Are you always tired? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-11-2010, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know it seems like a no-brainer....everyone says raising kids is exhausting. But, I'm still wondering whether my sleepiness is normal or a symptom of something else (sluggish adrenal glands, anemia, etc).

I'm a SAHM and have three sons (5, 3 and 1). They all "sleep through the night" -- in quotes because we have a waking probably once or twice a week for once reason or another (scary dream, too hot/cold, etc). But for the most part I sleep about 8 hours a night (10:30pm-6:30am). I wake up tired, usually feel fine after about 15 minutes and have plenty of energy in the morning.

Around 12:30 every day I hit a wall. Totally exhausted and sleepy. Like headache-inducing, can't keep my eyes open tired. My oldest goes to preschool from 12:30-3:00 and my younger two take a nap around that time. So I usually have a chance to nap. So, on top of 8 hours a night, I take a 1 hour nap about five-six days a week. (On the weekends when my DH is home, I ALWAYS get a nap)

It's all well and good, except I feel like I could be SOO much more productive if I didn't need this freaking nap so often. And my middle son is almost ready to give up his nap, so fairly soon I won't be able to do that anymore. I have friends who have kids my age who are super-productive during nap time....I'm just dead to the world in my bedroom.

Is anyone else this tired with 8 hours of sleep a night?

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Old 01-11-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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I need about 9 hours of sleep to feel rested, but that has always been true. Only getting 8 hours would have me chronically sleep deprived.

If you're getting roughly the same amount and quality of sleep you were pre-kids and you're still exhausted, I'd look into medical issues.

I've also found for myself that cutting way back on caffeine has helped me have more energy. I'm not sure if I'm sleeping better, or if just giving my body a rest from taking a stimulant all the time has helped.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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I need probably 10 hours of sleep a night to feel rested. Going to bed at 10:30 and being up at 6:30 would kill me! I would definitely need naps!
My situation is this: I am a single mom to an almost 1 year old who still nurses throughout the night (but we cosleep, so it's not a big deal) and as long as I get the hours I need I feel rested and don't need a nap. Although I only have one babe, you have 3 young kids, I would imagine that makes a huge difference!

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Old 01-11-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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My boys tire me out all the time!

I ruled out anemia because I eat plenty of foods with iron, but then my doctor recommended a blood test and found out that I am borderline anemic. So i am taking a multi-vitamin and I feel a little better. (I wonder what happened to all that iron that I ate?)
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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Yep, but I've been checked out for blood disorders, thyroid, etc. Fatigue is a common symptom for a bunch of medical and psychological problems, but sometimes, it's just the result of a busy, complicated life.

I'd definitely get checked out to rule out any underlying problems. If nothing specific comes up, consider diet and exercise and all that good stuff. Take care of yourself!
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:43 PM
 
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Yes, I'm always tired.

What are you eating for lunch? Do you eat any protein?
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:17 PM
 
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I've been fine and today I didn't eat any eggs or almonds like I usually do and around 12:45 I started dropping.
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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Me too. Although I don't think it's just my kids that make me tired. I'm totally stressed and overwhelmed right now and I too, am borderline anemic, which doesn't help either.
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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Hitting a wall can be a need for protein as pps have written, or thyroid and/or adrenal fatigue. Tests are unlikely to let you know if it's your thyroid or adrenal glands. Until recently in history, these issues were diagnosed by symptoms, not labs. The lab tests are insufficient for showing problems with these endocrine issues in most cases and when they do, it's a fluke. If you learn about how these glands work, you'll see why these tests cannot be effective at determining the health and well-being of these glands.

Check out a site called Stop the Thyroid Madness- google it. There is a ''long and pathetic list of symptoms' along the side. I'm going on four years of thyroid and adrenal gland treatment, which is a normal amount of time for bringing them back from near failure that still didn't show up on lab tests, but had me in ICU and on the brink of cardiac arrest nonetheless. Don't trust the labwork; if you suspect these as problems for you, you will have to do your own work and treatment unless you can find a sympathetic and highly skilled naturopath or extremely unusual dr.

