Your kids can’t sleep? With all the commercials for sleep aid medications I don’t think this problem is isolated to children on the autism spectrum.
Certainly we are not strangers to late nights and early morning waking. And you might think I’ve finally gone all the way off the wagon into Nutsville, but believe me, I wouldn’t be blogging about it, if it didn’t do something good for my kid.
We’ve always had issue with our child sleeping. Falling asleep was the primary problem, but we’ve had our share of night waking, early morning waking and just not sleeping half the night. We’ve done many things with supplements that sometimes helped. Or at least got us and him some sleep for a few days at a time. Melatonin was helpful for a while, until it started giving him bad dreams. We switched brands and that helped but if he took it for more than a few nights in a row, the problem would return.
The past two years have probably been the worst. Dern near crashed my adrenals again by being up until 1am or later with a mini-insomniac who would finally close his eyes only to be up at 6am and NOT tired. Which means I’m up and I am tired. And boy can you say cranky kid?
Can’t say I am pleasant as punch if I’m only sleeping a few hours at a rip either. So I don’t blame him but after months of this, the madness needed to end.
Some years ago there was a disturbance, and by that I mean commotion among parents on the autism forums about EMF’s. You know, “electromagnetic fields”? The thing we can’t see but they keep telling us are safe? Electrical energy comes out of cell phone towers, WiFi routers as well as anything electrical. And its increased dramatically in the past 10 years as we’ve all become “connected”.
Well I was immersed in something else at that time and I gave it a brief glance and it somewhat registered in the back of my mind that, “Yes, too much electricity could be disturbing to our bodies because we are after all, electrical in every sense”.
So like many other protocols, ideas, supplements, diets….it became shelved in my mind where I keep all the other stuff I intend to get to eventually.
Well by December of this year, I was pretty tired and I had a kid that wasn’t sleeping and didn’t find his pillow until 3am sometimes despite his best efforts. I could not put my finger on why it was so much worse the past two years. Just like I could not put my finger on why the past few years I’ve had a relative that can’t sleep more than a few hours at night. Despite supplements, medications etc. Still not a decent nights sleep.
Ah the puzzles that keep me up at night? I’m up anyway, right? Might as well think about something.
Over the holidays I borrowed a book from a relative that had begun doing something called “Earthing” or “grounding” and it was helping their chronic pain. Sure, I’d heard of it, it was on that shelf, remember?
I read the book. A lot of it hit home. It was making sense. What changed two years ago in our house? We bought a Kindle because my son is tactile sensitive to paper and reads digital books. He uses this at night to listen to audio books to help him fall asleep. Which in theory….sounds good. He used to listen to audio books on CD’s and that did work fine. So what’s he difference between an audio CD and a Kindle?
EMF’s! A lot of them.
Don’t believe me, measure them. This item had the highest EMF’s in our house. Higher than our WiFi which is nowhere near where we sleep. Nothing in our home, not even cell phones gave this high of a reading. I disabled the WiFi capability on it, which reduces it, but it is still pretty high.
Plus I’ve been mumbling this sentence for months now “Since we bought that Kindle, I swear this kid doesn’t sleep anymore!”.
Well, if I weren’t so tired…..it wouldn’t have taken me this long to make the connection. I finished the book. And it resonated with me that my relative that could not sleep….well they put a cell phone tower on her street just a few years ago. Consequently about the time the insomnia seemed to become a problem. They’ve lived there for over 20 years, but that tower hasn’t always been there.
My Christmas break project was to build one of these grounding mats. Why not? I really had nothing to lose but some duct tape, speaker wire, metal screen, metal coat hanger, electrical tape, and a $2 fuse from “The Shack”. Most all of which I had lying around the house anyway.
A bit of trial and error (error #1: make sure you buy heavy-duty duct tape, not light-duty) and we had two grounding mats. That first night he had this on his bed and he fell asleep in record time. FIVE minutes, I kid you not. Slept right through the night too. Its been 6 weeks and he’s still asleep in under 15 minutes and sleeping through the night. Even the one night he woke because he was thirsty, he went back to sleep.
I ended up making our own grounding sheets from silver thread ripstop fabric which is a far more permanent solution to the trial with metal screen. (more comfortable too!) I plan to write a post about that soon.
He has since learned to use this as a self-regulation tool. When he’s
feeling stressed he will go lay on it for a few minutes and come back in better spirits.
Even the cat naps on it!
Once I made the fabric grounding sheets for all our beds we report the following changes:
- calmed anxiety in child just by sitting on it for a few minutes
- better sleep, deeper sleep
- fall asleep faster, calming feeling
- increases circulation so no more cold feet all night
- hubbie doesn’t snore as loud
- less soreness, stiffness, pain in the morning
All I can say is you won’t believe it unless you try it. Certainly I was a real skeptic at first. The book details more about what and how this works and why. It also has actual cases of health conditions improved by reconnecting with the Earth. This isn’t a new idea. It’s something we were always doing until the recent switch to synthetic soled shoes which make no connection to the Earth. We weren’t doing too bad with the leather soled shoes we grew up with, but couple the footwear change with the conglomerate of cell towers, WiFi networks and you can’t go far without being in some electromagnetic field somewhere. And maybe for a lot of people that’s just too much.
So my son is grounded and we plan to stay that way.
*Try it before you buy it and build your own, if it works invest in a professionally made one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wPqh4DNfwg
How I Made Grounding Sheets
*I receive no endorsements from earthing.com or its products/books.