I remember being invited to sleep overs when I was in elementary school, even middle and high school. I was always one of the first ones asleep, and one of the last ones to wake up in the morning. I would sometimes try to stay awake late with my friends, but it was no use. If we were whispering with our heads on our pillow, I was out in ten minutes. Twenty at the most. When I had a sleep over at my best friend’s house, I always rolled over and groaned when her mom would come in at 8 am to tell us breakfast was ready. I could always sleep until at least ten AM. I did sleep in when I had no plans. I was the teenager that would wake up around ten or eleven on weekends. The neighborhood kids would already be outside riding bikes or making forts in the woods. I never missed the bus for school though. My internal clock knew I had to get up early Monday through Friday. I bet my parents loved the fact that I never argued about bedtime.
I still love my sleep. When my husband drives us to his parents 40 minutes away, many times I will konk out. I think the drone and vibration of the car definitely helps. I struggle to get up in the mornings. On weekends, my normal wake up time is 10:30 or 11:00 AM, and I STILL wake up tired. I could easily sleep all day. Once I am up and moving, my mind and body wake up. I could still nap though, even if I got 12 hours of sleep the night before. Friends and family have suggested maybe I am getting too much sleep. I don’t think that is it. I sometimes wear a fitbit to bed, to track my sleep patterns. I don’t think it accurately tells me when I fall asleep (it says i fall asleep at 2:30 AM), but the sleep stages it tracks from 2:00 AM until when I wake up I believe are accurate. The most recent tracking stated I slept from 2:30 AM to 9:20 AM, with only 59 minutes of deep sleep and 50 minutes of REM. 4 hours and 25 minutes was light sleep. Sheesh! I also suffer from night terrors, which started in graduate school. When I am stressed, they are more frequent. They disrupt my sleep for sure, in addition to my husband’s sleep, given that I hit him and scream blood curdling screams in his direction. I went to see a sleep doctor who had me stay over to have a sleep test completed. They told me I had a strange sleep pattern, but I did not have sleep apnea. I never followed through with this study, because they wanted to put me on a CPAP machine, and I didn’t think that would make any difference if I didn’t have a breathing disorder.
Now that I know I have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and that sleep can be affected by FASDs, maybe my brain damage affects my sleep. I asked the sleep doctor if it can be my FAS, and he said maybe, but he didn’t talk anymore about it. Probably because he had no idea what FAS was (Just my opinion.) I have done some reading on sleep patterns with those with an FASD, and my patterns definitely resonate with many of those with an FASD (wake up tired, sleep terrors). I definitely think there is a correlation, but many others just think I am tired…all…the…time. Well, yes, I am tired all the time, but there is a reason. I do well if I keep busy. I am able to exercise and take care of my kids and work at a computer job 40 hours a week. So that is good. Think about it though. Those of us with an FASD, our brains work so hard to make sense of this world. Our brains get overstimulated easier than those without brain damage. Overstimulation makes us so tired. Trying to remember cause and effect of daily activities, and multi step directions is exhausting. Trying to go with the flow in a family unit is exhausting for our brains. So, I definitely think my sleep issues stem from my Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and I am hopeful to find a solution. If anyone has ideas for me to try, let me know! I am listening! (Unless I am sleeping lol.)
Sweet Dreams, my friends!