Without going into all the details, getting Michael to sleep has not been one of my best moments as a mom. I was clueless about schedules until he started daycare at 6 months. Even then, we weren't and still aren't crazy about schedules. Once we had the twins, a bunch of my friends and other twin moms mentioned how important it was to have a schedule, and it really helped. Having 3 kids in under a year made having a schedule huge. Having a schedule helped me keep my sanity, mostly.
Michael has always had a problem with sleep. Once we changed his diet, at least he started to sleep through the night. Getting Michael to sleep was probably one of the toughest ongoing issues as a parent. The twins, especially Thomas, pretty much always had no problem getting and staying asleep.
Once Michael was diagnosed with PDD NOS, we talked about sleep issues and the difficulty he had getting to sleep, slowing down at night. We tried a routine, but that worked a little and got to a point where it just got crazy. We tried a sensory diet, but that only worked a little. Michael wasn't falling asleep some nights until eleven pm. It was crazy. I wanted to fall asleep before he fell asleep. I wanted time to myself, or with my husband to clean the house, do laundry, or some of my hobbies. Never mind that Michael absolutely needed his sleep.
We talked to his doctor that diagnosed his PDD NOS and she recommended 1 MG of Melatonin. We started the weekend before Christmas, and it was amazing. He fell asleep about 2-30 minutes after he had the melatonin. He wakes up so much easier now. It is not a fight to get him out of bed for school. He is getting the rest he needs. I am able to have some time before I go to bed. I can go to bed earlier if I want to. Best of all, bedtime is not a hassle anymore. He has a small drink with the melatonin in it about 20 minutes before I want him to go to bed and then he cuddles with me and falls asleep. I get cuddles from him like when he was a baby.
I am not really a medication fan, but I think giving Michael melatonin has benefitted everyone in the house. Thankfully it is something without negative side effects and it works. It seems like kids who are on the autism spectrum have trouble getting to sleep. Michael has more energy than most kids I know. He hasn't napped since he was 2, goes to a 5 hour preschool program and still loves to be outside running around. I am not a fan of winter, because it is not as easy for him to be outside getting out his energy. But, even if he gets his energy out, he still has a tough time at night. Melatonin, may not be the answer for everyone, but for us, it was a godsend, literally.