Friday, January 29, 2016

Creating a Bedtime Routine with Autism

One of the things we have struggled most with C is SLEEP!!!! He just doesn't seem to need any!! It has been like this since he was little. He would go for days on very little sleep and then crash for a LONG time, then go days again! That is hard on someone whose body doesn't function that way, it was really hard when we had an infant in the house too, and toward then end of his awake days you can see it take a toll on him too! If he some how managed  a nap during the day (at school he does take a short nap most days) then that means we are up that much later. His typical bedtime or time that he crashes falls somewhere between midnight and 2 AM. His typical wake up time is between 5 and 6. I have gone through so many different things to improve his sleep it is crazy! Well I think we finally have it (at least better) and we are in bed before midnight on most nights!

So are bedtime routine starts about thirty minutes after dinner (or just enough time to give E her bath, brush her hair and teeth, and put her in pajamas) I start C's routine by putting 2 to 3 drops of Roman Chamomile oil on a paper towel.

I take that paper towel and place it between his pajama tops and bottoms under his pillow while he takes his bath. We have tried other oils but they have different effects on him, no good ones in most cases :( 
I prep his room for him to relax. We have a laser light that shines around the room, and a humidifier which serves two purposes. The most important is C was getting very bad nose bleeds in the middle of the night, and the other is it creates a noise for him to sleep! 

 Once his room is prepped, lights off, laser on, humidifier running we take a bath! This is not an easy process. Some nights he LOVES bath, most nights he HATES bath!!!!

Once bath is finally over we head into his bedroom and get dressed in those pajamas that now smells like his oil, with his head on the pillow that also has that scent! Then we lay and stare up at his artificial stars. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we sing, sometimes we just cuddle, but we always lay there for a few minutes and look. Sometimes this works like a charm and he is asleep before I get up. BUT there are many times he gets up after a few minutes and goes to play! The thing is that on nights we do this he is always in bed before 10:30, on nights I miss any part of this he isn't in bed until midnight, and oh my goodness, if we skip everything (cause I am out at a Jamberry party or event for school, no one else does this routine with him) we are up until 2 AM!!!! So 10:30 I will take!!!

There is our routine that has been 5 1/2 years in the making! So now share with me your nightly routine? What have you tried? What works? What doesn't?

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