The Ripple Effect

Lately, sleep for me has sucked around here. I can’t tell you how many times this week I’ve found myself sitting on the couch in the ridiculous early hours of the morning, between 2am and 5am, in the dark of the living room trying to hold the pieces of my jagged sanity together while my two year old kinda-sorta-not really sleeps beside me.

I never had these issues with Nolan. He was sleeping through the night and we had a good routine going well before a year and a half. When he started sleeping in a big boy bed, the transition was easy. We’d read books in bed, have cuddles and he’d fall asleep. Occasionally, he’d creep out of his bed and fall asleep on the floor amid his toys and books and I’d have to move him back to his bed. One time, I stepped on a steaming pile of poop that he left when he striped down to nothing and took a crap on the floor. I was massively pregnant and it went in between my toes and I remember thinking how horrible it was.

But it doesn’t compare to this. The thought of how little sleep I’ll get each night makes my chest compress with anxiety and desperation.

For whatever reason, Archer hates staying asleep. No matter how I try to change up his sleep routine. He will pass out on my lap and I’ll carry him up, he’ll stay asleep for a few hours and then wakes up crying. I can’t leave him, because he’ll just get out of bed and open their bedroom door and come find me anyway. Plus his crying wakes Nolan, who in turn cries because he’s tired and doesn’t want to be awake.

I’ve tried putting Archer to bed when I put Nolan to bed, but he just gets out of bed and either irritates Nolan and keeps him from sleeping, or he just leaves the room. I’ve tried just crawling into his bed with him to comfort him, and he just freaks out because he wants to go downstairs. So I end up taking him because he freaks out so much that Nolan will wake up.

He’s no longer on the bottle, which has surprisingly affected his sleep negatively. Instead of guzzling it back and falling asleep relatively easy it’s a nightmare and a waiting game to get him to sleep. Not that I’ll bring back the bottle, no…I’m determined to not ever go down that road again. It’s…discouraging. At first, cutting the bottle out worked like a charm. Less wet diapers, less wake ups…but in the past week or so his sleep issues have gotten vastly worse.

Sleep deprivation is hard on anyone, but those who suffer from chronic pain really feel the effects of sleep deprivation, and oh boy…am I ever feeling it now.

I wish there was some kind of solution that would work. I can’t have Nolan missing valuable sleep, and I feel like I can’t do this anymore either. I know, that’s probably not true. Moms have this insanely talented way of pushing through whatever comes their way because they don’t have any other options. I know, I’ll survive, but I just wish I could get more sleep at night, so I could have more patience and energy during the day. The ripple effect, so to speak. With so little sleep, I found myself snapping at my loved ones and just being an ornery brat. Not my finest look, and I’m ashamed to say that it’s hard to stop the bitchy, ornery me from popping up when I am running on so little sleep.

I need a solution. I’ve said this time and time again, but nothing works and if it does, it doesn’t for long.


About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
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9 Responses to The Ripple Effect

  1. tierney says:

    If I have a bad sleep (like last night), I literally dread the next day so I know where you’re coming from. The family I work for now had a lot of difficulty in getting their kids to bed but now that I’m there 5x a week doing bedtime, I’ve gotten them on a routine and if I falter from that routine, bedtime just doesn’t happen. At 645 we get on pjs, 7pm it’s quiet time and they watch an episode of something on tv and eat an applesauce or yogurt and at 730 we head upstairs and brush teeth. They know they get to pick two stories each and then it’s lights out. They know exactly what to expect and the whole tv, snack thing quiets th down from a busy day. Have you considered putting both boys to bed at the same time but putting Nolan in your bed to fall asleep (since he’s easier) then Archer in his bed with a baby gate across the door so if he’s upset he can get out of bed but can’t leave the room and will eventually tire out? Hopefully, after a week of a solid routine and consistency he’ll know what’s coming and won’t fight it. You can switch Nolan back into his own bed once you’re ready for bed. Just a suggestion! Perhaps by getting archer used to it and in his own room and maybe letting him wonder around without waking Nolan he’ll transition into a regular schedule!

    • Jess says:

      When he had his own room, it didn’t do much :/ but I’ll start trying the attempts at getting them both asleep at the same time. Well see how that goes…

  2. lostlilies12 says:

    Try getting him to sleep in your bed. Till he gets used to sleeping all night then start moving him. Co sleeping is sometimes the best way to relax a child and at least you can sleep too.

    • Jess says:

      I’ve tried that, but it gets him hyper because he wants to crawl around and jump on the bed. Or he tries to get down and go in my drawers. He won’t sleep there at all, which is why I try to sleep in his bed with him…but he’s just not game for whatever reason…

  3. mscat says:

    Could you try the opposite? Put Archer to bed first and then put Nolan to bed once Archer is asleep? This would mean staggering bed times and maybe heading to bed a bit earlier than usual, but maybe…?

    Any thoughts on what might be waking him up at night? Teething, too hot/too cold, nightmares, eczema, reflux?

  4. mystik32 says:

    I was once told you could use a herbal supplement of Melatonin safely in children. I had a friend that used this with her toddler who had a sleeping disorder with no ill effects.

    • Jess says:

      We’ve tried that, but it doesn’t do anything to prevent the wake ups…and since he doesn’t have a bottle anymore, he doesn’t drink all his milk before he passes out [the first time] 😦

  5. I have a hard time sleeping, too, and wake up during the night. If I don’t get a solid 8+ hours, I’m shot for the day.

    My goddaughter was just like Archer. She did not sleep. The crazy thing was, she could function completely normally. I’d have to ask my girl friend to know for sure, but I think the only thing that worked was getting her into a rigid schedule and giving her melatonin at night.

    Even though Archer doesn’t take a bottle anymore, you can still try the old warm milk trick. (Or would that make him want the bottle?) Warm milk is supposed to be relaxing. I’ve personally never tried it because it kind of freaks me out, but I know people who swear by it. Try giving him a sippy of warm milk before bed, plus the rigid schedule and melatonin.

    *hugs* I definitely feel for you. A lack of sleep does a number on me, both physically and mentally. ♥

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