Sleep. Its one of the most common know ill effects of the autistic brain. Many autistics struggle with It continually through life. To find that perfect balance of sleep and liveliness is key and crucial to living. For many autistics sleep deprivation happens quite routinely mainly because we cannot get our information loaded brains to stop working after being in action for a lengthy period of time, or it just doesn’t have the ability to cease operations and shut down in the way a neurotypical person’s brain operates.
Then there’s the environment of which they are sleeping. Not enough light? Too much light? No sound? Too many distractions? Next comes the garments and bed clothes, tight, loose, too many, not enough? Oftentimes it takes the right mix of environment, items and sometimes medicine and / or supplements needed to obtain a good night’s sleep.
Many times, growing up, I remember many sleepless nights because the brain was overworking, oftentimes in anxiety of the next birthday, school day or Christmas. Christmas was the hardest on everyone in my household because I would live in fear wondering if I had been a good boy for Santa Claus to visit my house. While in many cases many children are well enough to receive a visit from Santa, I was in doubt and kept the family up the majority of the night. When with my family, I hardly slept in for Christmas and other exciting events that oftentimes involved me.
In my teenage years, it became obvious with my both my parents working full time jobs and my special needs I needed to acquire a sleep regimen, This was done with the aid of medicine specialized for irritability of autistic individuals. I has worked well over the years, but it has played a part in making me gain weight, a great amount, which some of it I have control of but am regardless to recognize at times. Now I understand that for some in the autistic community that the side effects outweigh the benefits, however the benefits outweighed the risks because I was becoming very disruptive to others in my household at the time and I needed to get sleep. Additionally, the medication helped with the irritability that I was experiencing.
Many who have been following my blog the past few months are aware of a time almost two years ago that I felt that I didn’t need the medicine to maintain my wellness. Bad mistake that I took over a year and a half playing and learning to discover. I have came to the realization that the medicine is crucial to me being well, not just for sleep, but for functioning and not being irritable with my peers at the day program and work. Yes, I did lose weight when I was playing around with my medicine and I wish I could see that number again, but it is not worth the risk of being in serious trouble of having everything taken away from me.
I liked the all-nighters and experiencing the feeling of getting a lot accomplished in a evening. But at what risk you want to take to get that done by potentially lashing out at your peers because you are not talking care of yourself? Again, outweight the benefits with the risks. This is why I take the medicine. I know its not perfect for everyone and we are all wired differently, but for me it works.
Now, getting sleep for me doesn’t involve just the medication, although it is a crucial aid in doing so. After medicating in the evening, I know I need to wind down for the day. That may include taking a shower, and putting on some comfy clothes, along with limiting my sugar intake. (I am drinking more water this week by the way. I have been taking the excess amount of Coca-Cola out of the house, and it helps.) Yes. I still want that glass in the morning and I have a limited amount around when the call is made in my brain. Otherwise, sometimes I may need he alarm clock set away from the bed and maybe a light on to make me feel comfortable for now. But I am once again getting the sleep I need.
Yes, I don’t like all this excessive weight that I carry because oft the medicines I am on. However, I know that I need to work on it and be more proactive in doing so. I understand that there needs to be a healthy balance in what I eat and what I do, an that I need to be more active in whatever way possible.