Monday, May 7, 2012

What it all means

Over the last six months, we have struggled to get Asha to sleep though the night. We've tried medications, calming sprays, sleeping on the floor with her, getting her tired during the day.  Nothing has worked. She wakes up every night at the same times, like clockwork.   We could not figure it out and it was so frustrating.

We started Asha on accupuncture several weeks ago. At the same time, we also started her on some Chinese herbs.  These things have really started to make a difference in how she behaves during the day.  It was also making some difference at night, but only for a day or two after her accupuncture treatments.  About two weeks ago, her nighttime behavior got even worse. She seemed to be refusing to sleep upstairs with us. Instead of getting up at her normal two hour intervals, she was up non stop.

For a while now, Trevor has been wondering how she would do if she slept downstairs. I wasn't sure it would work because she seems to always want to be with us.  I was hesitant to try it because we were getting a couple hours of sleep and when we try something new, it often means we get no sleep and that just makes me angry.

Out of desperation, one night, I took Asha downstairs around 11.  We had been in bed since 9:30 and she was up every 15 minutes.  I got her down on the couch. She jumped right up and snuggled in behind my legs....and we both slept until 6 am.  I woke up and could not believe it.  The next night, I ended up doing the same thing.  The third night, we all went upstairs.  We got Maggie and Buster settled and then Asha and I went back downstairs. She hopped up on the couch.  I layed with her for about half an hour.  Then I got up and went to bed.  I woke up at 4 am and Asha was coming upstairs.  She has slept for almost 6 hours on the couch by herself. She came up and put her head on the bed next to me as if to say "I woke up and you weren't there".  I went back downstairs with her and got on the couch. She jumped up with me and did my favorite thing - laid down against my legs and put her chin on my foot.  Then she sighed...that sigh of contentment.  I love that.

The accupuncturist/Chinese medicine doctor that we've been seeing was asking me questions about Asha's sleeping environment - are there any power lines near our house, anything that turns on and off during the night.  I said "", I couldn't think of anything off the top of my head.  Then I started thinking, really thinking about it.  She is waking up at the same time every single night so there must be something.  Then it hit me...the train.  There are train tracks a couple miles from the house and you can hear the train in the distance.  Its not that loud and Asha can't hear, so that cannot be it.  Or can it?

Now that Asha is sleeping downstairs, she makes it through most of the night.  But she wakes up at either 3 am or 4:30 and always within a couple minutes of those times.  The other night, Trevor was letting her outside at the time and he heard the train.  A couple days ago, I was out on the front step with Asha in the early evening.  She was resting her head on my lap and then she lifted it up, kind of startled.  In the distance, I heard the train.

The bathroom attached to our bedroom, where we have been trying to get Asha to sleep for six months, has a skylight.  You can hear and probably feel alot in that room that you don't get in other, more insulated rooms in the house.  I feel terrible.  I've been frustrated, even angry with her at night for months because she wouldn't sleep. I was losing my mind with tiredness.  Now, she climbs on that couch and is out like a light. That's all she has needed...a change in sleeping venue.  It makes me want to cry.  I don't think she holds it against me and when she lets out that sweet sigh of contentment, my heart melts into hers and all is right with the world.

Now...if I can just get that train schedule changed.

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