Star Date: Jan. 2010

These are the voyages of sleepless John, as told by his exhausted mom.

Night comes and we start off hopeful. The boys go to bed with minimal fuss and we settle in for some tivo’ed show, like House or Ace of Cakes, or even a game of Boggle. We sigh, content for the moment, the day and its hurried pace behind us. The clock gets closer and closer to midnight. Husband goes to bed at 11 and the mom, who is just a little greedy, hangs back — loathe to leave the quiet, her glorious time alone.

And every night, of course, she thinks This is the night it will be different. But we are under siege.

January 7, 2010, 1 to 6 a.m.: John is up and ready to go! Five hours straight! His endurance is remarkable, his commitment to the same laugh track, earsplitting.

January 8, 2010, 1 a.m.: John dives into our bed and conks out, sleeps through the night! Is there a full moon? Which planets’ alignment produced this miracle? Please, dear god, how do we replicate these conditions?

January 9, 2010, 12:45 to 5:00 a.m.: John is up and jumping! Tonight’s entertainment features Elmo and silly talk, but then he crashes after a mere four+ hours until nearly 10 a.m.

January 10, 2010, 1 a.m.: It’s 1 a.m., folks, John doesn’t want to be late! But inexplicably, he falls back to sleep until 2:30. Another energy burst hits and he is up until 6 a.m. And then crashes until 8:30. Mad dash to school.

Crazy times around here. People tell me I look great for not getting any sleep. The truth is the body adapts to sleeplessness. It doesn’t function very well, but it adapts. We’re getting back in to see the neurologist and looking into a sleep study. Thanks everyone who commented and emailed me with suggestions.


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  • I feel your pain. My Sam has very similar nights. I started melatonin a few weeks ago and it seemed to work but after about a week he seems to build a tolerance and he is back to his 2 am parties. I up the dose and we get a few nights then the process repeats. There is only one more increase allowed by the doctor then we look at prescriptions. I think Clonidine is usually the first but we will see. I understand why sleep deprivation is a kind of torture. I struggle each day to focus my eyes when it comes time to grade papers and function at work. I hope your doctor has some other options for you (if that is what you are looking for).

  • Why have I not been following your blog? I don’t know. :-/

    This post? My life. Three years running now. Nik’s so hypersensitive to so many CNS meds that we’ve resisted trying something for sleep, hoping we could figure out the underlying issues. Not happening so far. We’re trying something new starting this weekend.

    Sending compassionate understanding. Empathy. Solidarity.


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