Thursday, December 30, 2010

To sleep, perchance to dream

I love to sleep.

I always have, really.  My mom said I slept through the night in no time as a baby, although I think my grandmother was slipping cereal into my bottle. 

I excelled at sleeping in as a teenager, and continued on into college.  When I met my husband, he would laugh at how long I would stay in bed on weekend mornings (although he has become a lot more like me in this respect).

Because of how much I love to sleep, I worried about having a baby.  How could I stand the lack of sleep that went part and parcel with having a baby?  How would I endure the frequent wakings and feedings?  How could I do all that and get through the workday?  And it was rough.

Dylan was not a good sleeper.  I had acquaintances tell me that their kids slept through the month at three months (hated them), at six months (yeah, right), and certainly by a year (nope).  It wasn't until about 16 months that Dylan finally started sleeping through the night.  And boy was I tired.

Even after he got better at it, he still woke up during the night several times a week.  I let my husband take care of those nighttime wakings.  After all, I'd had to get up much of the time when he was a baby and I was the one getting up early in the morning to get us out the door on time.  And I needed the sleep.

For Randy, it was not a big deal.  He climbed into bed with our son, settled him down to sleep and either slept there himself for a while or stumbled back to our bed and feel asleep.  I would've been awake after all of that.

The one thing I was adamant about was bedtime routine.  Randy would beg me to keep Dylan up so we could enjoy more time with him, but I insisted on a regular sleep schedule.   Every night was pretty much the same:  have a bath, play soft music, read a story.  Tooth brushing was added when he got older.  As homework was added to the mix, nightly baths became more of a few times a week thing.  But in general, bedtime was routine and successful.  Dylan got quite good at falling asleep and staying asleep.  It was something I could count on and, as much as I loved sleep, reveled in. 

Then ADHD entered our lives.

The fact that ADHD meds lead to sleep disturbances is well known.  And in reality it's not the drugs themselves, but the rebound after the drugs have gotten out of the system.  Just as I feared what would happen when Dylan was born, I was afraid of how the drugs would affect his sleep.  And my fears were warranted.  Since Dylan has been on Daytrana, bedtime has become a huge challenge for everyone involved.  And while I like the way that Daytrana helps Dylan stay on task and keep his cool, I don't like the rebound effect.

It's like a cruel joke, really.  Everyone needs good sleep, but someone who has trouble with distraction and impulsivity really needs good sleep.  And just when he needs to be calm and easily soothed, he is getting wound up and ready for battle.  It's so frustrating.

We started him on melatonin shortly after he started the Daytrana and at first it worked like a charm.  But lately...not so much.  Worse, he doesn't want to follow the routine.  He suddenly hates to brush his teeth.  He wants water, this special book, that toy in bed.  And he wants to sleep in our bed.

This last issue is partly my fault.  One night I had a terrible headache and asked Dylan to climb into bed and read to me instead of the other way around.  Apparently, he liked it.

When he was a baby, we did co-sleep with him part time.  It sure made nursing easier.  And soothing.  And sleep (for me).  But as he got older and bigger, we called it off.  You have your bed, we have ours.  If necessary, Daddy will lay down with you in yours.  I never got into that habit because I didn't want it to be an option on the table.  But now it is.  And I can't seem to put that genie back into the bottle.

I don't remember how going to bed was for me at Dylan's age.  I know I was generally more self-sufficient, but my mom may have read to me.  And, of course, I wanted to sleep.  The rebound keeps Dylan from wanting to sleep.

With this being vacation week, everything is even more out of whack than normal. I'm hopeful that school and homework will get us a little more on track, sleep-wise.  Because I need my sleep.  Dylan needs his sleep.  And we need peace at nighttime.

No comments:

Post a Comment