Monday, December 20, 2010

Will I ever sleep again?

Sleep has always been an issue in our house. When the girls were wee, they slept amazingly well, but I was usually spinning with anxiety (post partum depression) and could never get a good night’s sleep. Once the anxieties were lifted, being a light sleeper oft kept me awake (I can hear a nose whistler from down the street). Finally, likely from sheer exhaustion of having years of no sleep, I became a star pupil at sleeping, until Grace developed her night time anxieties, which have awoken me most nights for the past 3 years. With some tools under our belts we are able to get her back to sleep much faster now, but some nights it was hours before there was peace.

Well, last week was a good week. No night time waking at all. Finally, an unbroken, 8 hours (if I was smart enough to go to bed at the right time) of sleep. Ahhh, I thought to myself. We will sleep again. We will be rested and that will give us the ability to laugh, play board games, talk about our feelings, wear things from the LL bean catalogue, use cloth napkins and shake our heads fondly at our childrens’ antics (what, isn’t that wall all normal families do)?

Well, my idyllic dream crashing down on me the other night when, while working at the dining room table, up past my bedtime, Grace came stumbling out her bedroom, glazed eyes and obviously not really “there”. She was sleep-walking. And she headed right for the front door, put on her fathers’ shoes (ha, that was kinda funny) and started pawing at the deadlock and door knob, trying to get out. Hmmm. We tried talking to her, with no success. Jo realized right away she was sleep-walking and was a pro in gently guiding her back to her room. I kept getting in her face trying to see if she registered me at all. It’s really strange seeing your kid in that state – it was like she didn’t even see me, and she didn’t speak, just made creepy little noises *shiver*.

Anyhooo, we happened to be up past our bedtime. What if we hadn’t been? What if we were tucked in our beds, sound asleep when Grace was heading out the door? Remember this dream? It’s a little too real for me.

That night I’m not sure I went back to sleep, pre-occupied with listening for her rise from her bed again. I even got up and checked on her a few times to make sure she was still there. Jo seemed more at ease with the whole situation, sleeping like a log beside me.

Thank god it’s Christmas time, and bells are easily accessible. We have them attached to points of exit of the house so we will hear a cheerful little chime before she again tries to enter the cold abyss.

I don’t like sleepwalking! It’s dumb, make it go away. Have you had experiences with it? What do you do about it? When will it go away? When will I sleep again?


Lynn said...

We have a sleepwalker - our 3 year old. It really is quite freaky. We have a baby gate at the top of our stairs that she can't open and we close it at night when we go to bed, for fear she will tumble down the stairs and/or try to go outside. Other than that, we just try to make sure she gets to bed early (it only happens when she is overtired). Good luck!

Mis(s)Mannered Mom said...

My kids are light sleepers, I'm a light sleeper...makes for a fun household. Not.
My youngest also sleepwalks and it's definitely cweeeepy. We had a gate at the top of the stairs for awhile,but mostly since I'm such a light sleeper-I wake up as soon as her feet hit the floor. I guess I never hit "REM" sleep cause I'm always listening for someone...but....sleep is for sissies. Hmpf.
I agree that it seems to happen most when she's overtired so we try to stick to a schedule to get her in bed on time and then sleep with one ear open.
I'm a night terror girl myself-happened up to my 20's. Ya. Fun times.
And wow. I just realize I sound like the biggest freak ever. Disregard. LOL