Just thought I'd throw this out here.After a night of no sleep (realistically I must have had about; 30 to 40 minutes of sleep); I did some rather quick reading on the subject today, & I'm curious to know if anyone else has any sort of sleeping problems? From what I can tell it seems to be quite common in people with ASD?I've struggled with sleep since childhood. At first I believed it to be due to the abusive/ disruptive surroundings (& I'd listen to music to drown it out & help me sleep. Sometimes I will still do this, but other times even that doesn't really help), but even after I left that predicament & moved into calmer settings, the sleep problems persisted, & have done so even to this day.
I've had everyone; through the years, giving me their 'suggestions' on where they believe I'm going wrong. Even had a few cheeky sods suggest it's because I wasn't active enough during the day, so I wasn't 'tiring myself out' enough. As you can imagine; I managed to prove that theory wrong on numerous occassions haha.A few occassions in the past it has gotten bad enough for me to consider going to the doctor, but he's a bit bloody useless to be honest (& I'm actually on the look out to get myself & my family moved to another GP surgery).
All in all it tends to be manageable, believe it or not.
I think one problem I have is that I will stay in bed, 'trying' to sleep, when I clearly will not drop off no matter what measures I take. Every now & then I can tell when I'm going to have a small bout of insomnia & just wont sleep 'enough', last night was an extreme case as it's been a long time since I was awake all night.I was talking to a friend about this, & even she suggested something I was considering, which is to just get out of bed & do something productive with my time. I'm a freelance artist, so those hours would be great to make up on lost time. I didn't sleep a wink last night, & I don't feel tired at all. I'd planned on maybe having a nap during the day, but I really don't need it.
I think most of the stress stems from me also being a stay at home mum & thinking that me not getting enough sleep will result in me being too tired to contend with my children. I'm tempted to just get out of bed the next few times this happens; do something productive & seeing what the results are.My own little 'experiment' I suppose.
Sometimes it's pretty obvious that I can't sleep due to overthinking/stress, but other times, I'm just not tired at all & there really doesn't seem to be any obvious cause.Does anyone else have anything like this?
I've had issues with sleep for as long as I can remember. I've tried everything I can think of. Sleeping pills wouldn't work. The best I got was slight improvements.
After my Asperger's realisation I'm rethinking this. I can't stay still for long so pills that are designed to relax the muscles are interiores by me moving and fidgeting. I'm also looking at a proper firm mattress as I have back issues too.
When I get my head around how Asperger's has dominated me without me being aware, and as I gradually score victories in fighting it, the more productive my day will be, leading to an easing of "I'm wasting time" while trying to nod off.
I now have a set shift schedule. This means that I can nail the time I need to get up every day. I also keep that as best as I can on my days off or holidays. My theory is that my body will figure out how much sleep it needs with the only part it's flexible enough to control....when to fall asleep.
That's the thing. For me personally, I think this is why I'm just going to try getting out of bed & doing something productive with my time; & see how that goes. If it leaves me a zombified state for days on end, then I'll have to take a trip to the doctor & see what he suggests (as useless as he is).I've tried everything, changed my diet, went outside more, did tons of exercise (even lost lot's of weight), no screen time before I went to bed, listened to music etc etc. Nothing has really worked, I stick to a pretty rigid bed time etc, & for me that doesn't even work.Hopefully it works out for you, not everyone on the spectrum is the same after all. I guess we just all need to figure out what works for us individually :)
Have a look at some of the threads thrown up by this search. They are all about sleep issues http://community.autism.org.uk/search?q=melatonin
Also, there is a full moon at the moment and this means that it is not as dark at night and many people can be disturbed by this increase in light level. i use blackout curtains if I am struggling to stay asleep.
ADHD has a huge issue of sleep disorders. My SD20 will be asking the psychiatrist for help. My SO is stubbornly resisting a trial of melatonin.
SD16 has ASD and sleeps the best of us all when she's here and got her own spaces. She comes to us tired because she co-sleeps with her mother (grrrr!)
Yep, we have those. In fact we have two sets of curtains to completely black out the room. We even have one of those sleep masks, but nothing will work because some nights I'm just laying in bed trying to get to sleep, when in fact I could just get up & do something productive with that time.
Well I do have undiagosed ADHD & OCD, so that's obviously part of it. When I went for my ASD assessment the psychiatrist did mention ADHD & try to push me to get checked, but I just scoffed at the idea & didn't think I had it, & I was concentrating so much on the ASD.Later I did further reading on the different 'types' of ADHD, & it left me thinking 'oooooh.... crap. Yeah maybe I should have been checked for that too'. Sod's law eh? I'm just a mess of walking acronyms Haha.
People with that many letters have an alphabet soup diagnosis :-)
Seriously though I don't know if your GP can prescribe melatonin for you but it's worth asking the question.
I've just been reading the research on using methylphenidate (ritalin) close to sleep times and it might help some people slow down enough to sleep.
Me, I listen to a lot of BBC radio - thank goodness for internet streamed radio!
Meltonin is mentioned as a treatment for autism on the NHS Choices page here http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/autistic-spectrum-disorder/Pages/treatment.aspx
There seems to be proper clinical evidence that some people with autism have a measurable deficit of melatonin and this can be addressed with melatonin as a medicinal form. I don't know whether this needs to be measured with a blood sample first and it is also necessary to state that it won't benefit everybody with autism who has a sleep issue.
Part of the reason for putting the link about melatonin in my earlier reply was to lead to other discussions about sleep problems. Any thread that talks about meltonin is likely to discuss other remedies.
Personally I am now aware that my sleep has improved because I have managed to become less anxious and have got myself into a much better place mentally. This is a result of knowing and accepting myself better for what I am now that I have a diagnosis. I have also tried to avoid certain foods that I seem to be intolerant of (salicylates seem to disagree with me). Everyone has to find their own way to being comfortable with who they are rather than being disappointed and angry about who they aren't.
QuirkyFriend said:My SO is stubbornly resisting a trial of melatonin
Well he would, wouldn't he. Stubborn resistance is what we do!
Perhaps he could be persuaded if he actually had a melatonin test to see if he had a measurable deficiency. Scientific evidence might be more persuasive than persuasion.
That's what I'm expecting to see start to build now I know I'm aware of my Aspergers. Its a holistic thing, by tweaking minor things here and there, they all have a knock on effect on other things, amplifying the overall positive change. If my sleep is still patchy after that change, then I'll look at some other solution.