Sleep, Please.

Like many children with autism, C has sleep issues.

Lately he’s been waking up in the middle of the night, completely out of control and unable to settle himself. Getting him to sleep has also been more problematic than usual — and that’s saying something!

After bath, I swing him in my arms to settle his vestibular system; it helps calm him, but since he’s nearly 40 lbs, and he really likes to swing, it’s no easy task. I give out at about 50 swings and need to take a break. (We’re looking into a doorway swing.) We’ve also taken to letting his twin fall asleep in our bed, since C’s nighttime freak-outs were frightening him.

If C wakes up in the middle of the night, S will often hold him across her knees and rock him back and forth, sometimes for 1-2 hours. Needless to say, we’re pretty trashed most days.

Still, there are bright spots: hearing about our ongoing sleep issues, a good friend — who also happens to live across the street — sent me the following text:

“I will have my phone next to me throughout the night — if you and S would like a hand anytime, text and I will come to your pad.”

I may not take him up on the offer — he has a family of his own! — but I’ll sleep easier knowing we have friends like this.

3 Comments

  1. Just a thought about helping with those sleepless nights. Have you tried a weighted blanket? I also know that some of the kids I have worked with find great comfort and are able to relax and even fall asleep in a cocoon like swing. Here is a website with some of these items. I have heard great things about the weighted blanket and have had great luck with the cocoon swing.
    Good luck! I wish you both, sleep-filled nights! http://www.sensorygoods.com/
    Karin

    • We use a weighted blanket to help settle C before sleep, but weighted blankets aren’t for sleeping through the night, so they can’t prevent the late-night wakeful episodes. Coincidentally, we are looking into a swing / hammock to help with the issue, as he responds quite well to swinging and rocking. Thanks for the tips, Karin!