Insomnia.. I can’t get no sleep

The ‘Faithless’ hit from the 90’s, the theme tune to my youth, made me jump up and down and dance like crazy.. Is now a reality..

I wonder what my twenty something self would say to me now..

When son No. 1 stopped sleeping, as I’ve previously talked about.. we thought it was a phase.. we thought he was being difficult.. naughty.

I gets no sleep

I can’t get no sleep

I can’t get no sleep

I can’t get no sleep

I need to sleep, I can’t get no sleep

I need to sleep, I can’t get no sleep

Insomnia by Faithless C1995

When son No. 1 stopped sleeping, as I’ve previously talked about.. we thought it was a phase.. we thought he was being difficult.. naughty..

After his diagnosis, we were surprised to find out insomnia or disturbed sleep was common in children with Autism.  We were advised to put in place a consistent bed time routine and come back after six months, if it was still an issue.
Seven months plus later, and the eye bags were noticeable on both of us. The desperation was palpable, the sleep issue was affecting everything.

Work was a challenge for both the Daddy and I, we found ourselves sleep walking through life.

Often we ended up falling asleep with son no.1 in his cramped bunk bed or lying on the carpeted floor next to him.

On the days when we’d really given up, we let him sleep in our bed.

If we wanted him to stay upstairs and rest.. not even sleep, then we had to stay with him.  Soothing, stroking, tickling his feet and his back.

Throughout Son. 2 was a dream sleeper – still is to a certain extent.

The Daddy worked shifts, and on his late shift I was alone with the task of pacifying, pleading, calming and absolutely pulling my hair out at my inability to get son no. 1 to sleep.

I really felt that I had failed in my ability to parent. In the age of the ‘Super Nanny’, I allowed my five year old to be in charge.  How silly of me to let him sleep in my bed.. How stupid to allow his lack of sleep to dictate my evening meal time. It was clearly down to my bad parenting.

My mealtimes became later and later, once son no. 1 finally closed his eyes, I was able to eat my evening meal sometimes at 10pm if I was lucky or on the evenings it was pushing midnight there was no point.

Those evenings, where not an episode of Eastenders or the latest police drama were watched – were hard. There was no me time. There was no work time. There was no energy.

On the evenings where the Daddy was at home, and on an early shift, he would often take control of bedtimes.  Still the meals were late, but at least I was able to cook whilst he lay upstairs tickling feet.

If I was meant to work on a report or catch up on the hundreds of work emails received daily, I struggled.

Sleep deprivation is an instrument of torture. Throw in two children, two dogs, a challenging job and running a family home and you’ve got the perfect recipe for depression, anxiety, fatigue, stress.

And still we battled on, until the tiredness and the depression took over.

Tiredness = Depression = Tiredness 

Marking time on the calendar, I made the call to the consultant’s secretary.  This is where we are at, it has been six months.  We have a routine (of sorts), I am unfit to work, I am sleep deprived… we all are… please help.

Eventually after some calls back and forth we were granted an appointment, another month down the line.  This time with our consultant’s registrar.

Picking through the notes and questioning me on my children’s bedtime routine, it became evident to the Doctor that help was needed.

And so we were prescribed Melatonin, not licenced for children in England, our health authority could only prescribe it via a consultant. And so repeat prescriptions were only given after a visit to the hospital.

NHS and Insomnia

Beautiful and asleep x

The initial effects of the drug were so effective I would of hopped, skipped and jumped through any hoop, to make sure we had enough!

Then it was time to move, another County, another health authority and another set of hoops..

Useful Links:

The National Autistic Society


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