I’ve always struggled with sleep, even from a very early age; my mother will gladly regale anyone who asks that as a toddler, she would leave me to sleep whenever or wherever I fell asleep, as she could never get me down for a nap otherwise.
Since I’ve discovered that I have some form of frontal lobe brain issue, I’ve put my sleep issues down as part of it and just deal with the battle each night.
Put simply, I don’t seem to have much of a “being sleepy” phase… I’m either awake, or asleep, with nothing in between.
I do get tired but it doesn’t make me want to sleep.
I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve been jammed awake, completely exhausted but entirely unable to sleep.
Now I have a daughter.
Well, I’ve had one for a while really. At the time in writing this she’s about 2.5 years old, and just beginning to sleep on her own, in a separate bed (we did the whole co-sleeping thing to begin with) and getting her to sleep is nightmare.
She’s definitely a “high energy” child at the best of times, and we both love her energy must of the time, but when it comes to bedtime she’s all over the place, bouncing (sometimes literally) off the walls; getting up in bed, shuffling around, and so on.
At this point this should sound a bit familiar… And I dearly hope I’m wrong, but…
… what if she’s just like me?
It’s a bit of a “deep dark” fear for me.
I wouldn’t wish my sleep issues on my greatest enemy, let alone my own children and I don’t have any great coping strategies applicable to a toddler.
I’ve been able to drop off by listening to audio plays, books and the like. I have a set of Goon Show tapes, originally recorded by my father when the episodes were broadcast live on the BBC that used to be played extensively when I was still living with my parents, and I’ve since transitioned to Audible books and a Bluetooth speaker sleep mask; neither of which is likely to be particularly affective with a small child.
At this point I feel like we’ve tried everything to get her to drift off.
Warm milk, quiet wind down time, darkened rooms as we get her ready to sleep, a consistent routine, sleeping with teddy, sleeping without teddy, lying down next to her until she goes, rubbing her back to sooth her… The list could go on endlessly.
Nothing in particular works, save for pushing through the inevitable tired-baby-tantrum and getting out the other side to exhaustion so she actually sleeps.
So for now, we struggle through bedtimes through brute force and chaos energy, and each time I hope I can hit on something that works for my daughter, and hope she grows out of it as
she gets bigger.
Heck; I’m still going I grow out of it too.
Part of the 500 words challenge I’ve set myself. This doesn’t quite make it, with just 456 words. Oh well.
I highly recommend this to anyone hard-of-sleeping like me, as they block out light and sound! ↩︎