Insomnia Tips - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-16-2013, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
demeter888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pinellas County, FL
Posts: 334
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

For those who have or had insomnia during pregnancy, what worked best for you?

 

 

I have found I am unable to sleep more than 7 hours a night no matter how sleep deprived I am.  I also find it almost impossible to nap during the day and have been like that since I was a toddler. 

 

 

FYI here is what I plan to start trying (if I am not already doing it):

 

1. maintain a rigid schedule no matter what, that follows my body's clock. (for me this means going to be ridiculously early.  If I don't, the sleepy feeling goes away.

2. layer several foam mattresses AND a body pillow, to improve circulation and reduce tossing and turning.  I use 4 pads now and find I don't twitch and have numbness like I used to.

3. Stay cool; use a lightweight sheet or blanket and no/few clothes.

4. Use white noise or a fan to drown out noises.

5. If I do get up in the night, stay in bed, write down whatever is on my mind, and turn off the light as soon as I feel sleepy again. Usually take around 45 minutes.

6. drink lots of water early in the day so you don't become parched by evening; avoid liquids and liquidy foods 3 hours before bed.

7. Blackout curtains.

8. This is really weird, but I have found eating to help a lot too if I wake up in the middle of the night.  It's like my body is highly attuned to nourishing the bun in the oven to prepare me for breastfeeding/night-feedings. A few pieces of bread tells my brain all is well.  I got this tip on the forum last year!

 

 

I also have a minor anxiety disorder that makes me a ridiculously light sleeper, and that's tougher during pregnancy.  Getting tuned in to our new circadian cycles is hard.  

demeter888 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-16-2013, 09:44 AM
 
Blanca78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The eastern edge of the Middle West
Posts: 2,078
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I can relate! It sounds like you may have it slightly more severely than I do, but I definitely suffer from the hellish, "I'm so tired, but can't sleep more than 6-7 hours" thing, which has dogged me since DD was born 2 years ago (I was a bad sleeper before, too, but she didn't help matters). I did take Trazodone, which helped, but have been weaning myself off it because I just found out I'm pregnant.

 

My main thing is waking up prematurely. Sometimes I can get back to sleep, sometimes not. Last night I was up from 2:30-5. I can't stand it.

 

Anyway, here's some of what's helped:

Listening to guided meditation podcasts--they often (but not always) relax me or occupy my mind enough that I can fall asleep. There are a lot of free sleep meditations out there on the internet.Getting up and reading to tire myself out again.

Definitely keeping snacks nearby, because when I wake up in the middle of the night really intense hunger often hits me.

I just started wearing a mouthpiece for sleep apnea--don't know if that's an issue for you. I had to get it through an orthodontist. But he said that people often sleep more deeply/wake up less once they treat the apnea. I still wake up, but I do think I sleep more soundly.

If I go off my SSRI, things definitely get worse.

 

I realized that due to my history of insomnia and the fact that I had no choice but to be very sleep deprived through my daughter's babyhood, I have a panic/trauma reaction to not being able to sleep. It's like an adrenaline rush--very unpleasant. So I have been working with a therapist to parse some of the obsessive thoughts I have about sleep. It is definitely about control to me--and for me, anxiety and control are incredibly intertwined. So one of her messages has been that it's important not to approach it like, "I MUST cure this insomnia," but instead to focus on the fact that I've been tired before and survived, and I can't necessarily control when it happens, but I can work on my reaction.

 

If you google "Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia," you'll find that this is a targeted subset of therapy that is different from standard talk therapy. A lot of the principles--like don't lie in bed unless you're sleepy, avoid napping, keep a sleep journal--are outlined on various websites and are things you can try to apply on your own even if you can't find a specialist to work with.

 

Good luck! I know it's a horrible thing. At this point I've gotten used to functioning on less sleep than I ever thought possible, and I hate it.

 

ETA--I think what you're already doing makes a lot of sense! Some great tips there.


Fiction writer by training, writer/editor of anything anyone will hire me for by trade. Me + D=my girls E (4/2011) and little N, 1/2014.

Blanca78 is offline  
Old 05-16-2013, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
demeter888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pinellas County, FL
Posts: 334
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Blanca,

 

Thank you so much for the tips! I too have control issue when I get worried about something.  For me it comes from having to take care of myself and others when I was too young, and I like how cognitive behavioral therapy is results oriented.  I often wake up in the night and have trouble getting tired if I'm sad or angry about something I haven't 'dealt' with, and meditation is the missing link to that.

 

I have also found amazing insights by reading a book called The Highly Sensitive Person, and it explains how people like myself have extremely sensitive nervous systems that have trouble settling down if we get over-aroused.  During pregnancy I'm even more sensitive to EVERYTHING.  Sunglasses help dull down visual stimulation.

demeter888 is offline  
Old 05-16-2013, 12:23 PM
 
Blanca78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The eastern edge of the Middle West
Posts: 2,078
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I definitely have at least a touch of HSP-ness. I am very sensitive to stimuli and easily overwhelmed, which means I've been like a lazy, grouchy old lady since I was twelve. Isn't it crazy how anxiety and sleeplessness heighten sensation? For me, my hearing and sensitivity to movement go off the charts. If DH so much as moves a finger, and I'm in the midst of trying to fall asleep, it startles me awake. Which is why cosleeping never worked for me--those infant snufflings kept me up all night.


Fiction writer by training, writer/editor of anything anyone will hire me for by trade. Me + D=my girls E (4/2011) and little N, 1/2014.

Blanca78 is offline  
Old 05-16-2013, 05:01 PM
 
devilish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Canada's Capital Region
Posts: 231
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I, too, have insomnia mostly from being pregnant. Unaided, I would only sleep 0 - 3 hours a night (staring at the inside of my eyelids the whole effing time). With Gravol (which I don't recommend if you have PTL issues), I can sleep about 6 hours a night. I will joyously take it and run.

Not pregnant, I can sleep 8 - 9 hours a night. So while 6 isn't my idea of awesome, it's a HELLA better than 0 - 3 hours.

 

 

Is it September yet?


Me (34) (PCOS), DH (36) and DD1 (4) and DD2(1). We are going to go for a third. Now, will we succeed?
devilish is online now  
Old 05-16-2013, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
demeter888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pinellas County, FL
Posts: 334
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by devilish View Post

I, too, have insomnia mostly from being pregnant. Unaided, I would only sleep 0 - 3 hours a night (staring at the inside of my eyelids the whole effing time). With Gravol (which I don't recommend if you have PTL issues), I can sleep about 6 hours a night. I will joyously take it and run.

Not pregnant, I can sleep 8 - 9 hours a night. So while 6 isn't my idea of awesome, it's a HELLA better than 0 - 3 hours.

 

 

Is it September yet?

 

I'm also due in september.  My heart goes out to you; that CANNOT be easy and I have no doubt you would already have tried everything.The weird thing with these pregnancy and PP symptoms is that I always feel like they will do permanent damage and last forever, but they mostly never do. it's an actual dysfunction of our brain that I saw scientists explain on a very cool show about brain science and recent discoveries about happiness; when we feel bad about something our brain simply has a difficult to impossible time conceiving that it will get better; it's illogical but it's a survival mechanism most people are hardwired for.

demeter888 is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off