Autism: Anchors to Help Me Sleep

01 Oct

It used to happen a lot – a lot meaning 3 to 4 nights on a regular week. Thankfully the medication my psychiatrist has prescribed for my severe anxiety also has strong sedative qualities. That is why she chose these ones for me.

When I get into bed, I am tired. There is no question that I need the sleep, or even that I want it – but I lie there, awake, and the sleep will not come.

Sometimes it is because of the thoughts… those never ending thoughts, that I should have been able to work through during my waking hours. Of ten the thoughts are there. Often I can’t get them to stop. But that is not the whole reason for my lack of sleep.

I lie in my bed, and my body feels like it is floating. Not quite present in the space I should be occupying. I suppose this might be an issue for astronauts flying in their spaceship. Maybe for them this sensation would be explainable. But I am not in space. I am tied to this world, to this body, just like everyone else – only it doesn’t feel that way.

In the last few months, I have been using my weighted blanket for this reason, and it helps… a lot. It anchors me to my bed, and allows me to feel secure enough to sleep. But even this blanket – which I love – has its drawbacks.


The main one being that I sleep on my stomach. I have only been able to sleep this way since I had my first bad episode with my back in the summer of 2004. This makes it very hard to pull my 15 lbs blanket into the correct position for it to work well.

If it is too low on my back, it really aggravates my skin, and that keeps me awake. If it is too high up on my neck, it makes my neck sore, and gives me a headache. If it is too low on my shoulders, I still feel like I am floating, and can’t sleep. If I struggle for too long to get my blanket into the perfect position, my muscles ache for the rest of the night.

Some nights it seems I can’t win, and last night was one of those. Much of the night was spent feeling like I would float away, and the rest with my skin irritated, and achy from my fight to try to anchor myself.

Restless nights lead to unproductive days, and today has been no exception. For the weekend, while my husband was home, I had all of these goals and desires for things I would accomplish this week. Most days I can’t work while he is here – while anyone is around me, really – and so I was really looking forward to today when I could start working. But it didn’t happen.

There must be a good solution to this issue of mine. Maybe someday I will find it.


Posted by on October 1, 2015 in Autism: Reality


Tags: , , , ,

2 responses to “Autism: Anchors to Help Me Sleep

  1. Angel the Alien

    October 1, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I want to get a weighted blanket… but they’re really expensive! Sometimes I put all of my pillows on top of myself, but it just doesn’t work as well.


    • Walkinfaith925

      October 2, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      At the advice of my counselor, I made my weighted blanket with beans and rice in ziploc bags, sewed into a flannel blanket, and placed inside a crib blanket (so I could wash it.) I got the blankets from the thrift store, and used rice and beans that I had at home. It was cheap, and only took a couple of hours to make. She also said I could just get a 10 lbs bag of rice from the grocery store, and put it inside a pillow case – or I could use sand, which could be found for free, and put it inside of two pillow cases. The store bought ones are really expensive, but not necessary.



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