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#1 of 59 Old 03-28-2013, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello folks,

 

I became a member a few years ago, and posted a little bit before my wee girl was born (August 2010) - in a state of happy excitement! Things have changed a lot since then. wink1.gif  I have been too busy to be involved in the forum. I've only been able to have five minute lurk sessions here and there. Alas. I would love to have the time to engage and interact on a whole tonne of subforums here, as they're all so interesting and helpful. I have SO many questions about my daughter and being a parent, I just wish I had a week to write a tonne of posts! 

 

Thanks anyway to mothering.com and the community...maybe available time will increase as the bub gets older? (can only hope!) smile.gif

 

Before I start my probably very long story, I just wanted to say that I've read as many of the insomnia threads here I could find, and also as much as I could on the Adrenal Fatigue, and Hibernation Diet threads.

 

I'm not sure what I'm wanting to achieve by posting, or if anything can be...but I guess I just need to reach out a little bit, and see if there is anyone else in my shoes (having success, or not?) with chronic post-partum insomnia. Currently, it is ruining my life...and I'm just not sure what to do next.

 

The background: My first daughter was born in August 2010 (she will be an only). It was not the birth I wished for (have also read in the birth trauma forum, and found that very useful) - I laboured on and off for two days, but didn't progress and ended up having an unplanned c-section. Recovery was good, but I did find the first few weeks much harder than I'd expected (does everyone?).

Then my partners father died suddenly, and somehow we ended up going to live with my 'mother-in-law' for a few months (it's a long story). I was incredibly miserable during this time...and felt imprisoned, stressed....lots of bad things. But we got through that, and the three of us, moved back into a new house. 

My little girl was an atrocious sleeper as a baby. People just never believed (until they saw for themselves) that even at only a month old, she was able to keep her eyes open (crying for some of that time) for up to seven hours. It was quite a stressful start to things...and she didn't start sleeping a little more 'normally' until she was about six months old (coincidentally, when we moved out of the MIL's house). I breastfed her until she was 1, and about that time she started sleeping through the night.

 

I'd never looked forward to anything so much in my life! Obviously *I* would also be able to sleep through the night too! Woohoo!

 

No.

 

Fast forward to now.

It's now been about a year and a half that I've had this insomnia. Though if you count the bit at the beginning, I haven't had a proper nights sleep since two nights before she was born, just over 2.5 years ago.

There has not been one night in all this time, not one single night, that I have slept for more than 5.5 solid hours in a row. 5.5 hours is a 'good' night, where I'll only wake once, and then hopefully go back to sleep for another hour or so. 

In my pre-baby, pre-insomnia days, I needed at least 9 hours sleep to function well and happily. These current levels are slowly killing me. I was also a night owl in my previous incarnation, and find the early to bed, early morning thing very difficult too. How do night owls deal with having kids at all I sometimes wonder!

 

I don't have trouble going to sleep (usually, ocassional nights I will toss and turn for a couple of hours). But without fail, I wake up every single night, usually twice - after about 3-5 hours sleep, then if I get back to sleep again, an hour or so after that. I'm basically tossing and turning from the first wakeup (around 2-4 am) until the morning, when we all get up at 6.30am. I used to wake up exactly at 2 and 4, in spite of different bedtimes. Now it is a little more random. Sometimes 3.30. Sometimes 2am then 5.30.

 

I'm so miserable.guilty.gif

I'm so exhausted.

It affects everything so very much. But to summarise, on a good day, I struggle through the exhaustion and make it to the end (phew). On a bad day, when something little goes wrong (e.g. my wee one has been dropping naps of late - which is freaking me out no end) - I lose it a bit...either getting angry with her or my partner (and then feeling guilty) or super-sad. If something unexpected happens in life, which seems it is par for the course with a toddler...I just feel unable to cope with it well, because I am soooo tired....all the time.

 

I know I'm an anxious person, and I also have some bad habits (unfortunately I took up smoking again after we weaned...very unhappy about that too) - coffee etc. I haven't managed to control/kick these things yet. These things all muddy the insomnia waters a bit.

 

Anyway. It has taken me a year and a half to finally get to the Doctors for an appointment. (We're far away from our nearest town, so not an easy trip to make). She's a lovely doctor, and did tests for the major things: thyroid, diabetes, iron etc. All came back fine, and she hasn't offered me anything else to help. And ever since, I've been even more down - as I'd been hoping against hope that there was actually something physical wrong with me! So much easier to deal with than no clue's, and the possible inference that it's psychological.

 

A part of me thinks (hopes?) it still is physical, since I feel so wired when I wake up. Like the symptoms I read in the Adrenal Fatigue thread. Also I had very severe night sweats after bubs was born...and even after we weaned, and still now, I get them, though less severely (I'm not pre-menopausal however). The wakeups seem more frequent just before my period as well. The doctor however, has nothing more to offer - and doesn't want to do hormone tests. :(

 

I've tried melatonin. I've tried over-the-counter, herbal sleeping tablets.

Have recently tried raw honey (ala Hibernation Diet) - and disappointingly I've had worse nights than ever during honey nights, so have stopped it for the moment. Weird.

 

I haven't tried full-on exercise (no time, no energy to even contemplate) and I haven't tried prescription drugs (very reluctant) - nor sleep restriction therapy - though all these things are on the table as options. I keep waiting to feel desperate enough to try one or the other....but although every morning, after another horrible night, I feel that desperate, I just keep hoping something will just magically change before I have to resort to extreme 'cures'.

 

Stress is likely an underlying cause - we are building a house (currently renting) but it is going way over budget and schedule. My darling girl stresses me a bit too - parenting is much harder than I was expecting it would be....but I just can't tell how much of the 'hardness' is my own inability to focus etc, because of exhaustion. I also work from home, but have so little time to do it, that that is a constant pressure too.

 

I've also considered post-natal depression. The first six months were so hard, I think I was mildly depressed. Since then, whilst things are still hard - I'm tending to feel that it's the insomnia that is causing a depressive/hopeless state, not the other way around. But who knows.

