Sleeping Pattern Changes and Autism

Sleeping Pattern Changes

In Autism by SeanLeave a Comment

This post is more of a personal update, or changes, rather than talking about a particular subject. I wanted to write it, share it because I know many people will be going through the same issues and I wanted to let them know they are not alone. The thoughts they are having are not unusual and, that, although we don’t know it will be alright, we can share with other.

Sleeping Patterns…

So, I’ve talked before on little Mr’s sleeping patterns, issues and our lack of sleep. When it was summer we had problems with him not getting to sleep because of the long days and him wanted to look out of the window to watch the world go by. We tried a few different things, but ended up with a travel blackout blind. This certainly helped, though he did still go to sleep a little later.

Fast forward through the summer months and we’re now in the latter part of the year, end of October to be more precise. The issue of him going to sleep a little laterhas persisted since the summer, even with the days getting darker sooner. There is one other big change though, which is causing us less sleep.

Early Wake Up Call

Little Mr has started to consistently wake up around 4 am. Now, some days of the week it maybe 5 am, 5.30am, but the majority of the week its been more around the 4 am mark. The problem is that when he wakes up he wants to get one of us up which always happens to be me.

So, I grab a top and wander downstairs with him. 

Resist Feeding

Quite often, when our son wakes up he expects breakfast. This is not going to be happening at 4 am. So, we get some moans and groans and sometimes a cry. What I try to do is take down the bedsheet, put him on the sofa and cover him. I may put on some bedtime nursery rhymes to try and sooth him back to sleep. Sometimes this works. Sometimes, over the period of an hour he will nod back off.

A bigger percentage of the time it doesn’t.This time is often more taken up by him running around, grabbing his toys (he usually only plays with 2-3 things). Running out back to his sensory table. Looking out the patio doors. Jumping on me which I sit in the arm chair. Running up and down the stairs, though I try to stop him doing this so he doesn’t wake up his sister.

As a rule of thumb I use, if he has not gone back to sleep by 5 am, I will give him a smaller bowl of cereal. Smaller because I know when our daughter gets up around 7, she will have her breakfast and he expects another bowl too. So, having the smaller bowl will settle his stomach till that time.

Then, once eaten and drank I let him continue to watch TV, as well as his playing with toys again.

Very Tiring

Feeling That Tiredness

As anyone will tell you in the same situation, it’s very tiring. I have difficulties sleeping myself, going to bed at a later time. So, then being woke early means I spend a lot of time yawning. We live in hope that his sleeping pattern will change again.

As I write this, having been woken up again at 4am, yawning away, that and the coffee are keeping me going. I am just hoping my spelling and grammar checker pick up any issues in my writing…

I wanted to share though as I know I’m not the only person dealing with lack of sleep and I wanted to say You’re Not Alone. What I would like to do with this post is reach those people and ask them to share a comment with what techniques they use to try and get their little (or not so little) kiddie back to sleep. Maybe we can create a list of ideas for us all to use.

I really hope this type of sharing life post is something that you all enjoy as I may do more, if interesting, for you to read. At the end of the day, being an ASD parenthas many challenges which we learn to cope with over time. I know early on (I say early on even though its only been just under 4 years since diagnosis) we had no idea of what to expect and what challenges were to come. 

So, I hope sharing these little things will help others.

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