Autism Dad - Long Days And Nights

Long Days And Nights

In Generalby SeanLeave a Comment

It’s come around again. The long light days.

So, this post is more of a personal perspective post. I like to write these from time to time – just to show our life is not really that different to everyone else’s.

It’s now the beginning of June. The days are getting longer (soon to be the longest day of the year). Sunlight shines high in the sky for much longer which means inquisitive minds keep looking out of the window.

We always find we have difficulty this time of year. If you check around a year ago I wrote another post entitled The Light Night Bedtime Games.

The problem with the longer daylight is that little Mr, like many other children, see that it’s still light outside and so thinks it’s still playtime. He can also see all these things happening just outside – things that he can watch with his inquisitive mind. Studying all the people walking past.

This often leads to a much more difficult bedtime routine of back and forth games. This game consists of him running out of his room and me putting him back in his room – quite often 20+ times (I loose count after that number, but it’s often more).

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?

So, if you have read my post from last year we tried a few different things. Just to give you this list again, just in case you didn’t want to swap back and forth between the two posts – here is that list again.

  1. Blackout blind and blackout curtains. We doubled up on the blackout window material in a hope to try and darken the room. It does make it a little darker, however, little Mr goes and looks out of the windows so defeats the purpose. However, you may have more luck. It’s all about darkening the room to hide the light outside.
  2. Night time/ Daytime clock. So, we were told about these clocks by one of the support workers we have had. The Gro Clock Sleep Trainer clock (as in the one in this Amazon Affiliate Link) basically shows a moon and stars when its night and Sun when its day. The idea is that they look at the clock, see moon and stars and know its bedtime.
  3. Lullaby music. One suggestion we had was to play lullaby music to try and make little Mr tired. It didn’t work for us… but some may find it useful
  4. Play white noise. Another suggestion was to play white noise (you can get apps on the phone). Again, not the most effective, but free to give it a try.
  5. Try and tire him out before bed with a burst of energy play. This did work on occasion, however – most times we found it didn’t and just gave him more energy to play.

Those are just 5 of the things we have tried, you may find some of these suggestions useful in your endeavour to get your little one to sleep.

Each Year We Hope For Different

Each year we see this time coming and really hope for a different time. However, each year it’s the same. To be honest, when I was a child I took used to find it difficult to sleep on the long light days.

I mean, lets face facts. There are far more interesting things happening out there than in your bedroom – and besides, it’s just too light to sleep.

So, this is not an autism thing – it’s a reality item. The reality is that too much light means you won’t get to sleep easily. So, it’s time to step the game up again.

It is time for the blackout blind.

The Blackout Blind

Last year we bought a portable blackout blind. Well, it was billed as a portable blind – but consisted of sticking some Velcro parts to the window. Although you could put up and take down the blind to move around – once stuck those Velcro parts we no longer portable.

I can also add that they did not stay stuck on for all the colder Autumn and Winter days. They have now come off and are residing in the bin. So, it’s time to visit Amazon and order some more.

*I type this as I just done number 23 put back to bed!

It’s time to try darkening the room. It’s time to try and simulate the night time. It’s time to fight that light and try to get little Mr asleep before 10:30pm…

This is our battle, and it maybe a battle you are also fighting at the moment. We stick with the same tactics each year – though counters to these have been learnt and so we may need to come up with more strategies.

In the meantime though, we battle through the bedtime routine with hope that we can get some quiet time before bed – maybe catch a TV program together – not at separate times like at the current present viewing situation.

As we go through these summer months we may figure new tactics – and if they work i will share them with you all, just in case you are looking at this and saying “that’s us”.

Until then, it’s time for the 27th bedtime put back.

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