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Aspergers autism and daylight savings time

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Old 03-14-2007, 11:12 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Pullman
Posts: 9
windwalker06 HB User
Aspergers autism and daylight savings time

Hi, i have a question, hopefully maybe someone can shed some light on this on maybe confirm what im thinking.
my 7 year old grandson ADHD and falls into autism spectrum(aspergers).
he has to be on catapres at bedtime so he can fall asleep, this has been working out good the past year, with occasions of him waking at 1 or 2 am and not going back to sleep.
dr added another "as needed" dose of catapres at 1 or 2 am when this happens to help him fall back asleep or he goes non stop 19 hours or until next dose of meds the next night.
but since the daylight savings time change ( i give him his meds at bedtime..which is around 7:30-8:00 pm(but now that i thought of it with time change)its actually 6:30-7:00pm old time) he has slept only 16 hours since Sunday and even the 2 nd dose of meds did not help him sleep.he did not sleep at all last night and doesnt even seem very tired and here it is almost 2pm my time as im writng this.

he is also on focalin for adhd/aggressive moods/meltdowns

Any imput.


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Old 03-15-2007, 12:16 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: West U.S.
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firenice HB User
Re: Aspergers autism and daylight savings time

If he's attached to the actual physical clock and it no longer aligns with his perception of the light and shadows of the external environment, that could throw him off, especially if he is as sensitive as you suggest. General weather, if it's been extra sunny or cloudy or rainy or warmer or colder could also be an influence. And then there are those changes in the environment that most everyone would not notice, but he does!

Old 03-15-2007, 08:02 AM   #3
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sharealways HB User
Re: Aspergers autism and daylight savings time

Not a reply to your question but my son used to sleep around 8:00 - 8:30 p.m. and we had difficulty changing that to 7:00 - 7:30 with the daylight savings. But in a weeks time he seems to have adjusted his clock.

Old 03-15-2007, 10:05 AM   #4
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elmhar HB Userelmhar HB User
Re: Aspergers autism and daylight savings time

Hi WindWalker,

Many of our kids are very sensitive to things that change body clock rhythm. Light is one of those things, and for many kids, it takes a while after the DST change for things to normalize.

Stimulant meds like Focalin are notorious contributors to sleeping problems. Perhaps a change of med, or dosage decrease might help.

Many aspie kids do well with a tiny dose (0.5 mg) of melatonin given several hours before bedtime. You might ask your doc about that. Natural melatonin secretion occurs in darkness. So, make sure the lights in your home are kept low (40 watt bulbs recommended) for several hours before bedtime, and make sure the bedroom is completely dark. Nightlights, glowing alarm clocks, TVs & computers in bedrooms, even streetlight creeping in around the edges of curtains -- all of these types of light will inhibit natural melatonin, which is the chemical our brains secrete to get us to sleep.

Have you considered moving his bedtime & Catapres a bit later, say 9:00 p.m. current time?

Best wishes.

Old 03-16-2007, 03:36 AM   #5
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GatsbyLuvr1920 HB UserGatsbyLuvr1920 HB User
Re: Aspergers autism and daylight savings time

I, too, am very picky about light. I either need total darkness to sleep, or I need one of my "special" lamps on (one that doesn't aggravate my sensory issues). Nine times out of ten, though, I sleep with my light on. It's just one of my weird quirks. What elmhar said about the "streetlight creeping in around the edges of curtains" was very good. I can't sleep with any type of shadows through the window, so that's why when I sleep with my light on, it eliminates that.
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

Old 03-16-2007, 06:12 AM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Pullman
Posts: 9
windwalker06 HB User
Re: Aspergers autism and daylight savings time

im giving you a update on things ... since i first posted here about my grandsons sleep issues, i moved everything up a hour later,our suppertime,his bath
time,our family quite time, and his bedtime med time...and it worked..the past 2 nights he is asleep around 9:30 and sleeps until about 6 am.
im so glad because his dr wanted to add chlora hydrate to his meds to help him sleep andi did not like what i read about it.
idont like having to medicate him as it is now.

he cannot tolerate chocolate,foods containing red or blue or carmel coloring.and some other foods.
he seems to become more aggitated or hper if he consumes some of these.

on the light matter..i have to use a little 7 watt light in his romm,he doesnt like his room completely dark,so this stays on at night.

if i use a brighter light, he will throw things at it until he breaks it .this also occurs with certain types of glass in picture frames.

another question...he has always had dark circles under his eyes since he was a baby..we have had allergy tests down on him..and they came back this part of the autism ?.
he also has white spots on brain.

Old 03-16-2007, 09:57 AM   #7
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elmhar HB Userelmhar HB User
Re: Aspergers autism and daylight savings time

Hi Windwalker,

Sounds like you are making progress on the sleep issues. Even though ideally even more sleep might be the average for his age, your DGS is definitely moving in the right direction. Keep up the good work.

Best wishes.

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