Sleepless nights

Moon

We’re going through something, and it hasn’t been much fun.

One of the things I’ve always treasured about our life with J.P. is that he’s been a pretty good sleeper. I’ve heard many stories from parents of special needs kids who have terrible sleepers.

“Sleep is the Swiss army knife of health. When sleep is deficient, there is sickness and disease. And when sleep is abundant, there is vitality and health.”

Matthew Walker

They’re either up all night, up half the night, up every few hours. Whatever they’re going through, I feel for them. It’s not fun, and it doesn’t set things up to have a very good day afterward. When it continues night after night, everyone becomes edgy and short, you can make bad choices and say things you don’t mean.

One thing I’ve learned in my 49 years of life is that I’m not a night person. I might have been in my teen years, but that is not the case anymore. I’m ready for bed at 9 p.m., and I wake up before 6 a.m. and feel like I’m ready to tackle the day. I might even decide to go for a jog and watch the sun rise. It’s a good time, really.

A view from a morning run.

J.P. has recently decided to either be fussy at bedtime or to whine in the middle of the night. We still have a monitor in his room, so we get to hear it all. When this happens on occasion, it’s fine. I can get up, give him some Advil and go back to bed. But when it happens night after night, we’ve learned you can’t keep giving Advil because it can mess with his liver.

We have some other medicines we can also use, but there are repercussions with those, too. They can make him sound junky the next day, and then we have to put him on his belly and try to keep his oxygen level up.

I’m not sure what’s going on. He could be in the middle of a period of cluster headaches. His doctor has said it may just be teen angst, but I can tell you I’m not a fan.

I want my boy to get back to his good sleeping regimen, so we can all wake up feeling refreshed again. I’m sure he would like that, too.

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