If you read one article about special needs and sleep read this one
As you will know my daughter has a Chromosome deletion and with having her deletion it has meant she has a number of medical challenges. However, I was not at all prepared for one of the BIGGEST and MOST DEBILITATING challenges that affect not only her but the WHOLE FAMILY.
Since a young baby, G had massive difficulties – getting to sleep and then STAYING asleep.
She could take anything from 1 – 4 hours to sleep and then she would only sleep for a couple of hours.
I was in a CONSTANT battle to get her to sleep so that I could sleep.
Months went by in the same cycle. Wake – Cry – Sleep – Cry – Wake.
It was never ending and I thought I might actually LOOSE MY MIND.
“93% of disabled children and
young people have a sleep problem
and don’t sleep through the night” – kids.org.uk
Having a child with extra needs means we have A LOT happening all the time. Appointments, therapy, doctors, illness – as well as juggling family life, work etc. Not getting enough sleep for her was detrimental for her GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT, temperament and overall well-being. Her body was NOT getting enough time to rest, rejuvenate, grow and heal.
And I was not getting enough sleep to function properly. I had constant headaches, backache (from sleeping on the floor/ in weird positions just so she would not wake), I lost weight. I actually developed insomnia (Can you believe it!) as my body was getting so depleted in nutrition. Lack of sleep meant I snacked on rubbish constantly to get me through the day. I needed energy.
Biscuits. Crisps, cakes – All convenient to grab on the go. I could wolf it down in a hospital car park before an appointment. All of this HEAVILY impacted on my body.
I started to get depressed. The pressure to always have something to do for her but not getting enough sleep was wrecking me. The worry of her and I not sleeping then started to further impact on my sleep.
“74% of people admitting that they
actively worry about not getting
a good night’s sleep.” – 2016 Dreams Sleep Survey
I did speak to her paediatrician about her sleeping and she did prescribe melatonin to help, you can read about that here.
But I decided to try this product I found in my local health shop.
*Contains affiliate link for your convenience*
A Vogel Jan de Vries Night Essence comes in a small box, with a 30ml bottle of what I can only describe as MAGIC.
I kid you not.
As I walked out of the shop after spending under £5 I was massively sceptical!
I had lost all hope but felt there was nothing to loose if it would help my daughter AND ME – sleep.
So the ingredients:
Tinctures of the flowers of White Chestnut, Chamomile, Yarrow, Apen, Walnut, Rock Rose, Agrimony, Bluebells, Morning Glory and Vervain in equal amounts. Alcohol: approx 27%
The Instructions were: 3 drops in a little water 3 times daily. May be taken up to 3 times during the night.
However – I did not follow the instructions as I was very cautious and instead only gave her 3 drops in a little water before bed.
What would normally happen at bedtime, G would lie there for about an hour tossing and turning, chewing her clothes, itching and being so restless…after about an hour she would start to ‘settle’ and nod off. HOWEVER – 20mins to an hour later she would wake AGAIN and I would have to lie with her for another 45mins or so.
What actually happened after using the tincture:
She tossed and turned for about 30 mins and began to relax, after about an hour she was asleep. She slept for about 30 mins WOKE but went back to sleep after about 5 minutes.
I was a little perplexed when this happened.
I went to sleep and she woke in the night around 3am, – as she normally does. This time when she woke I gave her the night essence again – and she went back to sleep within 10 mins!
I was so shocked.
The next day still sceptical – I put it down to being a coincidence and reasoned she must have been unusually worn out and gave up resisting sleep. But the same thing happened the next day – except she DID not wake in the first half of the night. She woke at 3, I gave her some of the drops and she nodded back to sleep.
This carried on for about a month – I was getting a bit scared not to give it to her as she may wake again more. She then began sleeping straight through the night and so I did not need to give her the 3am drops.
And so I stopped giving her the drops all together to see what might happen.
She continued in the same pattern. She took a little longer to fall asleep but once she did she stayed asleep. The odd night she does wake I do not immediately give her the drops as I want her to learn to self-regulate. If she is awake for more than an hour (which I find she can be when having a growth spurt) I then give her some drops.
This little bottle has been a lifesaver. She is not a perfect sleeper due to reflux, sensory needs and psoriasis – however, she now sleeps A LOT BETTER. If she has a bad night it is easier to work out what could be disturbing her (The temperature, her Reflux, a noise etc)
This has been AMAZING for her and AMAZING for me.
I was able to relax a bit more, I started taking magnesium and my insomnia went. I hope it has the same wonderful effect for you.
***Seek Medical advice if on medications as ingredients could interfere with them.***