Sunday, March 14, 2010

Melatonin Helps

So Becca's been taking a melatonin pill every night an hour before bed for the last two months, and I think it's safe to say that it's definitely been helping her. It was getting to the point where every night she'd cry for at least an hour, sometimes up to three, when we put her down for bed. But she wasn't sleeping in any longer -- and it kind of seemed like she was even waking up earlier -- so we were getting worried. I mean, it's not like she was mouthing off when we asked her to help clean up her toys or anything, but was having a lot harder time being happy.

Becca usually goes down for bed at 8pm, and she wakes up anywhere from 5am to 7am. I don't remember how many hours of sleep 3 year-olds are supposed to have, but from what I hear that's really good for a Rett girl. Sometimes she wakes up quietly, and sometimes she wakes up and yells I think out of boredom. Paula doesn't get up with that early, she goes into her bedroom (she still fits in her crib pretty well... no idea what we're going to do when we need to move her to a bigger bed), pulls out her pillow and gives her a toy instead, and that usually keeps her happy for an hour or so.

Anyway. Becca's neurologist had mentioned melatonin before if we ever needed it, so we called her up to find out what kind of dosage she should have. It's not a prescribed thing, but it's not like you can find it in every grocery store, so Paula had to go to Rite Aid to find it. She found a liquid one and a pill one (sublingual was the term on the bottle... apparently that means under the tongue as opposed to less-than-capable at speaking even one language, like it sounded to me originally), and wasn't totally sure what to get. She ended up asking the pharmacist to double-check that she remembered the dosage and everything, and he politely told her that melatonin isn't for kids, they shouldn't need it. She tried to explain the situation, but I think the guy judged her anyway. So we got the pills and figured we'd give it a go.

Becca doesn't keep things sublingual, so much. She's actually pretty good at rolling things around in her mouth -- way better at that than actually swallowing them, as it turns out. But she does swallow these pills pretty well, so that's cool. We just have to remember to give them to her every night an hour before bed, since it doesn't really help that much unless you give it a little time to do its thing. We weren't sure if it would actually do any good, but it seems to be working for Becca. Now she's falling asleep in a blessedly normal ten minutes or so, and waking up a happy girl once more. And thanks to the Keppra, once she's gone she stays a comatose noodle for most of the night... you couldn't wake her up if you wanted to.