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insomnia, breastfeeding, etc. - Page 2

post #21 of 37
Thread Starter 
I met with my psychiatrist again today after another bad night. I've been wavering back & forth between just getting off of Ambien cold turkey & trying behavioral approaches to help my sleep, & taking some other med to help me. Part of me feels like I should try sleeping without Ambien & see what happens. Part of me is so tired I just want to sleep. I'm petrified of being on meds for a long time. I keep asking myself questions like: What if the Zoloft doesn't solve the underlying cause of my insomnia & I'm stuck taking Remeron (or some other sleep med) & still having insomnia? What if the insomnia is really behavioral? Would the Zoloft even help if that's the case? I feel really stuck, not knowing what to do tonight: try sleeping on my own or take Remeron at least until the 100mg dose of Zoloft kicks in.
post #22 of 37
thats the thing... if the insomnia is a symptom of the anxiety, it makes more sense to treat the anxiety than the insomnia. thats where things like remeron and ambien fail us PPD sufferers i think. its a tough call, and you do have a lot of options which is a good thing. no matter what you end up choosing, you WILL get better. your sleep WILL get better. the pieces will start falling into place. i know its frustrating that its taking so long, and i know you need sleep desperately.

thinking of you!
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by estercita View Post
Part of me feels like I should try sleeping without Ambien & see what happens. Part of me is so tired I just want to sleep. I'm petrified of being on meds for a long time. I keep asking myself questions like: What if the Zoloft doesn't solve the underlying cause of my insomnia & I'm stuck taking Remeron (or some other sleep med) & still having insomnia? What if the insomnia is really behavioral? Would the Zoloft even help if that's the case? I feel really stuck, not knowing what to do tonight: try sleeping on my own or take Remeron at least until the 100mg dose of Zoloft kicks in.
it really sounds anxiety-based to me. your thoughts sound a LOT like mine were when i had insomnia: worried everything i did would make it worse, worried it would never get better, worried zoloft wouldn't help, worried about getting addicted to drugs, wheels spinning non-stop

in my case all the sleep hygiene/behavioral stuff didn't do a damn thing--except that even trying to TRY it showed me i had an anxiety problem, because altering anything about my sleep rituals was basically impossible due to the anxiety it induced in me. i had developed all these rituals--certain herbs, acupuncture, supplements (i was actually spending us into debt trying to "cure" my sleep problems!), 2 glasses of a certain wine.

i had certain times for sleeping (never before 11 or after 12, i went to bed), a certain nightlight that HAD to be on (when that didn't work i tried complete darkness), moving my bed for feng shui.

all the were like little "talismans" against insomnia (not that they really worked, mind you, but for brief periods i would be convinced something helped )--but when i tried taking them away, the sheer panic it caused me made me realize there was WAY more to my issue than insomnia. and that's when i sought help, got my PTSD diagnosis, and started to get better.

i DO realize this post makes me sound loony, by the way

and YMMV, of course
post #24 of 37
Thread Starter 
Well, I took the Remeron & had 2 great nights of sleep. I felt pretty groggy yesterday morning, but today is a bit better. I decided I'll take it for at least a week to feel human again & then maybe try sleeping a few nights on my own to see what happens.

Someone on another discussion board thought the Ambien might actually be contributing to insomnia because it can wake you up when the half-life expires. They also woke up regularly after 3-4 hours. I always thought it was just me because I had sleep maintenance insomnia to begin with, but maybe there was more to it than that.

There is a LOT of anxiety that has built up over the last 3 months as I've been dealing with this. I really appreciate knowing that all of you have been there & gotten through!
post #25 of 37

Insomnia and breastfeeding

I am a first time mum with a five month old who is still waking 3 times in the night for a feed but I am suffering from terrible insomnia so even when he sleeps I don't. Prior to the birth of my son I had to take sleeping tablet for years but stopped when he was born as I was worried about falling asleep feeding him or not waking up to him. Does anyone have any experience of taking sleeping tablets and breast feeding? I am beginning to feel that it may be my pnly option to start taking them again.
post #26 of 37
I went through the same thing myself. What helped me was Zoloft for my PPD, now I sleep so great! BUT, it did take a long time for the zoloft to really start working, I started on small doses, and am now up to 100 mg a day. I felt so discouraged when I read about women who felt good a week or so after starting it. I didn't feel good until about 4 weeks or more.

I don't know if it is still pertinent, but my mother takes Seroquil (sp?) to sleep at night. (She has severe anxiety.) She loves it, but then again, she isn't breastfeeding.

I hope you get some sleep soon.
post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 
Hi, folks. I've been taking Remeron for a month & it's worked great for all but 2 nights, both of which had obvious causes (eating too much sugar close to bedtime & stress related to flying alone with my baby for the first time). I feel like a new person! I haven't been thinking much about sleep & I've felt like I'm back into the swing of things.