Otherwise, it could just be not enough sleep.

In order of efforts, I would start adding an hour of sleep at night and eating high quality protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks consisting of a piece of cheese or bite of chicken, etc.... If that's not enough, then start looking into endocrine treatment through support supplements/herbs and if that's not enough then I'd begin taking glandulars, which is what I've had to do and it has saved my life, literally.

But you are not in as severe a condition as I was. If it is thyroid or adrenal fatigue, you would likely be able to deal with that with some more sleep, and well-chosen herbs, vitamins and minerals, along with protein. You must eat enough protein for your individual body's needs, and for me that need is far higher than recommended for others.

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Old 01-11-2010, 07:15 PM
 
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You might try adding a little bit of exercise into your day. I find if I don't do something I'll feel really exhausted. And maybe if you can't fall asleep earlier, try to at least be in bed and rest and slow down from your day.

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all the replies. It's good to hear that other people need more sleep than 8 hours to function. I've been sleepy since I was a teenager. I remember being 15 and coming home from school and taking a nap. So maybe my sleep needs are higher than usual and I just need to start going to bed at 9:30pm.

I do pretty well with protein. I eat a good protein breakfast every morning and usually snack on cheese sticks or nuts, so I don't think that is the problem.

I was borderline anemic when I had a checkup in September, but I've been taking a multi and additional iron supplement since then.

I am really interested in the thyroid connection. The symptoms for hypothyroidism have always fit me. But I've had my thyroid tested three times and I'm always in the normal range. Thank you, PreggieUBA2C for the insight that I need to look into this further. I might PM you with more questions.

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Old 01-11-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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I like sleep, but I don't get that much. I sleep from 10:30/11pm-6am most nights, with several night wakings in there. I haven't slept through the night in over 7 years from one night waking child or another, I don't think I could at this point! I don't nap, there is no time in my day to nap, I think the last time I napped was when DS was one week old. My kids are 7, 3, and 8 months. I'd like a nap once in a while, I'm sitting here very drowsy and am supposed to be watching a video for a class but am too tired to focus so MDC it is instead. I have to leave to get DD1 from school in 10 minutes, DD2 stopped napping at age 2, the weekends are jampacked with the 50 million things that need to be done that makes this house run, I always dream of getting a nap when DH is home on the weekends but it never ever actually happens.

I think parenting is exhausting. I do agree that getting thyroid testing is a good idea. I guess that as time goes on (this has been true for me but not everyone of course) that you just learn to push past the exhaustion and live on less and less sleep. Yeah, I could go to bed at 9 or so but that is my time to catch up on all the house stuff and work. And caffeine helps, I gotta have my two big cups in the morning and something with lunch to keep me going through the afternoon.

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Old 01-11-2010, 08:03 PM
 
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Yes, always tired but I don't get enough sleep. The sleep I do get is also interrupted. I cannot sleep all night in my bed because of my bad back so around 3 or 4 a.m. I go out to the livingroom and finish sleeping in the recliner couches.

Then sometimes DS wakes up wanting to nurse and he'll sleep with me there too. So I'll get a total of 6-7 hours of broken sleep, then have to go to work. Blech. I hate being so tired all the time.

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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I second the exercise suggestion. It always makes me MORE tired at first, when I've let myself get out of shape, but it's worth it in the long run.

I might also suggest a shorter nap, just about 20 minutes. I started doing that after reading "Sleepless in America", and it's just the right amount. It totally revives me. And, I would add, that if you take a nap every day it's not surprising that your body shuts down for that. Do you wake up feeling revived? Maybe you really just need it!

One more thing to add. My kids are about the same age gap as yours, and it really wasn't until my youngest was about 2.5 that I started feeling less worn down, more focused, and just kind of like my old self. I'm sure most people get it together sooner, but it was just hard for me to recover from having three such young kids. It takes it out of you!