 

What a ramble!

 

I would love to hear from anyone who is in the same boat. Someone who was always a good sleeper, but who has had chronic insomnia following the birth of their child. Any advice on what to try next - or what to approach my doctor with...or...or...well, anything really.

 

 

And to any other insomniacs - especially one's who were caught unawares, and had always slept like angels before - my heart goes out to you. I hope you can overcome it, and get back to proper nights of zzzz's. 

sleeping.gif

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Grover

 

PS: I'm not sure this is the right forum for this....?

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#2 of 59 Old 03-29-2013, 05:06 AM
 
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I have it. I think I have what you are talking about. I haven't found anything to help either. I have 2 children. And one was horrible sleeper, waking every 2 hours for 3  years. Then I got pregnant and couldn't sleep. Then my second child slept pretty good for a while. Now she wakes like once. She is 27 months now. I wake sometimes every 2 hours, sometimes only once but am up for 2-3 hours. So I get like 5-6 hours up sleep, broken up. I have to get up with my other daughter at 6:45 for school. And my youngest goes to bed at 9-10 sometimes.

 

I can't sleep even if I want to. I am grumpy. I used to smoke years ago but don't anymore and I gave up caffeine and I still have it. My blood tests have all been great

 

The only thing I am going to try now is massage or chiro work? I don't know what else to do. I was going to try SAMe, I think I read that was helpful.

 

I do take a lot of magnesium, sometimes that will help. I wish I could offer more.
 


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#3 of 59 Old 03-29-2013, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lillymonster View Post

I have it. I think I have what you are talking about. I haven't found anything to help either. I have 2 children. And one was horrible sleeper, waking every 2 hours for 3  years. Then I got pregnant and couldn't sleep. Then my second child slept pretty good for a while. Now she wakes like once. She is 27 months now. I wake sometimes every 2 hours, sometimes only once but am up for 2-3 hours. So I get like 5-6 hours up sleep, broken up. I have to get up with my other daughter at 6:45 for school. And my youngest goes to bed at 9-10 sometimes.

 

I can't sleep even if I want to. I am grumpy. I used to smoke years ago but don't anymore and I gave up caffeine and I still have it. My blood tests have all been great

 

The only thing I am going to try now is massage or chiro work? I don't know what else to do. I was going to try SAMe, I think I read that was helpful.

 

I do take a lot of magnesium, sometimes that will help. I wish I could offer more.
 

Hi there,

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply. smile.gif

 

I don't know how you do it with two children. Kudos to you for coping/surviving. Not having proper sleep, night after night, week after week, month after month - is the most soul-destroying thing I've ever experienced. Massage might be a nice way to alleviate some stress....?

 

When you take magnesium - what changes about the sleep?

I did try magnesium for a couple of weeks, but it didn't seem to do anything for me - maybe I wasn't patient enough.

 

What is SAMe?

 

Grover

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#4 of 59 Old 03-29-2013, 03:39 PM
 
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I had this. It was horrible.

My suggestion is to find another doctor pronto. This seems obviously hormonal to me. Regular docs just don't seem to understand about hormonal issues. Maybe some do but I have not met one. My only relief came when I saw a naturopath.

So, if you can find a naturopath, do that. Or find an endocrinologist. If you suspect it's hormonal then you are probably right. You know your body best. Your doc doesn't want to check your hormones? Translation: "I don't understand about hormones so I don't want to go that route."

I would also recommend chiropractic and maybe some cranial sacral therapy (google it if you don't know what that is- it's awesome). My naturopath gave me a tincture with California poppy in it. It was heaven! I would have shot up heroine if I thought it would help!! (don't shoot heroine LOL)

Good luck. I feel your pain!

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#5 of 59 Old 03-29-2013, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had this. It was horrible.

My suggestion is to find another doctor pronto. This seems obviously hormonal to me. Regular docs just don't seem to understand about hormonal issues. Maybe some do but I have not met one. My only relief came when I saw a naturopath.

So, if you can find a naturopath, do that. Or find an endocrinologist. If you suspect it's hormonal then you are probably right. You know your body best. Your doc doesn't want to check your hormones? Translation: "I don't understand about hormones so I don't want to go that route."

I would also recommend chiropractic and maybe some cranial sacral therapy (google it if you don't know what that is- it's awesome). My naturopath gave me a tincture with California poppy in it. It was heaven! I would have shot up heroine if I thought it would help!! (don't shoot heroine LOL)

Good luck. I feel your pain!

 

Thanks so much for your reply.

 

I think I could probably persuade my doctor into further testing (I just don't think she gets yet how desperate and on the edge I am). Besides, there is not really another doctor with room on their books near us.

I do think that hormones must be playing a part....surely? But it's the weirdest thing - all this info out there (and here) on all things pregnancy, birth, and post-partum...and I just can't seem to find anything to read online about hormones getting 'stuck' in a bad groove after birth....or, actually, anything much relating to long-term post-partum insomnia. It's very frustrating. Google and the internet are so often our friends....but I'm tending to get distracted with other bits of found info (e.g. Adrenal Fatigue, which may or may not be 'real', and which I may or may not have....argh).

 

I don't even know what I should be asking the doc to test for exactly, in regards to hormones. I suppose if I pushed her on it she would let me know the options if there were any.

Then of course, I wonder if there was an imbalance - how it could be corrected.....? I suppose I've always thought hormones were more or less impossible to sort out (except for menopause maybe).

 

I will contemplate a naturopath, or alternative medicine at some stage. I guess I just initially wanted to go the doctor route first.

 

How long did you have your insomnia for - and how quickly did you notice changes after you were being treated?

 

Thanks again for your thoughts.

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#6 of 59 Old 03-29-2013, 07:00 PM
 
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I only had it for about three months. A lot of it had to do with my thyroid being out of whack. I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimotos Thyroiditis, which basically means your body attacks your thyroid. After pregnancy, since my hormones changed, it took a while for me to get on the right dosage of meds again. The tincture and the cranial sacral really helped as well.