My psychiatrist recommended picking one or two nights a week when I'm particularly tired to try sleeping without Remeron. I picked last night, even though I wasn't feeing super tired, because I don't have anything really important at work today. (I've been back at work for the last few weeks, but I make my own schedule.) Went to bed at 9:30 as usual & was still awake at 12, even though I felt very relaxed, wasn't preoccupied with anything, no racing heart or panicky feeling, etc. I tried counting backwards, counting breaths, etc. & none of it worked. I ended up taking the usual Remeron dose at midnight & eventually got to sleep.

This was the first time I tried sleeping without medication in 3 months, so I know I should cut myself some slack. But my immediate response is to wonder whether I'll ever fall asleep on my own again, how long it'll take, what if the Zoloft/Remeron combo doesn't work & I'm back at square 1, etc. If anxiety was the cause of my insomnia & I don't feel anxious before bed or while lying in bed, then why couldn't I fall alseep?

I guess it just makes me wonder how I should approach this--gut it out & not take medication at all on those 1 or 2 nights a week, even if I've been trying to sleep for several hours? Ask the psych if I should try weaning down to no medication (e.g., take 1/2 dose, then 1/4)? I'll call & ask him today, but just wanted to see if others had suggestions.
post #28 of 37
i have never taken remeron, but i would think that suddenly not taking it, might increase insomnia temporarily. I know that insomnia is to be expected when you stop using Ambien, for example. Don't give up hope, you WILL sleep again without sleep medication. Theres no reason to beat yourself up if you're not quite there yet. You'll get there.
post #29 of 37
Thread Starter 
I'm writing with an update that I hope will provide solace to those of you who are suffering from insomnia. I've been trying to sleep on my own since June 1, while on 100mg of Zoloft for anxiety. I slept great for 3 nights at home & then 6 nights while on vacation, but had trouble falling asleep again after returning home. I tried to stay positive and tell myself that I had evidence that I was capable of sleeping on my own & falling back asleep, that it would take awhile to get back to normal, etc.

By the time I saw my psychiatrist again on June 25, I had slept 12 of 24 nights w/o any sleep meds (Remeron). He suggested increasing the Zoloft dosage to 150. Since then, I've only had to take Remeron twice: the night before I upped the Zoloft dosage & the night my parents & aunt & uncle arrived at our house for a 4-night stay. (Who wouldn't get stressed out about that?!) I am truly amazed at how easily I'm falling asleep and getting back to sleep, even after being awakened several times a night by noise from my mother-in-law's walker. (She's staying with us for a month & uses a walker due to her prosthetic leg.)

When I read posts saying "I had terrible insomnia & got over it and you will, too," I wondered whether I would ever be able to say that, whether I would forever be unable to sleep and to fully enjoy my life and care for my baby like I wanted to. I'm so incredibly relieved to be (mostly) on the other side of this problem. I learned that everyone needs to find their own way through postpartum insomnia; for me, the solution was Remeron, Zoloft, time, and a great deal of support from my husband, friends, family, therapist, fellow church members, and people on boards like this. It was so reassuring to know that others had survived insomnia. I hope my experience will help others know that they're not alone and that insomnia does not have to be a permanent condition.
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by estercita View Post
I'm writing with an update that I hope will provide solace to those of you who are suffering from insomnia. I've been trying to sleep on my own since June 1, while on 100mg of Zoloft for anxiety. I slept great for 3 nights at home & then 6 nights while on vacation, but had trouble falling asleep again after returning home. I tried to stay positive and tell myself that I had evidence that I was capable of sleeping on my own & falling back asleep, that it would take awhile to get back to normal, etc.

By the time I saw my psychiatrist again on June 25, I had slept 12 of 24 nights w/o any sleep meds (Remeron). He suggested increasing the Zoloft dosage to 150. Since then, I've only had to take Remeron twice: the night before I upped the Zoloft dosage & the night my parents & aunt & uncle arrived at our house for a 4-night stay. (Who wouldn't get stressed out about that?!) I am truly amazed at how easily I'm falling asleep and getting back to sleep, even after being awakened several times a night by noise from my mother-in-law's walker. (She's staying with us for a month & uses a walker due to her prosthetic leg.)

When I read posts saying "I had terrible insomnia & got over it and you will, too," I wondered whether I would ever be able to say that, whether I would forever be unable to sleep and to fully enjoy my life and care for my baby like I wanted to. I'm so incredibly relieved to be (mostly) on the other side of this problem. I learned that everyone needs to find their own way through postpartum insomnia; for me, the solution was Remeron, Zoloft, time, and a great deal of support from my husband, friends, family, therapist, fellow church members, and people on boards like this. It was so reassuring to know that others had survived insomnia. I hope my experience will help others know that they're not alone and that insomnia does not have to be a permanent condition.
yay! :

i'm so happy you got the help you needed and got better. i told you you'd sleep again one day!

but i totally get feeling like you never will. it is an AWFUL feeling, and one i wouldn't wish on my worst enemy...

but the good news is, you're getting better! thanks for the update.
post #31 of 37
I am so glad that you are doing so much better!

