Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Battle Continues and Why Food is at the Top of my List

Ethan came in around 1:30 and asked me to cover him up (he sleeps on a pallet next to my bed). I did so, begrudgingly. At 2:30, he woke me again to tell me he wants blueberries for lunch. Are you kidding? He stayed up from 2:30 until, well, 10 minutes before we got to childcare. And while I may have started Toy Story around 3, I didn't get much more sleep.

I just KNEW he'd fall asleep watching that movie. Not even close. He came back in all cheery asking for another movie! Seriously? And so my eyes burn as I type these words, and I wonder how I'm supposed to make it through the day. I am so tired. All I want to do is lay down on my office floor and sleep. For real. Alas, that scenario is not in the cards.

And so what am I doing with my morning while I should be working? I am researching food, behavior, and sleep. I'm not talking about an internet search. I'm talking about online database through the library scholarly journal college research type of stuff here.

I have to have an answer. I have to find something that works. I have a baby on the way. Ethan's sleep disturbances have GOT to calm the eff down or I might lose my mind! And of anything I can have some control over, it's diet.

As I dropped my very sleepy son off this morning, I told the child care person that we would need to keep a food diary. I have to figure out what's going on. It's a must. I know he watches too much TV there. I know he doesn't engage in enough activity there. I know he takes a nap there, which would be fine if the amount of physical activity were increased. And I know he eats junk there. I cannot control most of these factors, but if she knows I'm tracking food and I've asked her to track food, she'll be less opposed to me conducting a "food" experiment by bringing in my own foods and snacks for Ethan.

I'm not jumping off a cliff here and hoping my parachute opens up. I'm not randomly determining what foods to cut. I'm researching. And what I've found so far is that Yellow #5 and #6, as well as Red #40, affect behavior and SLEEP in many (not all) kids. There's a whole host of things added to our foods that can adversely affect sleep. Not just the above. Refined sugar is also on that list.

So as I embark on my own quest to clean up MY diet, I am now also embarking on a quest to solve the sleep disturbances that plague my child. Both of which will likely result in many, many tantrums on both our parts. Oh boy!


  1. OH my! Girl i do NOT know how you are functioning! I would be so tired too!!!
    Now, Ethan may be WAY to young for this.....but a friend of mine has her son (who is 9!) on a vitamin called melatonin? I have NO idea if this is an option for a 3 year old or not, but i can see you are looking at ALL options at this point!
    I'm sorry - i hope it gets worked out soon for your sake!
    You might have to teach Ethan how to give the baby a bottle, so he can get up with the baby and let you sleep! HA!! KIDDING!!!

  2. oh my i wish you the best of luck

  3. Good luck getting him sleeping more, I wish I had more advice!

  4. Praying that you find the link. A child his age should be sleeping at night.