When it was happening I literally thought I was going crazy. It was hell.

Just a little back story: Before I was pregnant, I knew something was wrong with my thyroid. I went to five primary care physicians. I had many thyroid tests, they all came back "normal". i knew it was my thyroid but no one would believe me. When I finally got to a naturopath, she looked at the same tests and told me I needed medication. The truth is most GPs just don't know how to read the tests according to the latest research. Thyroid issues go undiagnosed all the time, and many people who have these issues are put on antidepressants. They tried to get me on them but I insisted I was not depressed - I was sick!!

I'm no doctor, but what you describe sure sounds like thyroid stuff, or maybe some other kind if hormonal issue. Since your doc said your thyroid was normal, I would get a second opinion from a naturopath or an endrocinologist. What is "normal range" for your doc may not be normal to someone who is more knowledgable. I know I said this before but you can see from my story why I say it. I would just hate for you to go five years (like me) with pain and suffering that can be easily handled with medication.

I wish the best for you. I guess I would also say to just try to some exercise even if you feel completely exhausted. It could make a huge difference.

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#7 of 59 Old 03-30-2013, 08:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Grover View Post

Hi there,

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply. smile.gif

 

I don't know how you do it with two children. Kudos to you for coping/surviving. Not having proper sleep, night after night, week after week, month after month - is the most soul-destroying thing I've ever experienced. Massage might be a nice way to alleviate some stress....?

 

When you take magnesium - what changes about the sleep?

I did try magnesium for a couple of weeks, but it didn't seem to do anything for me - maybe I wasn't patient enough.

 

What is SAMe?

 

Grover


I want to also suggest a sleep study if you could. My husband is getting his 2nd, but maybe something is waking you up...leg movement, maybe a reading that they can work out, maybe it is a breathing issue.

 

SAMe is an amnio acid that is supposed to help with depression. I have it and haven't started taking it. I have to talk to my doctor about it. Some people say it is very dangerous to take and some say there are no side effects.

 

For magnesium, it relaxes the muscles, most people are magnesium deficient. It can work pretty quickly. Usually recommended for restless leg syndrome. Also I up my iron intake, I think that help. My younger daughter has some weird sleep issue that is caused by low iron (PMLD - periodic movement limb disorder), as soon as she gets it, when she starts taking iron again it helps, but low iron is sometimes a cause of insomnia, so I do make sure I get a good dose of iron, mag and b vitamins (take those in the morning) You need to take a lot of mag., keep taking until stools are loose and then go back slightly and that should the the right amount. For example my bottles says 2 pills a day which was like 200 mg, but I took 6 pills, 600 mg of mag a day. My doctor said that was fine and that is the amount that works for me, 200 mg does nothing. Natural calm (a bottle of powder) is great to start with first because it explains how to dose

 

For the kids, as one went to school, I went back to bed or napped with the other one. I stay at home, there are many days I don't go anywhere and "nap" while my daughter plays on the floor in her room.

 

For my daughter, who hates to go to bed, we are trying this stuff called "warm milk" by nature's source (I think) which is supposed to help. I have used melatonin and not had success.

 

I hate to say this, but I have used benedryl to get to sleep in the middle of the night. It has worked, but I have had night where I am half asleep, aware I am not asleep but almost paralyzed, like I am in a twilight sleep. That is kind of the worst, but yeah, benedryl. But I also have a lot of itching and then dermagraphism, which is basically if I itch because of dry skin (always at night) then I scratch, I break out in hives, which itch more, then I scratch and make more hives. So I do actually need the benedryl.

 

I don't know, I still have it. I guess I should go to a doctor about it, in fact I mentioned sometimes to my doctor and she was like "well you have kids, so that is typical" and frankly I don't feel like pursuing it because I have other health issues with my kids that I have to deal with first.

 

Chiropractic work does sound good.


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#8 of 59 Old 03-30-2013, 10:14 AM
 
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Sort to hear what you are going through. Insomnia is miserable. I had awful post partum insomnia for a couple months when my son was 2-3 months old. Now he is 6 months old and, aside from his many night wakings, I am sleeping. The things that helped me the most were acupuncture and seeing a really good, thorough naturopath. The ND put me on a supplement called Kavinace, which helped wonders. She also prescribed herbs to help with long term adrenal support and anxiety reduction. It seems that you are resistant to try prescription sleep meds, so why the hesitation to see an ND? It sounds like your doctor is simply not able to help you with this, and since you stated that this is ruining your life, I want to encourage you to keep seeing practitioners until you find what works for you and you are sleeping again! Much luck and strength to you. I hope you are snoozing peacefully soon!

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#9 of 59 Old 03-30-2013, 01:42 PM
 
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I don't have time to read even all of the original post.

I have responded to other threads about sleep, so you may have read these suggestions.

Cherry juice has natural sleep inducers.

Fresh air, sunshine and exercise in the morning aids sleep at night.

Raspberry leaf tea, esp organic, is an excellant source of magnesium. Magnesium can aid sleep, esp if you're deficient.

Food allergies can trigger an adrenaline response, which inhibits sleep. It is a classic sign of an adrenaline responsr to have your eyes open, and you feel you cannot close them or relax. Another indicator is heart and breathing rates that are similar to being up and moving around instead of slow, as they should be when lying down, resting. If you suspect food allergies, identify it/them with a food-sleep log or journal. Note what you eat and when, as well as when you get to sleep and when you wake.

All of the above can work for your daughter, as well.

I would be happy to review your log/journal to look for problem food trends.

I spent years not getting enough sleep, until I identified and removed all the foods that were causing an adrenaline response. At the worst, I was getting only 1 hour of sleep every 24 hours. The sooner you take steps to address the cause of the insomnia, the better.
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#10 of 59 Old 03-31-2013, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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@ dalia

Thanks for that extra info, and sharing a bit more of your story. I think I am going to go back to the doctor, and ask for some more specific testing along hormone and thyroid lines - at least as a starting point in the ongoing saga. I wonder though that if with the thyroid, there would be other symptoms? I don't seem to have anything else askew, except perhaps for the sweating and more obvious pms.