I have been on Remeron before as well, prescribed for depression, but one of the things that I loved about it was how well it helped with my insomnia. It really is an amazing medication. I do have the sad issue of gaining a lot of weight on it (about 20 pounds a month ) so I can not stay on it for very long.

It is so hard to think clearly or about the future when you can not sleep. It feels like it is always going to be a life of being exhausted, sleepless and feeling so alone. I also find that I get really worked up and scared to even try to go to sleep, because I am so sure that I will not be able to sleep. Insomnia really does drain the color and joy out of life.

Thank you for sharing your story and how things can get better!
post #32 of 37
Congratulations estercita! That is wonderful news.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycandigirl View Post
It is so hard to think clearly or about the future when you can not sleep. It feels like it is always going to be a life of being exhausted, sleepless and feeling so alone. I also find that I get really worked up and scared to even try to go to sleep, because I am so sure that I will not be able to sleep. Insomnia really does drain the color and joy out of life.
ITA
post #33 of 37
Yay! I am so excited for you! I had excruciating anxiety that was "cured" by zoloft. I also had extreme PPD in addition to the insomnia. After 9 months I started, very slowly, weaning from the Zoloft. I have been med-free for 3 months and have normal insomnia from time to time and sometimes I take Ativan if I think I am going to have trouble winding down. The point is, I didn't have to take the Zoloft forever Good luck, thanks so much for the update! Oh, and I take tons of fish oil and magnesium citrate, the mag really seems to help.
post #34 of 37

Just reading all your posts on this page because I too have been suffering from serious Insomnia since my daughter was born, she is now 18 months!  I have gone back and forth from herbs to now Klonopin a Benzo which does the trick for sure.  I am sleeping, but the problem really is, I don't feel like myself the next day and I really do not want to stay on this pill or rely on it for sleep.  The other night I played soccer at 9pm, so since I have to take the half pill by 9 so as I can get up to breastfeed my daughter by 7am, I did not take it and did not sleep the entire night! It is so frustrating to think that my natural ability to sleep has been taken over now and I must rely completely on a pill for sleeping, I just want to end it and get back to myself.  If anyone has suggestions please send.  Oh and yes, we are still breastfeeding, but only morning, noon and before bed and only for comfort.  Weening is in the plans...........

post #35 of 37

I took Remeron in the '90s and couldn't wake up for the better part of a weekend!  I remember that one.

 

Orgasm does the trick for some people.

 

25-50 mg. of Benedryl for others (generic's just fine).

 

I know physicians that are fine with Klonopin during nursing, especially if it's not a newborn or an infant who is EBF.

 

A combination of approaches seems very reasonable.  You've gotten a lot of good suggestions from other posters, so I'm just kicking in my two cents.

 

I haven't had 5 straight hours of sleep since June of 2009, when I went off meds because I was pregnant.  My two year old still gets up every couple of hours to nurse.  He goes back to sleep quickly, but sometimes I don't.  Some days I can nap, and some days I can't due to anxiety or the dog barking next door (even with earplugs, a fan, and a pillow over my head).  I do try to get exercise and social contact and fairly healthy food.  No caffeine after my morning two cups of coffee.

 

DH and I would've likely seriously considered another child were it not for sleep deprivation.  There were other factors, but that was in the top couple.

post #36 of 37

I'll chime in, altho' I know it's an old thread.  I've had intermittent insomnia since my son night weaned at 14 months and it got worse with the return of my cycle when he was about 18/19 months old.  I have been taking ambien, but haven't found it particularly effective because of it's short half life.  Apparently there is a time released version for folks who's complaint is waking up and not being able to fall asleep again.  I actually find that 50 of benadryl works better...but it leaves me groggy in the am.  

 

Apparently, this kind of insomnia is a VERY common complaint from gestational moms...b/c of the hormonal shifts.  And, women in general have more insomnia than men do because of hormonal shifts.  

 

I hate it, hate not getting "enough" sleep.  The things that have helped include: benadryl, exercise (but only before 5pm, anything later keeps me up), limiting alcohol (if I've gone out with friends, eaten late and had a beer my sleep suffers significantly), eating early (prior to 7pm), and taking "good mood tonic"--which is basically a st. john's wort blend, and avoiding caffeine after 10am or so (last night I had a dish of chocolate ice cream...and didn't fall asleep well).  

 

That said, a "good sleep night" means waking up in the morning after 5am...I've always been an early bird, but it's ridiculous, and the amount of summer light we've been getting doesn't help.  

 

Hugs to those who are struggling with sleep.  

post #37 of 37

I'm also wakeful through the night. Exercise helps... and a nightcap.

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