Monday, 8 September 2008

Sleep - getting more of it.

It seems as though a lot of us are having problems getting our children to sleep. I wrote a list for someone else, but thought it might be helpful here too. So, here are my tips for getting more sleep. I should mention that they don't all work, that there are times when none of them work, and that some of them might not be entirely serious!

Some of the things I've tried - feel free to ignore the lot, take any that are helpful, or be angry with me for suggesting all the things you've tried already!

1. Giving melatonin and chloral hydrate at max dose but both of them together and anything else I can combine it with just to break the cycle for one night.

2. Going at it from a pain and spasm angle and treating with painkillers and diazepam again to try to break the cycle.

3. Emergency seizure meds a bit earlier than might be called for (we are supposed to wait for 30 minutes of seizure activity before treating).

4. A video on a loop all night long.

5. Music CD on a loop all night long.

6. Television.

7. Settling in wheelchair instead of bed.

8. Wrapping up warmly and closing the door, sleeping with a pillow over my head to block the noise.

9. Getting cross and shouting lots.

10. Leaving child to sleep where they drop in the sitting room with a blanket over them instead of trying to get them into bed.

11. Bringing child into my bed and snuggling up with them all night.

12. Letting child sleep on a foam mat at the foot of my bed.

13. Sleeping in the child's bed with them.

14. Overnight respite of any kind - someone sleeping here whilst I go elsewhere, child going into social services respite, to fostercarers, to hospice, to grandparents so that I can sleep at night.

15. Sleeping (me) during the day so that I can be up with them all night.

16. Finding constant activities for the child all day long.

17. Setting child up with books and quiet toys and giving them a choice "I can't force you to sleep but you can't force me to be nice. You can either be quiet now and let me sleep, and then I'll be rested and ready to exciting things tomorrow, or you can be loud now and I'll be cross and grouchy all day tomorrow and we won't be doing anything at all"

18. Taking child to hospital to be checked out for hidden fractures or other causes of pain.

19. Speaking to my friends living in different time zones and crying to them about how desperate I am for sleep.

20. Inviting the sleep psych to have her ovenight since she doesn't appear to see the urgency for sleep.

21. Giving child antipsychotic meds (on advice and under supervision of psychiatrist) to try to even out the moods and break the screaming all night bit.

22. Other sleep meds.

23. Alcohol (for me, not the child).

24. Camping - a couple of my children have slept better in tents than in the house.

25. Getting even crosser and angrier and ready to destroy the child completely (and then scrubbing the kitchen floor or knitting or anything else using my hands to avoid touching the child)!

26. Giving the child massive doses of laxatives and enemas since the slightest hint of constipation used to send one of them completely high.

27. Birth control pills (for an adolescent with sleeping issues).

28. Melatonin for me in order to ignore the problem.

29. Rocking the child and comforting them all night long.

30. Rocking the child and comforting them after having given them a massive knock out dose of sleep meds so they stayed happy and drifted off instead of getting mad and fighting them off in bed.

31. Letting them scream.

32. Bribery (stay quiet all night and you can have chocolate for breakfast).

33. Cutting out all caffeine for the child after lunch (no chocolate as well as no coffee), giving them hot weetabix just before they go to sleep.

34. Adding in an overnight feed to prevent hunger.

35. Taking out an overnight feed to reduce reflux.

36. Angling the bed so the head is higher to reduce reflux.

37. Angling the bed so the feet are higher to help postural drainage and reduce choking on saliva.

38. wearing night splints

39. Abandoning night splints.

40. Crying to social services to get more help and respite.

41. Taking on extra children to dilute the intensity.

42. Reducing numbers of children to grow sanity.

43. Star charts.*

44. A memory foam mattress overlay.

45. Extra blankets.

46. Fleece blankets and sheepskin instead of sheets and pillowcases.

47. Aromatherapy "sleep" blends on the pillow.

48. Humidifyers.

49. Olbas Oil.

50. Prayer.

*Just to clarify after Alesha's comment, I mean behaviour modification charts where a child gets a sticker or a star on their chart for being good, I don't mean astrology!


Sarah said...

my word, some of this sounds fairly desperate. I think I'd resort to number 50 well before I'd exhausted all the others!

val said...

... and by the time you get to number 50 it is morning again and time to get up again....!!


Alesha said...

34! THIRTY-FOUR things on your list I have tried!!!


And bwahahaha at comments #1 and #2!!! SOOOO true!

One of the things I have NOT tried is the wheelchair! It's worth a shot, anyway!

And, maybe unfortunately, I don't drink or consult star charts, so that limits my possibilities to 48. Think I still have a chance????

Great list, Tia! I love it!


Tia said...

Ooops thanks for pointing out the potential confusion there Alesha!


MOM2_4 said...

I like the tent idea... only my 1st thought was child in tent in the garden mommy in her own bed ;o) or child in bed and mommy in tent in the garden... or I could put the seats down and sleep in the van.

GREAT list!!

Anonymous said...

1. Lots of chocolate (for you)
2. Red wine (for you only)
3. A friend who will babysit for just 1 hour so you can catnap (and they don't get stressed doing what you do all the time)
4. Reflexology (for either or both of you)

Can't think of anything else at the moment, I've just woken up (my day off work)

Much Kindness


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