Night time Woes


For months now, Tycen has been complaining about sleeping with Roman.

“He kicks.”

“He snores.”

“He jumps on me.”

“He wakes me up at night when he wakes up.”

We have three children and a three bedroom house.  Since Eric and I are not willing to permanently move to the couches, that means that someone has to share a bedroom.  The most obvious choice, since we have two boys and a girl, was to have the boys share a room.  Unfortunately, Roman is like many other children with autism in that he doesn’t have the best sleeping habits.

He kicks.

He snores.

He jumps on his brother.

He wakes up all night long.

Recently, we’ve been noticing behavioral problems and tics in Tycen.  Tycen was once diagnosed with Asperger’s, but later a psychiatrist questioned the diagnosis and instead labeled him ADHD.  We were getting to the point of maybe putting him on ADHD medication.  But then, we wondered if it wasn’t a lack of sleep.  Finally, his sister agreed to share her room with him.  A week ago, we moved Tycen into Tanis’s room to sleep.  Suddenly, he was not as cranky, his impulse control got better and his tics even started to subside.

With one problem solved, another arose.  Roman not only has trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, but he seems to be distressed to sleep alone.  Every night since Tycen left, Roman wakes at around midnight, just as I have been asleep for a good half hour, crying for me.  Some nights,  I would bring him to bed with me and the dogs and Eric would retire to the couch.  Other nights, Eric would take him to the living room and the two of them would sleep on the couches.  If we failed to do one or the other, Roman would continue to scream and cry for me, apparently meaning either Eric or I since “MOM MOM MOM” seems to mean anyone who will listen.

It’s like living with a newborn all over again.  We thought we were out of this phase.  Neither of us has had much sleep in the past week and it’s really starting to wear on us.  As I sit here at the keyboard, I’m nearly falling asleep.  I just don’t know what to do.  It’s impossible to get a good night’s sleep with Roman at my side.

Why?

He kicks.

He snores.

He jumps on me.

He wakes up all night long.

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3 Responses to Night time Woes

  1. Makeesha says:

    Ugh, I hope you all get some peace soon. It’s interesting what you say about Tycen – I read an article recently that asserts the possibility that many ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnoses (especially of the higher functioning variety) are actually sleep deprivation. They had lots of studies to back up the assertion. Many kids seem to be getting enough sleep because they’re in their beds all night and “sleeping” but they don’t sleep soundly, leading to a cumulative lack of sleep. Way to go on intuiting the problem with Tycen!

  2. That’s really interesting about the sleep deprivation. It seems that it may be the case here. Tycen’s been so much better since the move to his sister’s bed. I was surprised that even his tics (like constantly wiping his mouth) have diminished so greatly.

  3. jl1schwartz says:

    First of all, your blog posts make me laugh out loud, (in a “been there” sort of way)! The whole sleep deprivation idea is really interesting. There are so many different influences that seem to affect symptoms (different ways at different times), I find it very difficult to separate any of it. I have used a relaxation routine with my son before bed, and when I can get him to cooperate with the routine it seems to help him sleep, which in turn seems to diminish some of his behaviors.

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