Songs for Lexi

Songs for Lexi

Tired...

Here's just a regular update / non-brain balance related...  about sleep and the lack of... 

 

We are  t i r e d  in our house.  One of the common issues for kids with autism is that their brains won't let them rest.  Many of them either have problems falling asleep or staying asleep.  Alexi has had an increasing issue of staying asleep / early waking - sometimes as early as midnight or 2am and spends hours playing with the volume on her cd player, jumping from her dresser to her bed, making sounds, laughing, scripting (repeating snippets of songs/shows repeatedly). Doesn't seem to correlate to amount of physical activity during the day, how tired she was the day before - it is random and un-guessable. 

 

It used to be that she would SCREAM when she woke up and when we'd run to check her and open her door she'd quietly say "Music please".  Finally we taught her to be her own DJ so now she can push play and change cd's, but she seems to LOVE to get Pat mad when she cranks the plus button to a house-shaking volume.  Some part of her brain loves the "being in trouble" feeling and loves when Pat gets mad and raises his voice.   Pat is a lighter sleeper than me and always hears her, poor guy.  We try to take turns getting to her before she wakes up the other one - so life becomes a circus of "expecting" her sounds and that tinkling music emanating from her room and no one ends up getting a nice, heavy sleep any more.  It's like we've been living with a newborn for 7 years... 

 

So.... what's a family to do?  I researched Melatonin - a naturally occurring hormone many parents of ASD kids use to get their kids back on a good sleep schedule.  Some use it per the bottle's instructions, just for a few weeks at a time, and some parents use it several times a night as their kids wake early and repeatedly.  Some use it in spray form and just keep increasing the number of sprays when it ceases to be effective... 

 

So - upon one of her doctor's advice, we've been trying 1 mg Melatonin about 20 min before bedtime now for about 1 month and in that time - while it definitely makes her sleepy and ready for bed, it has not worked to keep her asleep about 7 or 8 times.  The answer clearly seems to be to give her an additional pill when she wakes during the night.   Hence the reason for this blog post -- there's guilt involved.  Man if feels so wrong to drug your child, not just once but multiple times in one night.  It just kinda sucks to even imagine the potential issues we could be causing to her brain -- all research that I've come across points to Melatonin being natural and causing no side effects -- but who knows the long range effects they don't know about yet -- it just feels wrong.  That's it for now - just a gripe-blog. 

 

 

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