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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Incredibly Little Sleep

How little sleep can people survive on?  Janey seems to have taken on that question with a vengeance lately.  She is sleeping less and less and less.  Since my chocolate vow, she's had no chocolate, and she seems less manic and much happier, but whatever was affecting her sleep is still affecting it.  The last three nights, she has slept about three hours a night.  She goes to sleep around 10 and wakes around 1.  Then she's awake the rest of the night.

We have taken all the steps we can think of to deal with this, of course.  We unplug all media at night now, so she can't watch TV or YouTube.  We lock the doors, which for now keeps her from going out of the house.  She is on medication that for most people, would cause better sleep.  We have tried melatonin.  We've done what we can think of, but still, she just isn't sleeping.

And of course, neither are we.  I think I sleep some in minute-long bursts, because I can't help myself, but in general, I'm awake.  Tony is home this week on vacation, and so I'm napping during the days and letting him get some sleep he needs.  Janey is going to summer school, and she is happy with that---hopping on the bus cheerfully and coming home in a good mood.  Unless they are letting her sleep all day at school and not telling us (which I doubt is the case), she's up all day, and for the last few days anyway, perfectly happy.

Deprived of TV during the night, Janey uses her resourcefulness and recites videos.  She walks around in a loop, through the kitchen, living room and bedroom, reliving Kipper episodes, mostly.  She says the same lines for ten or fifteen minutes, and then switches.  She goes to sleep in her bed, but during the night, comes to our bed and wants us to go to her bed.  We try not to do that, but when you haven't slept for hours, anything that might possibly help her sleep can start to seem pretty appealing, and so we do a bed swap, until the next time she decides to switch again.

From what I've read about manic episodes, I do think that might be what these sleepless periods are.  Janey seems to have endless energy during them, and her mind seems to be in overdrive.  She talks non-stop in delayed echolalia.  I think in the middle of these monologues is when I catch a moment of sleep, and then when she pauses for air, I wake up to check what she is doing.

Somehow, even this incredibly little amount of sleep isn't as tough as the days when Janey cries all day, but it starts to catch up with me quickly after a few days.  I am glad I don't have to drive any place, with Tony home.  I am not getting anything done during the day.  Words are coming more slowly to me even writing this than usual.  I'm living in a bit of a haze.

I don't think this will last forever.  We've seen this a few times before, and when Janey comes out of it, she sleeps a very lot for a few days---naps half the day and sleeps long nights.  We just have to get through it.  She's timed it well, anyway, to be during Tony's vacation.  I hope it's over by next week.  My biggest fear is that I am wrong, and it WILL last forever.  I am not at all sure how I could handle that.  I'm too sleepy to full think it out, which is probably a good thing for my sanity.

2 comments:

David Fee said...

Some form of exercise outdoors helps a lot as the combination of physical exercise, natural sunlight and sensory input. It's no surprise to me that 20 years of a national obesity problem tracks with the advent of the Internet 20 years ago. Like I've said before, I rarely see kids outside unless it's some kind of organized sport. This is the advice from a former kid who watched a lot of TV and was old enough to play Pong. I barely got through Army basic training as the oldest guy in my platoon but it did open my eyes to how out of shape I was.

Suzanne said...

We do notice that Janey sleeps better when she gets outside and runs around, and we try to do that most days. She's pretty thin and in shape (don't know where she gets it!) and even when she's not outside, she jumps, paces, flaps, etc constantly. I think even just the fresh air outside sometimes helps, though. I'm hoping for a better night tonight.