Around 1:30 last night I broke down in tears. Some of it was because of full complete exhaustion, but the majority of it was because Peanut was still not asleep. For two nights in a row, she has not gone to bed earlier than 2 am. For the past two days, she has not napped longer than 1 hour. That literally puts her asleep for around 14 hours in the last 48 hour period! Shes two…she should be sleeping around 14 hours a day!!!
But last night just broke me. I watched her through the monitor. Constantly moving and basically full of anxiety. She was yelling (not crying…just yelling) randomly out of frustration and there was nothing we could do about it. If we pick her up the cycle would start all over. She will get extremely hyper wanting to play with us, we’ll put her back in bed, and she’ll sit there again for about 2 hours. We can’t hold her to put her to sleep, she just refuses it. So our only option is to let her be and wear herself out. Now, don’t get me wrong, as soon as crying starts and she’s upset we go get her. But for the most part, she sits for hours just playing with her blanket, her hands, looking around the room. She’s obviously exhausted, but nothing helps shut her little brain off in order for her to relax.
This event happens almost every night, but man I felt so so horribly helpless last night. As I watched her rock back and forth, my heart just broke. How horrible it must be for her to want to sleep so badly but just can’t. We’ve tried countless essential oil combinations, sleep lotions, diffusers, humidifiers, weighted blankets, sound machines, light machines, long baths, everything we can think of. But nothing helps. Nothing helps her calm down enough to just rest her little head and allow her to sleep.
Her insomnia is caused by both Down Syndrome and Autism. Most children take melatonin or sleep medication to help with this. Due to Peanut’s heart condition (that will be fixed this summer) we are not allowed to give her any sleep aid. Because she stops breathing at least 10 times per hour, medication will not allow her body to wake itself up to breath again. So that leaves us each night praying she will sleep. Not just for our own sanity, but for her overall health.
We’re not sure how she continues to function like she does. I’m currently watching her put a blanket over her head and peek over at me under it. She is always trying to make us laugh 🙂 She is wanting to snack almost constantly because eating is soothing for her. But that also means she mad at me when I refuse to let her eat the whole box of cereal. Currently, her beautiful brown eyes have little bags under them, she’s anxious and jittery and it will be a few more hours before she’ll let me lay her down for a nap. A little while ago she let me hold her in my arms, she cuddled into me for a few minutes and sighed. I felt like she was telling me “I’m so sleepy Mama!” Nothing I can do will help my sweet girl sleep. That feeling of helplessness will stick around a lot the next few days.
This is it!! The one thing I would change about Peanut. The one thing I would remove from her….the one thing I truly hate that Down Sydnrome/Autism has caused, insamnia. I am just so tired of watching our girl be so so tired!