Autism and disturbed sleep patterns = Grumpy Mamma

I'm running on empty. Not emotionally, but in terms of energy. Being a mum to two kids - a neurotypical one and one with autism, I should be used to sleep deprivation, but it's been nearly five years since I had a teeny tiny baby that needed my attention throughout the night.

Of course, there have been periods over those years, when the miniatures were less than perfect sleepers. They'd flat out refuse to go to bed. I'd have to stay next to one or the other (sometimes both) until they fell asleep - like deep sleep. None of that pretend 'gotcha' sleep that kids tend to pull to make you jump as you fail miserably to creep away.

For a while though, it was pretty perfect. No arguments about bedtime when they were sent, followed by a full night of uninterrupted me time.

I am not an early to bed kind of person, as those hours are precious. A time where I am just me - not somebody's something. I like to read, watch tv, or sew. It feels incredibly weird to go to bed at ten pm, because I feel like I'm wasting time that I could use on something else that I want to do, and I'm usually not tired, either.

The past couple of weeks are beginning to take their toll on me. Miniman keeps getting up and getting into our bed, or just coming into our room. At 4am. How rude. At first, I didn't notice - because I was asleep and he was quiet, and would usually drift back to sleep. Now, though; he tends more to just come into the room or sit in the doorway playing. If he does climb in, he fidgets like crazy.

He's not massively loud when playing, but this house and it's hardwood floors amplify whichever 'quiet' game he is playing with his airplane/car/train/whatever-hell-is-making-that-racquet. He likes to be near us, but we need sleep! It's okay for him. He's getting his full quota of sleep because the 4am starts, plus a full day at school is wearing him out that much, I can barely get him to make it to 4pm without falling asleep. Today it was 5pm, and he is snoozing away on the sofa, despite my attempts to prevent him falling asleep (17:30).

This means he is going to be up again at the stupid unholy hour of 4am. Great. I ended up leaving the bedroom this morning, and locking the door so he couldn't get in and disturb TH, whose sleep is more important, being the breadwinner, and needing to drive. Tonight, I might as well just bed down on the sofa in readiness for him disturbing us.

I don't know why he has developed this sleeping pattern, but damn it needs to change back to what it was soon!

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