Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

DS sleep issues

Posted by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 5:14 AM
  • 8 Replies
DS was diagnosed back in September with ASD. Up until about 3 weeks ago, we haven't had any kind of issues with him sleeping. Now all of a sudden one of three things will happen every single night. He will either not go to bed until really late at night (last night he didn't go to bed until almost 2:30am), wake up extremely early (around 6:30) or wake up at some ridiculous time in the middle of the night and be up for at least 2 hours. Tonight he woke up at 4:30 am.

I feel like his strange sleep schedule is affecting him and his development as well as me and my moods. I feel like I haven't slept in weeks and I'm beginning to get extremely irritable... Something I don't want to be around him...

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on ways to help him sleep through the night. Not knowing if he's going to be asleep when I get home from work (I work until midnight, DH puts him to bed every night during the week) or wondering what crazy time he'll wake me up is starting to drive me crazy... Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 5:14 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-8):
mypbandj
by Jen on Mar. 16, 2013 at 9:01 AM
How old is he? Does he take a nap? What do you do during those two hours he is up in the middle of the night?
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
VioletsMomTown
by Robyn on Mar. 16, 2013 at 9:08 AM
1 mom liked this

We went through this for ages too. I can give you some things to try, it depends on why its happening as to what will work I guess. So, we changed my dd food, removed gluten and dairy (and eventually all grains, sugar and starch too, called the SCD) that helped a lot. Dairy will cause reflux sometimes, so it wakes them up in the night. We give certain supplements for her autism, which seem to help with sleep too. Magnesium is great, I give it to her in her drink and we take epsom salt baths before bed to relax. Probiotics have been great too, I give them before bed too, they kill yeast which can get really active at night and keep kids up. I know melatonin works for a lot of kids, but you must give it right before bed, and then have complete darkness for it to work to its potential. Black out curtains are good for the bedroom, no nighlight even. Keep the bedtime to the same every night, put up a gate at the door so there is no option to leave the room once they're in bed. Establish a bedtime routine, same every night, you could even print it out and put it next to the bed as a reminder. Something like: Bath, Brush Teeth, Story, Sleep (or whatever your routine is) You can put pictures with it if he doesn't read yet. A visual reminder is good. If he does want to get up in the night, just go to his room and say its bedtime and then close the door again. It will be a few bad nights of protesting, and then he'll get that you don't get up in the night. 

Hope that helps, good luck!

Violet's Mom

Twitter @autismnotebook

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Mar. 16, 2013 at 9:14 AM

My son does that from time to time...he actually did it last night...it wasn't too bad last night though.  He went to bed at 8:00 and was up from 3:00-4:30...that was a better night!  Hugs mama!

joel2010
by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 12:39 PM

 we talk with our sons workers at times when our son was doing this.  We were told to keep him in the same rouitne for bed as he needs that so it is started about 745 now and down by 815 most nites.  there is a few nites a week that does n ot work for church things we are at.  He takes a nap every day and the days he does  not the bedtime is wrost so we have to make sure he has the downtime in the day.  and when he does wake we lay him down with us for a time and then he will go back to bed if it is before 5am.  we call it cuddle time for he just needed it and sometime we lay there and relax.  we have not done any meds and i do not plan on it rite now.  we work on it all every day and have a bed time routine for him have always and it works best.  even when he does wake up at nite.. he looks for senory input for him also with pressure and all


Quoting RowansMommy9810:

DS was diagnosed back in September with ASD. Up until about 3 weeks ago, we haven't had any kind of issues with him sleeping. Now all of a sudden one of three things will happen every single night. He will either not go to bed until really late at night (last night he didn't go to bed until almost 2:30am), wake up extremely early (around 6:30) or wake up at some ridiculous time in the middle of the night and be up for at least 2 hours. Tonight he woke up at 4:30 am.

I feel like his strange sleep schedule is affecting him and his development as well as me and my moods. I feel like I haven't slept in weeks and I'm beginning to get extremely irritable... Something I don't want to be around him...

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on ways to help him sleep through the night. Not knowing if he's going to be asleep when I get home from work (I work until midnight, DH puts him to bed every night during the week) or wondering what crazy time he'll wake me up is starting to drive me crazy... Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


 

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Mar. 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM
Mine does the same... Always has and he's going to be 12! It's not like that all the time though... Some swear by melatonin
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Mewlan
by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Ugh I am so with you on the exhaution and fatigue from dealing with the sleep issues.

When my son was a little guy I put up some decorations....he liked dinos.  So shortly after that,..he would not go to sleep, stay asleep, stay in his room.  This went on for a number of weeks, until I decided there was something in his room that was bothering him.  He was pretty little so he didnt have much language..so I asked him if there was something in his room he didn't like.  So he goes in and points to the dinos and said "eyes"  So dinos came off the wall and son goes back to sort of a sleep schedule. 

Then like a year later I had the brilliant idea of putting up his favorite Thomas the Tank engine.  Back to not wanting to sleep in the room and then I noticed the eyes..albeit friendly eyes.  Off came the Thomas decorations and back to sleep.

But I did sleep in the same room as my son during his preschool years and K and 1.  He was not dx'd at the time and was full of anxiety and it was the only way we could sleep in my house.  Definitely not for everyone...but I really wanted to sleep so that is what I did.

My son never did the early awakening thing...but he did do the stay up all night and sleep during the day thing a lot...not great for school but he only went in the afternoons for elementary thankfully.  We were like a pack of vampires here.  Thank heaven's I'm a night owl too and a stay at home mom.

Through the years he has gone though ups and downs with the ability to sleep.  Usually he just stays up until he is exhausted.  When he was little we would watch Fantasia.  With my son it is all due to anxiety.  When he was in school if there was a problem there or a change in schedule or whatever...there went the sleep.  Same thing if there is a change at home now or at work.  It is better with the melatonin but still a problem.

The autism affects the phases of sleep especially the 1st phase of the brain putting itself to sleep...typically that is not there at all.

This is a continually problem...it bothered my son too as he grew up so we tried to work on what would work for him..it was a long process.  Things are much better now.

 

JTMOM422
by Brenda on Mar. 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

I would ask your doctor about melatonin. It's a natural sleep aid.  i use it myself. it helps.

RowansMommy9810
by Member on Mar. 18, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I really appreciate it. =)
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)