and say “Oh, I see it clearly now. I understand. It was all a part of THE plan.”

 

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8 comments
  1. Michelle’s blog resonates with me, too – that chart was awesome. A sleep study might not be a bad idea – at least then you can find the SOURCE of not sleeping. Some kids have oxygen desaturations, others have sleep “architecture” problems, etc. We were able to find out EXACTLY why Nolan wasn’t sleeping well (the central and obstructive apneas), which eventually put us on the right path to helping him. Sleep studies aren’t exactly fun, but at least you get information that you can act on. Or not act on, depending on the results.

    We haven’t done melatonin since sleep aids aren’t recommended for kids with apnea. Nolan still doesn’t really sleep through the night, but things have gotten better/easier with his airway improvement (however slight it may be) and reflux control.

    I’d send you virtual chocolate or hugs, but I suspect what you really want (and need) is a good, solid night of sleep!

    • Hydie said:

      Well don’t worry, I keep myself well-stocked with chocolate. It’s amazing how lack of sleep can leave one feeling completely entitled to dark chocolate.

      And I don’t understand how they can get a child who has difficulty sleeping anyway, to sleep in a hospital surrounded by equipment. It sounds like a terrible situation that would just completely undo Josh from a sensory standpoint.

  2. Sarah said:

    We used malatonin and it worked really well. Lily had definite sleep issues. Later, someone told me that we shouldn’t have given it to her when she was so young, so…I don’t know. But, I’d think that if your doctor recommended it, it should be fine. And like I said, it worked wonderfully for Lily.

    • Hydie said:

      Thanks Sarah. I will give melatonin a try when Josh is through this latest cold. I loved that gorgeous picture of you and Jadon, on your blog recently. You are so beautiful!

  3. I wish I could share more answers to the question of how to get more sleep. It’s a completely different experience with a sick, sensory weird, deaf child than an infant. You’re right about the prime time drama reruns and dark chocolate entitlement. And yes, we did sign up for this, in a way, but I imagine a time when we are all better rested. Maybe when our boys are teenagers?!! Sleep, as it turns out, is the most important part of living well.

  4. Nicole said:

    Juliette and trey take 1mg of melatonin crushed into applesauce every night. Their friends, the sister who is autistic, also take it every night.

  5. jennifer walker said:

    I am dealing with the exact same thing with my seventeen month old so I can definitely relate. We are scheduled to do a sleep study in the next month. I desperate for answers. It breaks my heart to watch my baby stumble around in a stupor from exhaustion, scream and cry, fight sleep with desperate measures, she even shakes her head in attempt to keep her eyes open. Just wish I could understand. I feel so helpless.

    • Hydie said:

      So sorry for you and your little one Jennifer. Is truly very little harder than watching your child suffer; I guess only made harder by the fact that you yourself are likely sleep-deprived. Have they checked your child’s iron levels? I guess iron (and other mineral) deficiency can cause huge sleep issues. Josh has been anemic on and off (only not when we supplement with iron). He definitely sleeps better when there is not a deficiency. Also, I must say that we’ve been supplementing his Vitamin D since October, and that has coincided with better sleep as well. Not sure whether this is just a happenstance or whether there is a correlation between Vit D levels and sleep. He definitely seems to eat better with the Vitamin D and that too may help to promote sleep. I have liquid Vit D and just put a drop in juice every day or so. Wishing you all some satisfying answers and some peaceful sleep.

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