Giving any medicine to my kids makes me nuts.
There is one thing I do give the monkey before bed. Melatonin.
I did a great deal of research before giving it to my son.
Here is what I found.
Oh and, ASK YOUR DOCTOR! I am not a doctor.
Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland. That helps control your sleep and wake cycles. The gland is active in the evening hours. The hormone increases as the sun goes down so normally around 9 or 10 pm most people start to get sleepy. Not everybody produces enough or their bodies do not respond correctly. If this is the case, your sleep cycles will be off. If you have ever had Jet lag you know how frustrating this can be! Also, other things such as sugar, carbohydrates and caffeine can effect your body’s response to this hormone so it is best to avoid these things for several hours before you sleep. The synthetic Melatonin sold in stores can be used to assist in resetting your circadian rhythms. Sometimes it is useful to supplement, maybe even long term but often short term is all that is required.
Autism is often associated with sleep disorders, in these cases Melatonin is used as a more long term solution.
Melatonin is available in both a liquid and tablet form. That said. ASK YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE USING IT.
Monkey gets a regular dose of Melatonin. We adjusted it from the minimal amount to what seems to work for him a little at a time.
Routine and autism are like very best friends, I think it is easier to process things when they are routine. So here is our bedtime schedule.
- Melatonin about 45 mins before time for bed.
- Brush teeth.
- Then 30 mins of down time/play time in his room.
- Next put everything away cleaning up the room.
- Into bed we make the bed with him in it. He has 3 blankets (none weighted; I am hoping to get him a weighted one with the tax return this year). Counting each out as we put them on him.
- Then he has a weighted toy (snake made by Calming hugs). That goes on top of everything.
- Now story time. Usually a chapter from a book we are reading but sometimes just a very short book depending on stress levels.
- 3 bounces of the bed to get him to smile.
- T.V. on low to Disney channel.
- Then lights out.
99% of the time he stays in bed and sleeps through the night (well for about 8 hours give or take).
Speaking of bed! Time to go stop the Monkey from jumping on the bed.