Tag Archives: sleep

Lights out!

2 Nov

How many of you remember the hoo-haa we had over the change of street lamps in the village? Here’s a wee reminder if you haven’t read that post:


As the nights got progressively darker M has been struggling with sleep.  She has been a lot more restless in general, and she is waking during the night more often and taking forever to go back to sleep. I blame the light outside the window. Usually nothing bothers me at night unless I am awake because of one of the children (or my anxieties are out of control) but the blooming thing has been shining through the curtains like a lighthouse beam.

I went to the council offices.  I had noticed that a house along the road appeared to have some sort of paint on the part of the lamp facing the window and decided to explain about M and ask if they could do anything. The lady was very nice and said someone would be in touch.

I waited. And I waited some more. Then I decided I would call them at the end of the week and ask if anyone was going to contact me. But they beat me to it. I took M to bed on Wednesday and as I was drawing the curtains I noticed the lamp. Which now looks like this (please excuse rubbish photo but at night and with the salt-encrusted window it was the best I could do):



I fought against mentioning this to M and thought I would see if there was any noticeable change in sleep patterns.

Well I am delighted to announce that I think there has been a distinct improvement!  I am convinced that her sleep has been deeper, and she is definitely not as restless. Of course, this could be a co-incidence but I think not. Her sensory issues are so varied and wide-ranging that having a bright penetrating light cutting through the darkness is very likely to have been disturbing her. I too have noticed that I feel more rested in the mornings which is indicative of better quality sleep.

No-one from the council has contacted me but I don’t think I’ll be ringing them to complain! 


Oh the Irony

1 May


It’s a relief to be out of bed today. Do you recall how upset M got over the new street lights that have been installed? Sorry I don’t know how to link to the post yet (am so not a tech head) but here’s the page if you are interested:


Well, last night she settled well enough, mostly due to melatonin, after what I am now used to every night, a wee grumble about the wrongness of said lamps.

I had a very late night myself (home alone again as hubby is off on a business trip) and about midnight there was a power cut. It saved me from making a late night a very late one by compelling me to lay down instead of reading as I like to do regardless of the hour. I assumed that with it being so dark I would nod off quickly. Oh how wrong could I be!

“Mumma” “Yes, what’s the matter?” “I can’t sleep” “It’s ok, it’s just a power cut, I’m here” (M sleeps in our room – long story, autism and anxiety mean we have sacrificed privacy for sleep) “No, Mumma it’s too dark, I can’t see, where are the lights?” “The power cut has turned them all off, but it’s nice like this, no nasty street lights to shine in”

But of course, nasty street lights are better than none, and to be fair it was absolutely pitch black, I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face (that’s country living for you). I used the light from my mobile phone to check on M, and she insisted she came into bed with me. Cue moving her, her special pillow (mine smells “wrong”) and her weighted blanket. Then followed a 2 hour wriggle, stretch, kick and general fidgeting with some cuddles until one of us fell asleep. It might have been me. I know from the radio alarm clock this morning that the power must have come back on at approximately 2.13 am, and so I reckon I have had the maximum of 4 and half hours sleep. Bleurgh.

Moral of the story – just because it has changed and you don’t like it, you might discover that you in fact prefer it to the alternative of nothing. Please let M remember this tonight when we will, I am, sure, be debating the merits of the street lamps.

Factory Settings Restored

12 Apr

I am still not sure what went on at the beginning of this week, but I am happy to say that normal service has resumed in our Highland home. Normal being a relative term you understand. What the heck is normal anyway?

M actually fell asleep at a sensible time last night (i.e. before 9pm) and there appears to be no sign of the over-the-top sensory traumas from the past few days. She is happily playing upstairs at the moment, albeit very noisily and most likely not with anything that could really be considered a toy, but still. There was not even any fallout from a visit to the hairdressers (her) and the barber’s next door (her brother).

She is a little bit uptight about changes to the weekend routine as all 3 of her teen siblings will be away at a Scout camp from tonight, but she perked up when she realised they would be around during today.

Hubby and I are hoping for a weekend of calm, with some good weather thrown in so we can enjoy the 2 remaining children and maybe even take them out somewhere as a treat (nothing decided yet due to unpredicability of said weather)

Here is a wee picture of M at the barber’s yesterday. She didn’t present as anxious but there were quite a lot of people waiting and the lining up isn’t something she has done for a while, so I think in her own quiet way she was keeping control of the situation.

Happy weekend everyone!


Cautiously Optomistic

26 Mar

Yesterday morning I purchased a teeny little bottle of something that other parents on an autism chat forum had told me could be helpful in getting M to sleep, seeing as she is really suffering from lack of melatonin. She’s suffering? So are we! 

Anyway, this tiny bottle says it’s suitable for the whole family, and I quote, “has been used to help switch off the mind from unwanted repetitive thoughts”. Hmm, I thought, they’ve met M then!  I must admit I wasn’t convinced. I decided to try it for taste, and put one drop onto my tongue. It was quite pleasant, slightly sweet but not really, and most importantly no bitter after-taste.

After the evening pyjama and teeth-brushing routine I was rather surprised to see that M was so keen to try it – maybe I shouldn’t have been as the poor girl really hates being in bed and not being able to switch off (we have had years of tears and tantrums to testify to this) so I put 4 drops on her tongue and hoped she didn’t start spitting it out or screaming. No, all good.

I took her to bed and we had the usual night time routines of lining up all the toys in the “right” places, making sure there were no mistakes with the way the blankets went, and fussing over the pillow, along with a cuddle. I gave her a last kiss and promised her the “sleepy juice” would work it’s magic. (Seriously, I have no idea what possessed me to promise her – what was I thinking?)

In the pre-melatonin days I was very used to random bumps, chattering, books hitting the floor and small feet pattering about as M tried in vain to do anything but lie down and wait for sleep, it was as though her body just could not stay still. So I was expecting the noises. None came. Like, none at all.

In the end, when I could bear it no longer, I crept upstairs at 9.20 and she was fast asleep! I think she was in fact sound asleep well before then, maybe even by 8.45, but I was too scared of disturbing her. Although she was a bit restless about midnight she stayed asleep till morning. What a result!

Now of course evening is approaching and I am praying like mad that last night was not a one-off.

The product I bought was Bach Rescue Night. I would just like to point out that I have not been paid for writing about this product, or sponsored or anything like that.


Bed time nightmare

24 Mar

Bed time nightmare

Poor M is on her third day of no melatonin.

We think she might have an adverse reaction to it, as she has been telling me that her heart has been “going very fast Mummy”. She has been to the GP who said not to worry (I’m sorry this is my child and you’re telling me not to worry!), and she is due to have an ECG and an appointment with the paediatrician asap.

But of course, it could be the melatonin, or there is enough evidence from the internet searches I have to done to suggest that, so as any sane parent would do I have removed it from her bedtime routine.

Friday wasn’t too bad as she had been suffering with a sickness bug and fell asleep propped up against me on the sofa. Last night was a different story. it was 10.20 before she finally dropped off. Sadly this didn’t make her sleep any longer this morning, and tomorrow is a school day so I am dreading how hyper and sleepy she might be. It doesn’t help that we have had half an hour (so far) of yelling and telling me she won’t go to bed as she won’t be able to sleep. Staying calm whilst dragging a 6 year old up the stairs is no easy matter.

I have had some suggestions from other parents of autistic spectrum children about alternative sleep remedies to try, so tomorrow I will be ringing the local chemist to see what they stock, and hoping that one of these remedies will work.

Until then, I may suffer from some grumpiness!

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