However, when she gets into certain modes, all the good sleeping goes out the window. Usually, that's when she's in what we call her manic mode. These modes seem to come around every few months, and last usually about 4 to 5 days. During that time, she is turned up to high all the time. She laughs hysterically a lot, she is in movement all the time and the delayed echolalia goes into high gear---she recites all day long. Lately, she's been in kind of a mixed mode---rapidly changing emotions. She goes from laughing and reciting to screaming and crying in minutes. But it's like the manic mode in the reduced need for sleep. Last night, she woke at 3am. She never went back to sleep---she rarely does when she wakes up early like that. I stayed up with her from 3-5, and then Tony from 5-7, after which we were both awake (but tired!) You would think she'd nap after a time like that, or at least go to bed early, but that almost never happens. She was up until 9:30 tonight, and went to sleep reluctantly even then. It truly seems like she needs less sleep when she gets into a streak like this.
However, we need just the same amount of sleep, and it's pretty tough. It's tougher for Tony than me, if it's during the week. I nap during the day when I have to, but he can't. Even on weekends, we aren't at our best all day after a night like that. I have no idea what would work. It's hard because we can't just let her play while we sleep. She can't be unattended like that. Of course we try telling her she has to stay in bed, but if she's awake, we still have to be on alert, and although she obeys better than she used to, we certainly can't count on her staying in bed enough to go back to sleep.
I guess we are lucky that it's not like this most of the time. I know some autistic kids have sleep cycles that never, ever get synchronized with the norm. But I hope very much she sleeps all night tonight.