Sunday, January 15, 2012

Oh No, It's Happening! (Or, What Happens When the Melatonin Stops Working)

Oh no, it may be happening. We have been warned, we have been told to enjoy it while it lasts, we have been told that things will change, but, maybe secretly, we denied it. Our son has been on Melatonin for a year and a half now to help him with sleep issues. It has made a huge difference and we have enjoyed, on average, our son sleeping for 12 hours a night! He never stops during the day, so half of each 24 hour day sleeping seemed about right. But we've also been told that Melatonin can stop working. Oh, I've read many blogs where mommies and daddies are frustrated with the sleep issues that go along with autism. I've been there, I used to take my son 2-3 hours to calm down enough to fall asleep, and then he'd be up early in the morning (6 a.m., way too early for this mama!) But then came this miracle, Melatonin, which allowed my son to drift off in about 10 minutes and sleep longer in the morning. The dreaded change all started 4 nights ago. It was the middle of the night, 3 a.m. to be exact, when I heard noises in my son's room. I walked into the hall and noticed that his light was on. When I opened his door, he was wide awake standing at his door with his stuffed monkeys waiting for me to come get him. He looked at me with a huge smile and said, "HI!" I turned off his light and in a very quiet voice told him it was still night time and he needed to go back to sleep. I put him back into his bed and, after a drink of water, he got quiet again. The next night he slept until morning and I was cheering inside thinking the night before had just been a fluke. But no such luck. The next night he was up again, wide eyed and ready to play, and again last night. Luckily, after turning off the lights and quietly accompanying him back to bed and giving him a drink, he is still drifting off again. But I am worried for the night where he decides not to settle, and that becomes the new norm. I am worried about the extra lack of sleep that this new issue will create. And I am worried that I may never sleep another full night again, ever.

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