My daughter is having problems going to sleep at night since we moved last week. She loves the house. She is excited about the house. The house is fun. It's not that the new house is upsetting... it's the opposite. She also has new playmates that she really likes. And our yard has between 1/2 acre to 3/4 acre and in the back has a tiny pond with goldfish in it and a garden. We've seen lots of animals, like deer, frogs, rabbits, squirrels, etc. At night there are the fireflies/lightning bugs to chase.
We have stuck to our usual bedtime routine. I am making sure nap time is not too long and happens earlier in the daytime after lunch. And I also found that if she skips nap, that doesn't help her go to sleep any better in the evening. Just makes her crankier. No video or electronic toys several hours before bedtime (they rev her up). Quiet music. And we have our reading time and cuddle time in the bed. But, she keeps remembering things and getting excited and wanting to go outside or downstairs or anythign but bed.
We tried background noise, background music which has worked in the past at the old house to settle her down, but here she intentionally does stuff to keep herself stimulated and awake.
This is stuff she does: Jumping on the bed. Kicking her legs if she's laying down. Giggling and making animal noises and snorting/oinking like a pig or making raspberries. If we stop her from doing all those things, she'll resort to headbanging and biting. And not just herself--she bites or bangs us too! My husband and I were looking at each other last night at going on midnight when she finally went to sleep, and I had visions of duct taping her to the bed and duct taping her mouth or getting bungy cord out or something... No, I honestly would not do any of those things... but when your 2 year old is driving you insane, those visions start appearing in your head and you start contemplating if social services would take your child away if you did actually do them.
I know this isn't exactly an autism issue. My sister said her daughter went through this stage awhile back and lasted for several months. Her daughter is about 6 months younger than my daughter, so I guess my daughter is just delayed in that particular behavioral issue as well. My sister said she had those same visions I did with the duct tape, but no she did not do that either. She just said it took weeks and weeks of going back in to the room and forcing her daughter to lay quietly, leaving, and then inevitably going back in 5 minutes later. Am I going to survive this insanity? There has to be some better way, some way to get your child to sleep.
Maybe I should just pad my bedroom walls... it would save me a trip to going to the insane asylum. LOL...
I'm having trouble sleeping too for the same reasons... Too many things on my mind that I'm either excited about doing or things I'm stressed out over.
I think I have delayed sleep phase syndrome, but I'd like to get a sleep study done. I just know I've always been up past my bed time or at least put up some kind of fuss... As a child I felt terrified at night. (I think I had some sleep paralysis episodes, but didn't realize that was what they were. I just knew at night sometimes I found myself unable to move, hearing sounds, and sometimes an odd sensation in my body... It didn't help that my mom likes to watch sci-fi thrillers and horror movies....and being a curious kid found myself watching them with her against her wishes... So yeah...that didn't help me like the dark any better... I always had to keep a light on to keep my mind from developing images out of the dark.
As an adult I keep to myself on the computer and I was getting along fine with my late night cycle, but now that I have a job and it seems people ant to meet me in the morning, it's sort of turned my world up-side down...
I'm not getting the sleep I need and it's taking its toll...
I don't really have any answers, just wanted you to know my son is the same. Sometimes he can be repeating TV/DVD dialogue for hours. It makes me tired just to watch him. The only thing that works is for me to lie down with him and every couple of minutes tell him it is time to go to sleep and to stop talking. But I have to let him do it for a certain amount of time otherwise he just gets upset or angry. So it must be some kind of stimming or replaying stuff that he has stored to 'process later'. But sleeping with your child is not always ideal. We have just got used to it but some people prefer to keep their child to their own room and bed.
He also says that sleeping is boring. But he is impossible to wake up in the mornings. Infact the only thing that seems to work for all of us is to go camping! We all have to go to bed when it gets dark and we all wake up when it gets light. Infact when we are camping my son is always the first one to say he wants to go to bed because it is scary outside in the dark. So we send him to bed with a lamp and he is asleep within minutes. Maybe because he hasn't been able to watch any TV he hasn't got any immediate visual/auditory memories that he wants/needs to repeat to himself.
I guess it wouldn't be as bothersome if our daughter could entertain herself and be quiet. We actually have a futon in our large bedroom in addition to a king sized bed (it's 10 feet by 24 feet). She comes over and wants to jump on our bed, jump on us, wants us to be involved in the whole rev up process. Now if she sat for a couple hours and played legoes, read books, played potato head or Betty Spaghetti (her arms, legs, and head detach and you mix and match), or any number of quiet toys she could play with in the bed... No, she wants to be loud, silly, hyper, bouncing, jumping, and interactive.
Last night we put her toddler bed underneath her loft bed (she's too little to sleep in the loft bed yet and doesn't want to be up there)... and underneath the loft bed, she doesn't have head room to jump on her toddler bed. LOL... well, last night she went to sleep at 11:30PM. Problem is, I'd like to go to bed at 10:30. It takes me at least an hour to go to sleep and if she goes out at 11;30, it means I'm up until 12:30. I have a lot of difficulty going to sleep. I've always had that problem since being a kid. Or if she'd just stop kicking me, poking me, annoying me, I wouldn't mind being in the same room as she is while we both try to go to sleep.
We've tried music and background noise. It doesn't seem to work for her. And what works for me doesn't really work for her at all in any bit.
Should I try putting her toddler bed in our bedroom? She rolls around and kicks us in the ribs if you sleep in the same bed as her. Seriously, a king sized bed she will eventually snuggle up and start kicking you either in the ribs or thighs or turn around backwards and kick you in the face. Does she subconsciously have something against us like she's out to get us or something? Gotta wonder about that...
Can I join that late night sleepover party? Maybe I can bring the chips, lol. I can help your kids keep you up...
I can relate to the sleep being boring. It's not the sleep process itself that is boring, in fact when I'm dreaming I can get some really awesome dreams, some of wich I can still remember from my childhood.
What WAS boring was the process of falling asleep, between the time the eyes are closed to the time that sleep actually takes on...
For me as a kid it seemed that part took forever.... I'd be laying with my eyes closed, shapes forming in the darkness and sometimes blinking lights along with it... It may have also been disturbing that as I start to drift off to sleep, my thoughts become disjointed and incoherent... Words come into sentences that make no logical sense....
I'm sure this happens to everyone, but maybe part of autism is having a heightened awareness of this going on... I wonder if it would be possible if maybe many autistic people are fully consious durring the stage 1 and 2 sleep stage, and it may be easy to pull right back out of it readily... That'd be an interesting area for study.
Also I think I may have a bit of RLS... As a kid one of my common complaints (to myself) was that I could never find the right position to place my arms and legs... That made the falling asleep process slower. I still have that problem as an adult. I guess that may be one reason I stay up to the point of exhaustion. If I'm exhausted enough sleep comes pretty quickly and I don't have all the "wait" time between the time I close my eyes and sleep actually happens.
Here's some sleep strategy I did as a kid. Maybe it will work for your kids if they can catch on:
1. Visualize being in a room of TV screens. I am switching channels praying or repeating a thought process, "Please give me a good dream" and repeat that or something like that over and over.... sooner or later the mind gives up and sleep comes...
Nowdays that is where I take advantage of all those prayer requests I get from friends. I will whisper their names in my head and think about the setting and context of their situation, maybe not expressing it mental verbally. Just the thought is enough.
Sooner or later I tire out and I may not finish, but it does help. Another strategy I use is to look at something I drew, stare at it and animate the characters in my head. Visualizing a scene in my head takes energy and seems to tire me out. If it isn't an overly exciting or funny scene it seems to help, otherwise it may keep me up longer.
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