 

Though it just sounds moany, it's actually quite difficult to get to the doctor, as we're so far away, and so busy. I've been neglecting myself totally since my daughter was born, and finally saw a dentist recently, and have had to use the rare 'town' visits to get a whole lot of expensive dental work done (like I needed that! but obviously I shouldn't have left it so long...whoops). Dentist told me that I'm grinding my teeth at night (never done that before either)...and am making a bit of a mess of old fillings etc. Yet another clue - or perhaps just another symptom of sleep that is already very disturbed.

 

I think I'm like you in that I'm not truly depressed, but feel physically disabled somehow...which is making me feel exhausted and stressed. I strongly believe that if I can get the sleeping happening again...and I feel rested, that I will be able to get back to my previously reasonably-happy self. Though that person has well and truly left the building currently. My partner and my child are suffering too from my moods and lack of coping - and though it's been super hard to motivate myself at all....I really need to find the will to keep going, and try and find out what is wrong with me and if it can be fixed - for them too.

 

 

@ lillymonster

Thanks for your post and the info about magnesium and SAMe. And I fantasise about being able to take a sleep study!! (really, I lie in bed sometimes wishing I was in a lab...where either I ironically get a good nights sleep, ha ha, or where at least someone would be able to say: Yes, your body/brain is doing XYZ....this is how we can help...) Realistically though, I don't think it's feasible at this stage in my girls life for me to sleep away from home - not the way things are at the moment anyway.

 

Melatonin was my doctor's first and only real suggestion...but I had already tried it - and nothing changed at all. And Benedryl has been suggested to me by a couple of friends - but, well, I haven't gotten around to it...but also suspect that because I can normally go to sleep fine, but wake up frequently, that it wouldn't help with that. But who knows!

 

Your doctors response is very much like mine! Mine said: Well...you go through different phases in life...you used to sleep well...and this is just a 'not-sleeping-so-well' phase...it will probably pass. Argh. (Also, when I half-jokingly told her I felt like I was dying, she took me literally and informed me that insomnia wasn't fatal. Ha ha. Yes, I know that.) The thing is, she IS a very good doctor in all other ways, and I do think she'll listen if I go back again, so I think I have to try her one more time before I give up on her helping me.

 

I also know what you mean about having to deal with your kids first. That is what I've been doing for 2.5 years too - and at the moment my girl is giving us  a VERY hard time in terms of behaviour and not-sleeping herself. Every time something goes 'wrong' with her (e.g. not napping) - it's like the end of my world! Mostly because when she doesn't nap, she wakes up at night - so it's all very selfish of me...I'm always so worried about my own sleep/exhaustion, that I overreact to what I'm sure are just normal and common toddler things. Having said that, most days it seems impossible to focus on myself in a positive way, let alone find the time to actually make a phonecall or research something. Sigh. Very difficult. Am looking forward to a future when both parenting, and sleeping is just a tad easier (or at least the latter?).

My partner has taken her out for a couple of hours (which are nearly up) - he should be working on finishing our new house - but....I'd go completely and utterly mental without one break a day.

 

 

@ planet

I have definately considered acupuncture. And it's not that I'm hesitant about seeing a naturopath per se - it's more a combo of a) not being able to find the time to actually find one anywhere near us...and b) we can't really afford it. So, just nervous to go down that route and spend money...but have it be on the wrong naturopath I guess. But if my doctor won't go into any more depth on the issue with me...I will definately try and find one. Having never been to one before - should I find one that is qualified to do medical testing? I think in the country where I am, anyone can call themselves a naturopath. I'd have to try and figure out someone with proper credentials. Adrenal support and anxiety reduction sound like the fit the bill too, which is why I was looking closely at the Adrenal Fatigue thread. But then I stopped myself suddenly changing my diet and lifestyle completely...realising that I really needed some kind of proper diagnosis...or at least I need to try and get one first. I just don't have that time to waste really (she says, after taking 1.5 years to even start trying to find a solution!)

 

I suspect that I need something like massage or acupuncture to relieve stress and anxiety - but we live far from these types of services, so for the moment, I need to try and help myself if I can. (Wish I could get a prescription that would make my partner give me regular massages!)

 

 

@ pek64

Thanks for your post. No problem about not reading mine....it was loooong (as is this one). I had forgotten until you wrote it, but cherry juice was the very first thing I tried - but it was a long time ago now. I drank half a big bottle (in proper amounts, over a number of weeks) - but it didn't stop the wakeups. I think the magnesium is perhaps something I could try again though. And, if I can drag myself into the right frame of mind and get organised - I can definately try to do some exercise in the morning sometime. The allergy theory is interesting, my gut (excuse the pun) feeling is that this is not what is going on...but I'm going to seriously contemplate all info and advice given to me, to see if it fits or if I can act on it - and am grateful for your time. 

 

 

 

 

 

Would still love to hear any other opinions if they're out there - and, no matter how long it takes, I will be sure to update this thread if/when I find out what is going on, and if/when I am cured and sleeping again. 

 

It seems like the easiest next step for me is to re-visit my doctor, but armed with requests for specific tests and see what she makes of it all. I guess I'll have to do some Googling about when would be a good time in my cycle to get hormone testing done - unless anyone knows?

And whether timing is important for the more detailed thyroid tests (assuming she didn't do detailed one's to start with - I was just told thyroid is fine).

Then - if that all leads to nothing - I will begin my hunt for someone else to help.

Any thoughts on how to choose a naturopath would be great too.

 

 

Really appreciate everyone's thoughts. Apologies for another long post...am just stealing the time while I can. The little girl is back soon...and I'm trying to prepare myself for the naptime battle of wills (I tell myself I'll can be calm...but, no...)....aick.

