This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sleep Chronotherapy - Changing sleep schedule in 1 week.

Whew!  This sleep stuff is harder than it looks, but luckily not as bad as I'd feared...
            this was written after the first couple of days, then it got ugly.

If I had to do it again, which I WON'T, here's some things I would do differently.

  1. Figure out a meal schedule.  I think I lost 2lbs because I never remembered to eat, and I'm guessing Kitty gained quite a bit, because she ate continuously.
  2. Have planned activities, especially with other people involved (since Kitty and I are both extroverts).
  3. Possibly extend the time to make the transition - if this whole experience "takes."  Otherwise getting it over in a week was worth it.
  4. Start later the first night.  We've both stayed up until 4am many times before.  I didn't do it this time, because we had something to do at 1pm, and I wanted to give us a full 8 hours and still some time to wake up and get ready for the appointment.

Sleep Phase Chronotherapy (SPC) -
Mon: sleep 4am to noon (actual 5am - 1pm) - she had trouble falling asleep until almost 5am.
Not too much trouble except she wanted to lay on the floor with her arm over her eyes so I couldn't see if she was awake.  I squirted my water pistol above her to gently mist her a tiny bit until she was willing to sit so I could see her face.

Tues: sleep 7am to 3pm (actual 8am - 3pm) - she had trouble falling asleep until 8am.
Discussed the sleep study in therapy and the therapist pointed out her issues with defiance were causing her to miss out on a lot.  Decided the attachment challenge should definitely be over until this sleep chronotherapy is resolved.
She fell asleep about 6am, so I took her on a walk - during which she complained, moaned, cried, screamed, and threatened me.  Not only does she want to stop the sleep study, but she tried to drag in everything she's ever been mad at me about, including the kitchen sink.  All of which continued after we got home as she repeatedly refused to position herself in a way that I could tell she was awake.  I admit I succumbed to screaming back at her.  We're 1/2 way through this stupid thing and a few more days of torture is worth it compared to living with her chronic sleep issues.

Wed:  sleep 11am to 7pm (actual 10:30 - 7) - Didn't make it to 11am like I was hoping - Kitty took a shower and was in her room by 10:20.
Both of us naturally woke up around 3pm.  Me, because I got confused about the wake-up time and Kitty because she got hungry.
Did OK most of the "day" although the wee hours of the morning caused some crankiness.  Discovered that having someone here to keep Kitty company made a HUGE difference.  She went for a walk with a girlfriend in the morning and we had another girl over for a sewing lesson that ended up helping us stay awake until a little AFTER "bedtime."

Thur: sleep 1pm to 9pm (actual 1:30pm to 9:30pm) - Made it 1/2 hour past the original 1pm bedtime.
Obviously we're getting used to these hours; there was much less temptation to sleep in the wee hours, so almost no drama (around 10am she got too comfy in a chair with a blanket, and refused to sit up).
She actually asked to do some sewing, but decided she wasn't quite awake enough to actually do it, so she waited until the sewing lesson at 1pm.

Fri:  sleep 5pm to 1am (actual 6pm to 3am) - Both of us made it easily past 5pm, because we had company until 4:30pm and then had things to finish.
Decided to sleep in a little because I'm hoping we can get on a "normal" schedule from here on out and that means staying up past 8pm!

Sat:  sleep 8pm to 4am (actual...) no idea, but it's 7:30pm and Hubby won't be home until after 8 and we still have to feed them and get them to Grandma.  I can't find the prescription glasses I use for driving (haven't been driving all week because of the lack of sleep so just now realized it!) so I couldn't take them any earlier. Hopefully she'll be in bed by 10pm!

More info about Chronotherapy.

1 comment:

Hedged in Beauty said...

I think I signed out before I submitted the thoughtfully composed message...

Here's the edited repeat version...

I'm so sorry for your family's loss. Sudden tragedy is never easy to deal with... and our kids and their situations only make the very complicated so very much more complicated.

We ended up doing a small VERY private memorial service at our church when our kids' almost-also-adopted-by-us-half-bio-sister was found murdered.

Newspapers listed our adoptees by their birth-names as part of the surviving family. I understand why, but I didn't like them listed... I wouldn't have liked them not listed.

I know making final arrangements for an expected death can have a lot of "I don't know, what do you suggest?" and there's not a lot of etiquette published as to the proper way to handle such difficult situations as we've adopted our kids out of. Compound matters by the unexpected tragedy and I'm sure decisions were hasty and unplanned.

I'm praying The Lord will guide you about the best way to help your son deal with this compound loss.