We’ve decided to tackle Monkey’s sleep issues. For the last few months we’ve been really struggling here. He will go to bed and then sit in his crib (sometimes crying, sometimes not) for HOURS each night. He just cannot fall asleep. Some nights he’ll be in there wide awake for 3 or 4 hours. It’s so sad. We kept doing what we’d always done, hoping it was a phase but it wasn’t.
In November, we went to a Fragile X workshop and the issue of sleep problems came up. It’s a really common problem. We had no idea. The director of the Fragile X clinic mentioned melatonin as one suggestion that works for some kids. I bought some melatonin and then couldn’t figure out dosage so it went on the back burner through the holidays.
On Sunday, Monkey lay in his crib for an hour or so crying off and on, he fell asleep finally but then woke up and stayed up for 3 hours in the middle of the night. Duhdee and I were both exhausted the next day.
On Tuesday, Monkey lay in his crib from 8:30 until 11:10 PM crying more often than not. He wasn’t wet or hungry…he just couldn’t sleep. I got him up and we sat on the couch for 45 minutes (me reading my latest Stephen King novel and him looking at his books) and then he pretty much collapsed from exhaustion. I decided I couldn’t take it anymore, it’s not fair to him, it’s not fair to us.
On Wednesday, I did more research on melatonin. I found a dosage amount and I found some other tips to help the melatonin along and I came up with a plan. An hour before bedtime Monkey drinks water with 1/2 of a crushed melatonin tablet (about 1.5mg total) dissolved in it. The lights are dimmed throughout the house (a single 60 watt bulb can trigger your body to stop making melatonin and thereby delay sleep for up to 40 minutes.) The bedtime routine is then launched bath or walk, mini massage with his favorite lotion, pjs, a couple books (depending on how many times he wants me to read them) and then bed.
We’ve done this for two nights now and both nights he has fallen asleep within minutes and he has slept pretty much through the night. He has woken a couple times but typically it’s b/c he’s uncovered or stuck (feet through crib, blanket in the way.) I hope this continues. We all need the sleep.