 

Thanks again. I really appreciate it. It seems like such a complicated problem (at the moment, when I have no clue to the cause) - and starting this thread, has at least helped me focus a bit. I keep half-heartedly trying things, when really I have no clue what I'm doing. Very unscientific of me...and perhaps not a very good idea.

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#11 of 59 Old 03-31-2013, 09:03 PM
 
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Hi there, I just wanted to let you know, you're not alone.  I also am dealing with insomnia and postpartum anxiety after my third who is a year now.  I don't have any further advice from the ones already given above, I have tried much of them and am still seeking...Its hard to deal with for sure.  Thanks for starting this. 

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#12 of 59 Old 04-01-2013, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there, I just wanted to let you know, you're not alone.  I also am dealing with insomnia and postpartum anxiety after my third who is a year now.  I don't have any further advice from the ones already given above, I have tried much of them and am still seeking...Its hard to deal with for sure.  Thanks for starting this. 

Hi there. Thanks for replying. It is very good to know I'm not alone. I'm so surprised there is not more information out there about it. It's very frustrating. I think the worst thing is being so busy (and so tired) that I can't seem to find the time to do anything at all about it. My little girl takes up every spare second of my day - and then days pass, then weeks and months. It's also frustrating that it's so out of one's control (seemingly). Every night, whether I've taken honey, or mega Vit-C or whatever...I just hope and think: This could be the night...maybe tonight...all I need to do is not wake up. I fall asleep, tricking myself that I'm not worried...whatever will be will be - still hoping for the best.

But no.

I wish you all the best. And as I said above, I will post back here with any progress and outcomes during the journey....though it might take me a fair while to get things going. (Can't actually have another doc appointment until I've finished the dental stuff in three weeks...)

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#13 of 59 Old 04-03-2013, 04:38 PM
 
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I also know what you mean about having to deal with your kids first. That is what I've been doing for 2.5 years too - and at the moment my girl is giving us  a VERY hard time in terms of behaviour and not-sleeping herself. Every time something goes 'wrong' with her (e.g. not napping) - it's like the end of my world! Mostly because when she doesn't nap, she wakes up at night - so it's all very selfish of me...I'm always so worried about my own sleep/exhaustion, that I overreact to what I'm sure are just normal and common toddler things. Having said that, most days it seems impossible to focus on myself in a positive way, let alone find the time to actually make a phonecall or research something. Sigh. Very difficult. Am looking forward to a future when both parenting, and sleeping is just a tad easier (or at least the latter?).

My partner has taken her out for a couple of hours (which are nearly up) - he should be working on finishing our new house - but....I'd go completely and utterly mental without one break a day.

 

I know exactly how you feel...this have been a rough 5 years for me. I think when my second sleeps through the night, there will be a huge change in my family. Sad but true.

 

But with my first, yes she did give up naps around 2, but by 3 she slept through the night. 12 hours straight. Of course then I got pregnant again! I am counting the days until my second does the same. She is not napping everyday anymore either.


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#14 of 59 Old 04-04-2013, 08:51 PM
 
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Ah I see. I didn't realize when I first posted how far away from stuff you are! You might give the Kavinace a try. It was a lifesaver for me. You can read the reviews on Amazon. It is expensive for a supplement but so worth it. Once you get back on track with sleeping you can just keep it by your bed just in case. Wishing you plenty of rest in the not too distant future.

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#15 of 59 Old 04-07-2013, 03:54 PM
 
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Please knkow that I only read your original post because I'm short on time but have you tried melatonin?  It's probably one of the most natural easily-obtainable things you could try before you try actual meds like sleeping pills.  It doesn't PUT you to sleep, just assists in you falling asleep.  It won't keep you asleep either so it's not going to knock you out where you can't wake up for your daughter.  That's why I like it.  My 13 year old had some insomnia issues with Concerta(for her ADHD) and I asked our pediatrician about melatonin and she was all for it.  When I am having trouble with anxiety, I take melatonin and it usually does the trick unless I'm really bad and ruminating a lot.  Both my daughter and I took one 5mg pill at bedtime and we usually would be out within 30 minutes or so  


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#16 of 59 Old 04-08-2013, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please knkow that I only read your original post because I'm short on time but have you tried melatonin?  It's probably one of the most natural easily-obtainable things you could try before you try actual meds like sleeping pills.  It doesn't PUT you to sleep, just assists in you falling asleep.  It won't keep you asleep either so it's not going to knock you out where you can't wake up for your daughter.  That's why I like it.  My 13 year old had some insomnia issues with Concerta(for her ADHD) and I asked our pediatrician about melatonin and she was all for it.  When I am having trouble with anxiety, I take melatonin and it usually does the trick unless I'm really bad and ruminating a lot.  Both my daughter and I took one 5mg pill at bedtime and we usually would be out within 30 minutes or so  

Hi there. Thanks for that.

I didn't mention it in my original post (one further down though) - but I did try melatonin right at the beginning. It didn't seem to work for me at all. 

I just can't shake the feeling that my body/brain has just not snapped out of breastfeeding mode somehow. Seems like I'm waking myself up, alert, twice a night - in case the 'baby' is hungry or something. My body/brain just seems stuck in a stupid groove. The timing of the wakeups is almost the same each night. It's just so frustrating...as there is no need to be awake. No need to wake up every 3 or 4 hours. Argh.

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Hi there. Thanks for that.

I didn't mention it in my original post (one further down though) - but I did try melatonin right at the beginning. It didn't seem to work for me at all. 

I just can't shake the feeling that my body/brain has just not snapped out of breastfeeding mode somehow. Seems like I'm waking myself up, alert, twice a night - in case the 'baby' is hungry or something. My body/brain just seems stuck in a stupid groove. The timing of the wakeups is almost the same each night. It's just so frustrating...as there is no need to be awake. No need to wake up every 3 or 4 hours. Argh.