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
Check out a site called Stop the Thyroid Madness- google it. There is a ''long and pathetic list of symptoms' along the side. I'm going on four years of thyroid and adrenal gland treatment, which is a normal amount of time for bringing them back from near failure that still didn't show up on lab tests, but had me in ICU and on the brink of cardiac arrest nonetheless. Don't trust the labwork; if you suspect these as problems for you, you will have to do your own work and treatment unless you can find a sympathetic and highly skilled naturopath or extremely unusual dr.
If you don't mind my asking... how are you treating thyroid yourself? I'm intrigued...

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Old 01-11-2010, 10:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by berry987 View Post
Thank you so much for all the replies. It's good to hear that other people need more sleep than 8 hours to function. I've been sleepy since I was a teenager. I remember being 15 and coming home from school and taking a nap. So maybe my sleep needs are higher than usual and I just need to start going to bed at 9:30pm.
This is me. Not only do I need a lot of sleep, I'm a genuine night owl, so I CAN'T get to sleep at 9:30. I've been chronically sleep deprived my whole life!

Soooo not fun. Having kids just means I have to be "on" even more than usual. Tiring. But I know when they're grown and out of the house I'll miss the heck out of them, so I try to enjoy it anyway.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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I'm always tired. I've been tired for 8 yrs.

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Old 01-12-2010, 03:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
If you don't mind my asking... how are you treating thyroid yourself? I'm intrigued...
Over the last four years, my regimen has taken lots of twists and turns according to my healing process, because once something is healthier than before, continuing on as before can cause other problems. It would take a book to document my journey thus far, but I can share a bit of my experienced with others trying to do the same thing.

Start with diet and sleep- 10 hrs/night beginning no later than 10:30pm and try to sleep in until at least 8:30am. If that cannot happen, then at least make sure to go to bed early enough to have 10hrs. If you are very unwell, you may not see improvement if you have to be up before 8:30am. The time of day matters as much as the amount of hrs of sleep.

Add protein and at breakfast eat no or very few carbs- you can make up for those later. Animal fats help both with slow absorption of carbs and for balancing hormones. I eat a high-fat, high-protein traditional european diet (because that's my ancestry). Make sure to eat lots of veggies too, but don't eat thyroid lowering ones. Cruciferous veggies must be cooked, so no more spinach salad or raw broccoli at all. Also avoid melons because of their very high sugar content. Eat all carbs with fats. If you eat bread, slather with butter. Eat baked potatoes covered in sour cream and butter. No fat= fast sugar absorption=step backward in health for thyroid/adrenal fatigue.

Educate yourself on how the thyroid and adrenal glands work. This is a difficult process because it takes a lot of reading to begin to see the big picture and be able to weed out the erroneous materials. In this process you may find yourself completely bogged down by the reality that the leg bone is connected to the hip bone and it will take you the rest of your life to have to put together what nobody else seems to.

Experts all have an area of endocrinology that they specialise in and few link much of it together. Eventually you may give up on figuring out absolutely everything and the enormous amount of frustration that brings (oh, yes, you must also limit or remove stress from your life which is another monumental task on its own), and just stick with what you must know to help yourself get better. No arguing, fighting, no adrenaline-inducing activities such as roller coasters and thriller movies. Sex is fine. Very healthy.

At that point, you will know almost or as much as any endocrinologist, though your knowledge base will be broader whereas their's usually tends toward specificities. This is a long road. Hopefully you just need some thyroid/adrenal support and once you have it, you are well and can avoid spending countless hours learning stuff that seems to change as quickly as you learn it so that its like holding sand in a sieve.

You must completely quit all forms of 'pick-me-ups' in the form of sugar and caffeine- COMPLETELY! You absolutely cannot recover as long as you are taking these. Your education will inform you of why this is so critically important.

Add thyroid/adrenal supports- herbs, vitamins and supplements, incl. homoeopathics if they work for you. Ignore recommended dosages for vitamin C and D. Take vitamin C to bowel tolerance every day taking note of and changing dosage as required, and vitamin D to improved health. I take 7000 IU/day. It can take a year of vitamin D at that dose to start to see results. The vitamin C will start to improve health visibly almost or actually immediately. Vitamin C and D deficiencies alone can be the cause of fatigue amongst an enormously long list of unpleasant health problems.

