Tuesday, June 08, 2010

An enchanted evening without melatonin!!!

Jennica has taken melatonin every single night (except for one--after which I swore we would never repeat) since September of 2006.  Seriously.  Just to do the math for you......that is almost four years of nightly melatonin.

It all started at the age of two, when we showed up sleep-deprived to the point of delirium, at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital for an appointment for something else.  She was not yet SPD-diagnosed, and when the occupational therapist asked how she was sleeping......I nearly punched her.  She was NOT sleeping.  At all.  Which meant that neither were we.  And we had been doing this for almost 6 months!! 

The OT suggested melatonin and we got started that night.  (If you aren't familiar with it......google it.  It'll be quicker than me explaining.....)  I picked up a bottle of the suggested dosage on the way home.....and voila!  It worked like a charm!!  Sleep........glorious sleep!!!  The OT at Mary Bridge had warned us that: 1) she might not respond at all, 2) she might have nightmares from it, and 3) it wouldn't probably work forever, as the human body often builds up a tolerance to it.

Now.....over the past four years, we have occasionally tried to go without melatonin at bedtime.  The results have consistently been disastrous.  So we give it to her and she sleeps.  End of story.  It is a naturally-occuring substance that SPD children are often lacking, and it has answered our problem.

However, recently she has had a few nightmares.  Since this can be a side effect, we decided to give another try to the bedtime routine with no melatonin.  Lo and behold........she went to sleep without it!  For the first time in over FOUR YEARS!!!  

Now.....its a little early (or a lot early) to say that we are officially melatonin-less, but I'm still pretty excited!  Has she learned to settle herself down?  Finally?  We're going to give it another try tonight.  So keep your fingers crossed!!!

1 comment:

Lindsay & Emma Bartholomew said...

Good luck! Hope she is able to go with out. My little one has been on 3mg for a little over a year, I hope it is not a forever thing but if it needs to be it will.
It for sure makes a huge difference in Emma's falling asleep...now to find something that keeps her sleeping through the night!
Again good luck! Small victories add up!