I was wondering how you are doing. I was thinking of this post the other night because my daughter is now finally sleeping at least 10 hours a night not waking up. But I wake up at the same times, sometimes every 3 hours, usually around 2 and 5, and then I have to get up at 6:45. And now I can't go to sleep until 11 at night! I am up at 5 and then don't bother falling asleep because I know I can't fall asleep in an hour. The other night I woke up at 1:30 and laid there not falling asleep. After 2 hours, I took some benedryl and fell asleep shortly afterwards but it drives me nuts!


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#18 of 59 Old 04-09-2013, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering how you are doing. I was thinking of this post the other night because my daughter is now finally sleeping at least 10 hours a night not waking up. But I wake up at the same times, sometimes every 3 hours, usually around 2 and 5, and then I have to get up at 6:45. And now I can't go to sleep until 11 at night! I am up at 5 and then don't bother falling asleep because I know I can't fall asleep in an hour. The other night I woke up at 1:30 and laid there not falling asleep. After 2 hours, I took some benedryl and fell asleep shortly afterwards but it drives me nuts!

Hi again.

 

I'm sorry to hear about your waking. It's the worst isn't it? It's just so hard to get other's to understand too. My partner kind of gets it - but he doesn't really, as he sleeps soundly, and gets just the right amount of sleep he needs. Bless him...but he isn't sick of me moaning about it yet - which amazes me after all this time.

It's a horrible thing knowing your baby girl is doing good sleeping things....but you're not. It's actually turned me into quite a selfish person in this regard. I find myself JEALOUS of my partner...and I get super stressed if anything interferes with my own early bedtime. It's just not a good place to be in.

It's the same for me in that I often wake up at 4.30 or 5 am, as the 'last' wake up. Then it's all just tossing and turning until 6.30am. I can't even get out of bed because of our crazy squeaky floorboards which wake up my girl in the next room (seriously!) Argh.

 

Nothing has changed with me. Everything in my life seems to go at glacial speed. (See how long it took for that first doc's appointment, hmm.) I'm having a not very good week with it I have to say. Am very tired - and am waking up twice each night, then permanently at 5am or so. Exhausting. Stress is at an all time high though...with our house build, and other things....my daughter is very up and down too this week (maybe she's getting my vibes?)

 

I just don't know when I'm going to be able to get to the doctor again, because of circumstances and distance - it's frustrating. In the last couple of days I've been wondering if I should just forget all about trying to get a medical diagnosis, or taking random supplements (I'm not taking any now...because there are just too many to choose from, too many random avenues that I could go down, and I'd decided that I needed to know 'why', before I self-treated) - and just do something really radical to re-set my 'clock'.

 

Like sleep restriction therapy.

Which, basically involves calculating the maximum number of hours you CAN currently stay asleep for...then going to bed at the time that will give you that exact amount of time in bed before you have to get up in the a.m. Then once you've 'slept through' (oh how I hate that phrase now) for 3-4 nights, you're allowed to go to bed 30 minutes earlier.

For me that would mean going to bed at 1am. Ha ha. The thought of it makes me laugh hysterically, as I can't keep my eyes open past 10.30pm....but, well, I really nearly do feel desperate enough to try it.

The trouble is - everything I've read about it suggests that you have to be UBER-strict. The other thing I read about it, is that you need to try and have a bit of a clear schedule to attempt as for a month or so you'll feel even MORE exhausted. Obviously you can't 'clear your schedule' when you're a parent....so I just don't know if it's even a wise thing to attempt.

 

Can you tell how tired I am by all this rambling?

 

I only mention it as an option - because of this strong feeling that my body/brain *thinks* it should be waking up. If I could fool it with this method....well, maybe I could be cured. The other thing that has been striking me of late, is that although I'm exhausted, and that has made me mildly depressed...and perhaps I'm a little low on iron - otherwise I am healthy. So....maybe? looking for a physical cause, i.e. an actual illness or imbalance is not the right thing to try next.

 

Hmm.

I remain confused in other words. And definitely not cured.

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I have 3 DDs (7, 4 and 2) and have definitely had sleep problems since having the first.  For me, it seems to stem from not really EVER being able to turn off my mommy alarm system and it seems that I'm always on hyper alert- I joke with DH that the sound of a fly sneezing in a different state will keep me awake for an hour.  Even if I fall asleep, if ANYTHING wakes me  up (or anything internal, like nothing at all, getting up to use the bathroom, etc) I have an almost impossible time falling asleep.  I've been through worse, awful and OK ish stages with this in the last 6 or so years and am in a good stage now.  Here is what is working for me (I should add that I'm more "mainstream" than many MDC users, so never consulted anyone beyond my PCP).

 

- a FULL hour before bed, I take 10mg melatonin and 1 benadryl

-DH has the baby monitors for the two younger kids on his side of the bed and we've taught the kids to come to him for anything they need at night (he can easily go right back to bed, he wakes me if there is a need for help, like someone is sick, but it is better for us all if he handles quick things like hugs etc).

-I use ear plugs (the highest noise rating I can find) and a white noise app on our ipad (or a window fan)...even with this, I still hear most noises before he does!)

-most importantly, we set up a second place where I can move to during the night if I wake up... I usually falll asleep fine in our bed but wake up sometime between 2 and 5 for some reason.  If I don't fall right back to sleep, I move to the other spot.  It was our guest room before DD3, now its a twin air mattress in our walk in closet.  its embarassing and annoying, but 1000000x better for me and him and our family than me being tired and miserable all the time.  I move there and fall back tosleep.  this works well b/c he gets up first and I can sleep for a few extra minutes in the morning anyway.

-nights when I know i "can't" move out of our bed, like if we are in a hotel on vacation or something and the kids are in the room with us, I use ambien. It knocks me out and I sleep through the night like a log.

