Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Counting Sheep and Losing Sleep

Please, please, please, please tell me that there's a sleep solution I don't know about.  If only there were some magical solution to our sleep crisis, I would jump up and down right now, even though I'm operating on just 2.5 hours sleep from last night, somehow, I would get the energy.

And yes, we know all about melatonin.    And no, it hasn't solved our problems.  Helped, yes, but solved, no.

Predictable bedtime routine?  check.  Nice calming bath prior to bed?  check.  Blanket prewarmed in the dryer before tucking in?  Hot water bottle in bed prior to bedtime?  Calming white noise of a running fan?  check, check and check.

At this tender age, I really don't know a sensible way to handle this lack of sleep.  He's too young to be let to wander the house in the wee hours of the night while we try to catch some zzzzzzzs, so his lack of sleep transfers into our loss of sleep as well.  Hence my cry for help.

Is there some secret trick I haven't tried yet?


  1. No fun. The melatonin thing worked for us. (You may talk to your health provider for other ideas if the meds are a way you want to go.) I wish I had something else to suggest. We warm up therabags and put on quiet music too. Some people like the weighted/heavy blanket thing. My guy doesn't like closing his eyes so having something relaxing to look at like stars on ceiling might help. We have a dimmer switch on his light (from Ikea) which he can control which helps as well as some books/toys in his room so that if he is awake, at least that is wehre he stays. Hopefully you come to a solution soon! It's not nice to be going through a sleepless cycle.

  2. These may be completely useless to you since every child is so different, but here's what works for us:

    a light on while he goes to sleep and all night (not the bright overhead light, but not a night-light either - a reading lamp light).

    sensory input after stories, as he lies with his eyes closed: back tickles, a deep pressure massage, "slap chops", and then squishes (tight cuddles). I keep checking to make sure his eyes are closed and if he opens them I stop the back rub stuff, and only start again once he closes them. This helps to keep his eyes closed and get him that much closer to sleep.

    A small (very small) glass of cold water left by his bed (this seems to make him feel more at ease, even if he doesn't drink it).

    "Head rubs" on nights that are particularly hard for him, I gently rub his forehead in one long stroke from one side to the other, over and over, occasionally moving down his nose between his eyes. Seems to relax facial tension.

    And finally, our dog sleeps in his room with him, which seems to alleviate lots of anxiety.

    And Simon mainly sleeps in undies, no pjs.

    Good luck!!!

  3. Not sure if this will be at all helpful or not. We got a fantastic clock called a groclock. It has a blue face and stars overnight and the stars disappear as you get closer to morning. At 6 am for us or whatever wake up time you set the sun comes up. It means they don't need to be able to tell the time to get an idea of how close to morning it is eg only one star means getting up is close. Within a week it had our 4 yo early riser staying in his room until 6 am everyday mostly asleep, sometimes amusing himself (which he had never done prior). In Aust we get it from but google and see where you can get it from o/s.
    Also our son has severe food intolerances and as soon as we massively cut his salicylate intake- ie all fruit except pear/banana and cut out tomatoes/mushrooms/broccoli and also preservatives/additives his behaviour and sleep massively improved. If you are interested in the food side of things look at Hope this helps- I had a long stretch of night waking 3-4 times plus morning starts at 4.30 and know how soul destroying it is.

  4. Thanks for your ideas ladies, I clearly see that I'm not alone in this! Pam, I don't now how you'd ever get a child to sleep if they hate closing their eyes! That must be a real battle. Caitlin, I think I'll take yor adice about the head massage, he really does like firm presure on his forehead, I will try that tonight! Bngalowgirl, someone on facebook also told me about this light you wrote about, I like the visual aspect and may need to look into it!

    Our problems aren't with getting him to go to bed, or even staying in bed. Our big problems are getting to sleep, and waking, and potentially NOT getting back to sleep. It can really be painful at times, as you all well know!

    Thanks for the tips...