Last night we had a really bad night with D, and by we, I mean I did, and Hubby snored his way through the whole encounter!
D woke about 3am and came through and woke me saying he was having a nightmare. I took him to the toilet, and then back to his bed, where I stayed with him until I thought he was asleep. I flopped back onto my pillow about 15 minutes later, only for him to reappear, so we repeated the process, and then we did it a third time. Something was disturbing him, but he wouldn’t, or couldn’t say what it was. I didn’t want to get into too much of a dialogue with him at that time of the day for fear of stimulating him into being fully awake, so I asked the bare minimum to check he wasnt in physical pain and left it at that. I finally gave up putting him into his bed and he climbed on top of me and was out like a light until M woke him at about 7am.
This morning, he doesn’t recall being up in the night, or why he was in with me this morning. All he has said is that he slept really well! I just bit my tongue before I replied lucky him, as I’m aching from head to toe! But thats not important.
I have thought about what might have been disturbing him, and the main conclusion I draw is returning to school today after a couple of days off poorly. It’s enough to play with anyones head. I didn’t voice this opinion to him as I don’t want him to think it is something to worry about!
D has always been a deep think and takes everything to heart. I suppose this is why so many things in the world scare him. It must be difficult for him looking tough because of his size but being a petrified little lamb inside this shell. I think because of the way he churns things over and over in his mind, and never lets anything rest until he is satisfied with the answer, I am surprised he hasn’t had more nightmares. Maybe his brain is so shattered with his constantly feeding it information all day that it does shut off altogether! Maybe he is just one of these people who rarely remembers his dreams, good or bad. He is usually a very deep sleeper so it is probably he has gone way passed the dream section of his sleep by the time he wakes up.
He does however know that saying he has had a bad dream will get him an extra cuddle, and he will often get up within 10 minutes of going to bed saying he has had one. He gets his cuddle and is escorted back to his bed. It’s not a big deal, but we don’t want him to trivialize having a nightmare because they can be traumatic and if he pretends too often, it could be when he is really scared we have a “whatever” attitude towards it – I hope we don’t but you can’t take it seriously every time.
D has many invisible friends. Some live with us, some just visit. Some are his own age, and one is like a Grandpa. We therefore don’t take much notice of “people” in his bedroom at night. Maybe we should. Maybe telling all is other “friends” to leave and go to their own space to sleep might give him one less worry for the night. Knowing D though, he would worry if he didn’t know where they all were!
We do make sure the bedroom routine is structured. They don’t get telly or tablets once they go upstairs. They read with whichever parent isn’t settling them down. D does however find bedtime really stressful. It is something he has no control over. We often have major tantrums at this time as he gets worried about missing stuff while he sleeps. On many occasions we have had to promise to wake his if anything eventful happens in the night just to get him to agree to get into bed – of course it never does! You do what you can to manipulate the situation to one that is as calm as possible for everyone!
I am just pleased that last nights disturbances didnt affect him in the daylight. He went off to school a happy wee chap – coughing his lungs up, but happy!! I just hope we don’t get a repeat performance tonight as I might not be so understanding if I can’t get a little more sleep!