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#20 of 59 Old 04-12-2013, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have 3 DDs (7, 4 and 2) and have definitely had sleep problems since having the first.  For me, it seems to stem from not really EVER being able to turn off my mommy alarm system and it seems that I'm always on hyper alert- I joke with DH that the sound of a fly sneezing in a different state will keep me awake for an hour.  Even if I fall asleep, if ANYTHING wakes me  up (or anything internal, like nothing at all, getting up to use the bathroom, etc) I have an almost impossible time falling asleep.  I've been through worse, awful and OK ish stages with this in the last 6 or so years and am in a good stage now.  Here is what is working for me (I should add that I'm more "mainstream" than many MDC users, so never consulted anyone beyond my PCP).

 

 

 

Hi there. Thanks for your thoughts.

This is exactly it I think - the mummy alarm system. Or some weird primordial post-breastfeeding alarm. Wake up! Wake up! The baby needs you! Gah. I'm glad to hear that you're in a good place with it at the moment. Gives me hope.

And kudos to you for dealing with 3 little one's AND this problem. My one keeps me so on-edge and busy and challenged - I just can't imagine what kind of zombie I would be if I had to do that x3, plus deal with bad sleep.

Quote:

- a FULL hour before bed, I take 10mg melatonin and 1 benadryl

-DH has the baby monitors for the two younger kids on his side of the bed and we've taught the kids to come to him for anything they need at night (he can easily go right back to bed, he wakes me if there is a need for help, like someone is sick, but it is better for us all if he handles quick things like hugs etc).

-I use ear plugs (the highest noise rating I can find) and a white noise app on our ipad (or a window fan)...even with this, I still hear most noises before he does!)

-most importantly, we set up a second place where I can move to during the night if I wake up... I usually falll asleep fine in our bed but wake up sometime between 2 and 5 for some reason.  If I don't fall right back to sleep, I move to the other spot.  It was our guest room before DD3, now its a twin air mattress in our walk in closet.  its embarassing and annoying, but 1000000x better for me and him and our family than me being tired and miserable all the time.  I move there and fall back tosleep.  this works well b/c he gets up first and I can sleep for a few extra minutes in the morning anyway.

-nights when I know i "can't" move out of our bed, like if we are in a hotel on vacation or something and the kids are in the room with us, I use ambien. It knocks me out and I sleep through the night like a log.

 

 

Thanks for the above. There are a couple of those things that I do already....

Ear plugs. Oh, I love my earplugs! Actually, I'm a bit addicted to them...and if I run out, I have to jam cotton wool in my ears.

And like you, my partner has the monitor. Though our situation (sleeping issues, really have changed...though not entirely ruined our lives) is a bit weird at the moment. He is sleeping downstairs (with the monitor) in my office - originally because of his snoring, but also my tossing and turning was just too irritating. Also so that he can watch tv until later, whilst the two of us girlies go to bed early. One of us needs to get proper sleep! Anyway, I'm upstairs in the master bedroom, right next to LO's bedroom. I can totally hear her if she wakes up though...and it's usually me that does any night visits. Hmm.

 

Back to your post. It is quite limiting to not have anywhere I can go when awake. Can't even sneak to the kitchen. (Really, the floor in our rental goes off like shotguns, it's ridiculous)

It used to be the other way around, and I slept in the office (there's a nice bed in there - nobody is curled around the computer trying to keep warm) - perhaps we'll try swapping again....especially if I decide to go down the 'sleep restriction' route, where I will need to be doing something to keep myself awake etc. Why not some work?

 

 

As things stand at the moment - I'm yet again overwhelmed. I have these very brief periods (a few days at a time) where I feel I MUST do something...and fast...and get slightly motivated - and then life, our house build, the kiddo....money problems...get in the way of those great intentions, and I find another few weeks have passed and it's all unchanged.

At this stage I still don't know when/if I can get back to the doctor - and we're at a very critical stage in our house build - all hands on deck - and I'm having to put myself to the side (again) so I can do a lot more child-caring. This is so exhausting for me, that I literally don't have the energy to even think about my own problem...I just simply look forward to going to bed each night and reading my book, and then trying hard not to be tooooo depressed each morning when I finally get up feeling like I've been run over by a truck. It's funny really, how you never get used to it. You think you would. But I haven't.

 

I live in hope that I will find light at the end of the tunnel at some point. I'll keep posting, as and when I'm actually doing something about it.

 

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#21 of 59 Old 04-13-2013, 08:14 AM
 
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Hi Grover. Just want to chime back in with some internet hugs for you. Insomnia is so dreadful, and you have so much going on. I believe you will figure this out! (I'm resisting the urge to just ship a bottle of Kavinace to you for the meantime! But I respect your desire to not self medicate.smile.gif

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#22 of 59 Old 04-17-2013, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Grover. Just want to chime back in with some internet hugs for you. Insomnia is so dreadful, and you have so much going on. I believe you will figure this out! (I'm resisting the urge to just ship a bottle of Kavinace to you for the meantime! But I respect your desire to not self medicate.smile.gif

Thank you planetredface.gif

It's nice to have internet hugs.

 

Things are boringly unchanged - but something weird did happen last night. I slept for a solid 6 hours. Which is one hour more than my usual 'best' nights. I was still tossing and turning from 5am onwards....but well, that extra hour just got tacked on there for some reason. Maybe there's hope. Maybe it's just because I'm so exhausted? Maybe it points to the sleep restriction thing working for me, if I dared to try it properly (which I don't at the moment).

 

I would (and have before) totally self-medicate...it's just that the options are so infinite! This mineral, this vitamin, this herbal concoction...this diet etc. I try something for a couple of weeks - like Melatonin, or Magnesium...then get all peeved because nothing changes, and just give it up again. Maybe with all those experiments I wasn't nearly patient enough?

 

The doctor is looking like a faraway dream at the moment with everything that is going on. I haven't even found the time to go back for my final two dental appointments (overdue for those by about a month already, whoops).

 

So - my current thinking....to stop myself just giving up altogether, and going nutty - is that partner and I have agreed to quit smoking properly - disgusting, soul-destroying habit that it is (we've yet to decide a date, but I think within the next month), and alongside that I'll cut out a lot of caffeine and sugar - maybe take some general multi-vits, B's, Magnesium. As people that smoke then quit know, quitting makes you VERY tired (actually, you're just running on normal speed - not slightly hyped up all the time from nicotine).

