Thursday, February 22, 2007

To sleep...or not

Why is bedtime hell? J got maybe seven hours of sleep last night. After thrashing around (in bed, with the lights out, just not sleeping :tearhair: ) for an hour or more, he finally looked up at me at 10:45 and said, "Mama, let's go to sleep." And finally, he did. So he was tired and C-R-A-B-B-Y this evening. He screamed over everything when I picked him up from school - that made for a fun trip home. He cried because he didn't get to watch the movie they'd just started (never mind that everyone was going home in about five minutes, anyway). He cried because he wanted to go home a different way than the one we went. He cried because he wanted to go somewhere else other than home (as in, somewhere that would require me to spend money). He cried because I didn't have a new video for him to watch (never mind that we have a kabillion at home). I knew he was tired.

I started the bedtime routine a lot earlier than usual, and we had the lights out by about 8:30, 8:45. And again, with the squirming and thrashing and not sleeping. Tonight there was a new twist (well, not new - we've done the ghost thing before, but not recently). He came looking for me, crying that he couldn't sleep in his room, he was scared, there was a ghost. I got him back into his bed, finally - I knew he was just way tired and that was part of the problem, but still. So frustrating. He didn't go to sleep until 9:45. Better than 10:45, but it vexes me 1) because I know he's tired and needs to sleep, 2) because I'm tired, too, and 3) because I have no clue how to help him unwind sufficiently to settle down more easily. When it's light in the evenings, we play outside. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not. I've tried the Nighty Night videos. I've tried the Arbonne Unwind spray. I've tried warm baths. I've lit a lavender candle, used lavender soap and lotion, tried everything I can find that bills itself as "relaxing" or "calming". It must work for everyone but my kid. Even his cough syrup with codeine doesn't knock him out, and if it does help him relax a little, he usually wakes up about the time the medicine wears off, after about four hours.

I'm to the point that I'm just about ready to try this stuff:

or try to set up a sleep study at Children's Hospital here. I don't know what prompts these horrible spells, because some nights/weeks are worse than others, but I do know that bedtime is never easy. Maybe once every six months I'll get him in the bed and he'll fall asleep within minutes. And it's hard, and it's frustrating, and dammit, I'm tired of having to fight this fight almost every night. Bedtime should be relaxing and quiet and restful, not stressful and maddening.


Laura said...

Lisa, I'm sure you've said, but have you talked to his ped about his sleep issues? I hope tonight goes smoothly for you - you need your rest!!

Lisa said...

I have, and she always seems to be of the opinion that it's just a trial and error thing as to what helps them sleep and what doesn't. AARGH.

I'm ordering the Serenite Jr., and I'm going to start keeping a journal - what he eats and when, what we do before bed, environment, how long it takes him to sleep, etc. Maybe it will help me see something that I'm missing now, or maybe it will help me talk to his ped and show her that it's not just a case of not trying this or that or the other thing. Some of it may be J yanking my chain, but some of the things he does, it really appears to be something he has no control over. And there's got to be a reason for that.

Amy said...

Sorry that things continue to vex you about J going to bed at night. I hope something finally works. I agree about that sleep study and the journal if the serenite jr doesn't work.

Carrie said...

I wish I had some advice for you! I'll offer some hugs though ((HUG))

Nicki said...

Lisa, good luck! I can't imagine dealing with sleep issues that bad! A journal like that is a great idea!!!