Sleeping Beauty

Everyday that Joshua has gone to daycare, he has needed a nap when he has got home. He starts asking for ‘Giant’ as soon as we get to our lane – he listens to the Julia Donaldson story ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’ as he goes to sleep every night , so I request for Giant means bed really. When I brought him home on Wednesday however, he was a new level of tiredness. His eyes were closing on the half hour journey home and so when we got home I suggested the settee downstairs, rather than climbing the stairs for Giant. But he was insistent that he wanted his bed so he wearily climbed the stairs and sat in his bed while I removed his big boots. I tucked him in and turned on ‘Giant’ and left him to it. Normally he will doze for 30-60 minutes, then come downstairs hungry, looking for his tea but that night he was super-tired.

He got into bed around 4.15pm, when he got home and he did not wake up again until 8pm! So I warmed his pie and mash up that he was due to eat two hours earlier and he devoured it in record speed. But then he asked for ‘Giant’ again so I helped him back upstairs and back under the duvet. He fell asleep again immediately and did not emerge again until 8.30am the following day which is unheard of. I checked in his daycare diary and he had not engaged in anything too energetic – he had made a super hero mask in the morning and then went out in the wheelchair around the community, so nothing untoward there.

There were several implications of this Big Sleep :

  • I had a lovely quiet evening to myself – my husband was out for a meal with an ex-colleague so I watched what I wanted on the TV and went to bed when I felt tired too, so it was an unusually relaxing evening and then of course, I slept through until my 5am wake up time, which is very rare too, so we were both well rested
  • But my evening was not totally relaxing as I was slightly unnerved by this Big Sleep : I had to keep checking on him to ensure that he was still breathing! Your imagination plays cruel tricks on you and even though I could see him on the baby monitor, I needed to go into his room to be reassured by his snoring.
  • I was half expecting him to wake at midnight, after 8 hours sleep, and to be raring to go. That is partly why I went to bed early too, so that I could grab a few winks just in case I was doing the night shift. I know what sleep deprivation does to a body, after years of broken sleep and those terrible months when he would stay up for 48 hours after seizures, just moving around the house like a Zombie, so I was sensible.
  • I was reassured that we have done the right thing by building in a rest day in between his daycare days, as he is going there on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for now. He will need that quieter rest day at home in between, so that he can have a lie in if necessary and go at a slower pace. I emailed his Daycare provision to ask if she knew why he was so exhausted and to warn them that we would be sticking to 3 days a week for the time-being, even though we are funded for 4 days a week.

Joshua emerged from his Big Sleep at 8.30 yesterday morning, as if nothing unusual had happened. he heard me in my bath and came into the bathroom, requesting that he to fancied a morning bath. He must have felt better for his Big Sleep and it may also have fended off some seizures that could have attacked if he had stayed awake, but been so in need of rest. Last night he was back to normal with his sleep pattern : took several attempts of putting him back in bed with Giant before he nodded off and he was out of his bed and into mine around 2am and then back into his own at 4.50. It was as if his Big Sleep was just a distant dream….

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