This, at least, I can do for myself. I just can't be so unhealthy on so many levels. The sleep thing is very very bad...I can feel my immune system crumbling. I need to strengthen myself a little. If I'm really keen/enthused - I'll try and thrown in a bit of exercise.

 

Beyond that - I will have to see how it goes.

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#23 of 59 Old 04-17-2013, 08:11 PM
 
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I've skimmed through a bit more of this. What I read sounds like an adrenaline response to me. With adrenaline in your system, you can only sleep when exhausted. Then you are awake. When you do wake in the night, is your pulse more like an active pulse, or resting one?

If it is adrenaline, you can exercise to use up some of it before gong to bed. Other than that, you need to find the cause. I'd guess an allergy, possibly food related. Keep a diary or log of activities, food, mood, and sleep. Then look for patterns

Long term sleep deprivation will effect mood, and can cause depression. Take time to take care of yourself.
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#24 of 59 Old 04-17-2013, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've skimmed through a bit more of this. What I read sounds like an adrenaline response to me. With adrenaline in your system, you can only sleep when exhausted. Then you are awake. When you do wake in the night, is your pulse more like an active pulse, or resting one?

If it is adrenaline, you can exercise to use up some of it before gong to bed. Other than that, you need to find the cause. I'd guess an allergy, possibly food related. Keep a diary or log of activities, food, mood, and sleep. Then look for patterns

Long term sleep deprivation will effect mood, and can cause depression. Take time to take care of yourself.

 

Hi again. Thanks for your thoughts. I do think there might be something in the adrenalin theory. I will try and take my pulse sometime. The food allergy seems more unlikely as my diet hasn't changed for years. I'm not generally an allergic person - and the insomnia only came about post-partum - so unless pregnancy etc has made me allergic, this one doesn't seem to fit. Also I don't have any other symptoms you might expect...? Thanks though.

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#25 of 59 Old 04-18-2013, 07:27 AM
 
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Food allergies can be mild enough to go unnoticed, then get more severe as a result of physical or emotional stress. Pregnancy, childbirth and new baby all count as stressors. Also, if you buy processed food, recipes and ingredients can be changed without you realizing it. I had that happen to me a few times!! It can't hurt to check your pulse and keep the log. Maybe nothing will come of it, but if you do discover an issue, you will have taken the first step to better sleep!
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#26 of 59 Old 04-21-2013, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't had my wits about me enough to check my pulse in the middle of the night yet - though I suspect it is not 'relaxed'.

 

Had an interesting few nights:

Following the miraculous 6 hour night - I just went back to 'normal' the next and the next night. Then I had another 6 hour night! Wth!? Woohoo........?? Well, maybe not. Kind of back to norm again now....but maybe the whole thing is winding down somehow? I don't know. I had to stay up late with the kiddo last night - sort of a random sleep restriction experiment - didn't get to bed again, or asleep until after 1am. That would be the time that I'd have to stay up for to try sleep restriction properly. In theory, I could've slept for 5 hours, and woken up at 6.30 with my alarm. But no. Woke at 4. Then again at 6. Bummer.

 

/end of update, where I demonstrate nothing is changing much, and I still have no clue.

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#27 of 59 Old 04-21-2013, 06:16 PM
 
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Have you been keeping a food log or diary?
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Have you been keeping a food log or diary?

 

No. And to be honest, I don't think I'll be starting to do that. I eat very healthily, and nothing has changed about my diet in years. I understand your point about pregnancy changing things....but, well, I'd need to feel as if I had other symptoms of an allergy - which I don't think I do.

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#29 of 59 Old 04-22-2013, 11:02 AM
 
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I hope you find a solution to your problem. If you decide to explore the possibility of an allergic response causing the insomnia, let me know.
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#30 of 59 Old 04-22-2013, 11:49 AM
 
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I've just skimmed through the thread.

 

First, you mentioned in your original post that you had an unplanned c-section after a long labor. We have a support group that might interest you, so feel free to join if you'd like to connect with others who can relate to that experience: http://www.mothering.com/community/groups/show/25/unplanned-c-section-support-group

 

I was so out of kilter after my c-section that it took a very long time to get myself back on track. My DD did not sleep through the night, not even once, until she was 27 months old. I night weaned her at 30 months. So that whole time she was nursing multiple times a night, and so I got used to waking up. And then for about 18 months after that, I would continue to wake up during the night, usually around 2:30 or 3:00 am, and often I would not be able to get back to sleep for hours, or sometimes not at all. This would happen 2-3 times a week.

 

I was so sleep deprived that I couldn't think properly and I wasn't functioning emotionally either. It was bad.

 

My diet was fine & I was getting exercise regularly. I didn't want to be prescribed sleeping pills, so I didn't bother going to a regular MD.

 

What finally helped me was:

--Acupuncture. I really think this was the best thing. I think my sleep system needed to "re-set" after so many years of disruption, and acupuncture did it for me.

--My acupuncturist also recommended an herbal tea that I started taking every night before bed. And I think it was effective because I started a routine of "winding down" about an hour before bedtime and sitting quietly and drinking tea. I no longer use that particular herbal tea, but I drink some chammomile every night before I go to bed, and I think the routine is important for me.

--I started being a stickler about having a consistent bedtime & nighttime routine. I get myself to be between 10-10:30 every night. And I give myself time to wind down first.

 

Now I rarely have insomnia, and when I do it's usually because something has knocked me out of my routine and I haven't been able to take my "wind down" time and get to bed on time. I can usually get myself back on track by just getting back to my routine.

 

GOOD LUCK! I know how miserable it can be to be chronically sleep deprived. I hope you find some relief soon!


Living in Wisconsin with my partner of 20+ years and our DDenergy.gif(Born 10/09/08 ribboncesarean.gif). Why CI Mama? Because I love contact improvisation!

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