To sleep, perchance to dream

I’ve never been a very good sleeper. Well, that’s not entirely true. I sleep well at the wrong time of day. I have never been good at sleeping in a pattern that is in sync with the world around me. I’m a late night person… I’d rather be up until 2am and sleep until 11am, which didn’t work very well in college, nor for any job I’ve held since. Except teaching. During the summers. Otherwise, it’s been a matter of finding exactly where the window is for when I need to get up to be where I need to be, then working backwards from there. Lately the minimum seems to be about 6.5-7 hours for me to function well.

But it’s not just about timing. I don’t get to sleep very well… my brain just doesn’t seem to want to shut off. Ideas swirl, conversations get rehearsed, prayers are said, to do lists form. Even when I’m really sleepy. And if I don’t deal with them at bed time, then they pop up in those moments of lighter or interrupted sleep. There are mornings I climb out of bed feeling as thought I’ve been in meetings with myself all night.

Sadly, the Boy seems to have inherited this trait. Not only is he a night owl – has been since he popped out. But he is also a processor who takes forever to fall asleep. Starting school at 7am was painful for everyone, since he just flat could not shift his circadian rhythm enough to get a decent amount of sleep before he needed to get up. It was bad enough that we took him to see the Doctor earlier this month to see what we might be able to do. She offered to prescribe him a non-narcotic sleep aid, but gave us some samples to try out first. I’m not much into medicating kids, but this seems to really have done the trick. He has gotten into enough of a pattern that even on the weekend, he’s getting ready for bed on his own.

So, last night, I thought I’d give it a go… partly to see if it helped turn off the machinations of my brain any quicker, but really to see what he might be experiencing. I don’t know that it made me any sleepier, since I was already tired enough to head to bed. But I don’t remember laying there for nearly as long. It didn’t keep me from coming to those lighter sleep moments, but I didn’t lay there for another half-hour processing life each time. I did feel a little druggy, but by the time my 8-ish hours were up (and the hubby came in to make sure I was awake), the drugged feeling was much lighter. Just one night was not enough to let me know if I was more rested than usual, but I do feel a lot better about letting the Boy use the meds to establish a good sleep pattern.

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