O.k. A few weeks ago I blogged about some of the getting to sleep and staying to sleep issue's we were having with our 3 1/2 yr. old. The first thing I did was go to the library and check out a few books to ease her fears about dreaming and nightmares. We checked out The Dream Shop by Katharine Kenah and Moonbear's Dream By Frank Asch. We ommitted a few pages in the The Dream Shop because it also talks about nightmares and we didn't want to focus on the negative. That night after we read both books I also put a clock with large digital numbers in her room, she has been asking about time and how long she sleeps etc. so I think we were working on 2 things; getting her to stay in bed and ease her fears. At bedtime, I plugged the clock in and explained to her why we need a certain amount of sleep, we went through the whole family- that mommy & daddy sleep, sissy, our dog Harlee and how if we don't get enough our body and mind dont work properly. She asked me how many hours she needed to sleep for and I told her and she proudly went to sleep smiling at the clock. A week later and every night she says "I need to go to sleep until the sun comes up" she has not fussed or come out of her room since.
As I type this after another week of getting 2-3 hours of sleep I feel shakey, anxious, and have a twitching eye, so I did some research and what I found is lack of sleep is dangerous. Repeated lack of sleep causes a whole gammit of medical issue's not to mention the foggy brain syndrome which can cause everything from forgetfulness to short reaction time while driving, to being more predisposed to illness. So, basically I feel terrible. Last night my husband and I lay in bed baffled by the recurrent sleep issue's we have had since our eldest was born. She has always woken up, well with the exception of maybe 2 months of her life she rarely stays asleep. I thought we were growing out of this phase after the wakes up improved a few months ago and then we entered a nightmare phase and "I don't want to go to sleep." After chasing 2 of them all day when 8pm comes around I am wiped out and usually getting pretty impatient. So we tried walking her back to her room repeatedly, we tried being nice and patient, we finally had to close the door to which she started kicking it and screaming but within 5 minutes she went to bed. Of course we opened it right after she was snoozing but the guilt I feel for not being able to fix what is wrong or for having to be the bad guy when part of me says "maybe I should sleep in her bed". I tried that once and for weeks she was expecting it! I am at a loss, we tried the chore chart and put stickers for every night she went to sleep without fussing but that even stopped working, we have 2 night lights in the room, I have looked under the beds with her to ease her fear but I am ready for this phase to be over because it is hard to take care of others when you feel terrible yourself. Email me if you've been here firstname.lastname@example.org