The Vitamin C Foundation has a great site and very high quality powdered C that is relatively cheap on subscrition. They are very prompt in delivery, IME.

If you plateau after 2 months or more but have seen improvements and you are still having that long and pathetic list of symptoms (even if not so severely or some symptoms have left but you are still sure that thyroid and/or adrenals are not functioning optimally), then consider glandulars. I prefer natural glandulars and buy them from a company in California called NutriMeds. They are the purest source I have found that Ican buy and have shipped to Canada. I use porcine thyroid and bovine adrenal.

Make sure you read the section at Stop The Thyroid Madness about beginning glandulars when adrenals are involved, if you think yours are. You cannot start thyroid right away in this situation. You must first strengthen and heal your adrenals to a point that they can function well enough to accept the thyroid. Don't rush the adrenal glandular therapy. Make sure you are ready to begin the thyroid before you do. Then once taking thyroid glandular, make sure you are not underdosing because that can make your symptoms even worse than before. This is a common mistake. The website addresses this well, imo.

If you are taking any hormones- bcp's, estrogen, progesterone, etc..., you are going to have an uphill battle trying to figure out how to treat your thyroid and/or adrenals. I don't take any, but did at one time for many years and no doubt they caused a lot of the fatigue that led to insufficiency and then to near failure. If you are taking bcp's for menstrual pain, it is my opinion that you should stop. That pain, which I know from years of experience, can be debilitating (lots of missed school and work, spent in bed rocking, even with painkillers). This is a tell-tale signal of thyroid fatigue. And it's a downward spiral from there with bcp's. Taking the bcp's to alleviate the pain adds another layer of hormonal upset that will have to be healed for you to be healthy.

If you can find a naturopath with lots of experience and who is highly skilled, then you may have someone to consult when you've hit a wall and have run out of ideas, or weird symptoms suddenly appear during your recovery. Hormones are in a way, everything, in terms of quality of life, and if you suddenly find yourself hearing music all the time when none is playing, then a naturopath may be able to help with some on-the-spot knowledge and one-time treatment to get you past that strange thing.

How ever you got to where you are, you are going to pass back through it on your way back, and it might seem like you're just dealing with old symptoms and going nowhere, but IME, I had an almost sequential onset of symptoms, but in reverse, as I've been healing. Initially I was discouraged, wondering why I'd be now having symptoms from years ago, but then when I saw this pattern, it became obvious that I was passing back through to get to the side of health, where I want to be.

Of my four years of intensive healing, the first three were the most studious, most intense and most 'roller-coaster-y.' This past year has been much easier as I am healing and I need less documentation (taking temps, journalling progress/regress, etc...), less stuff piled in my basket of supplements, less $ spent, less research necessary and my body has resumed having some order and predictability in its responses. I feel better able to meet my health needs and more of what I do works because of experience. I can feel something and be cued, "Oh, I need such and such right now/today", take it and get on with things.

It doesn't consume my time and effort anymore, and I don't nap or need naps. I can fall asleep at night and wake in the morning, and even tend to night-waking dc without collapsing in the hall. I can dance and jump and run around for periods every day- even while being pg, which is unheard of for me. I don't feel faint all day like before and rarely do now. I am where I was about 7 years ago in my health, and I have a long way to go, but I'm going!

One more thing, if you have thyroid and/or especially adrenal fatigue, exercise may be completely out of the question, depending on the severity of your symptoms. I am only this last year able to begin light exercise. I used to play volleyball and badminton competitively (of course also practicing several times/wk), run 11kms 2x/week, ride my bicycle and walk everywhere from 3 to 15kms/day. I was very fit and I am a normal weight and have been even through years of not being able to exercise or remain active (although muscle mass is very diminished). I felt better when I was active, but when my kidneys failed and I became aware of this health crisis, I was fit and strong, or so I thought. This was an obstacle to obtaining help, btw. Nobody believed a young, visibly muscled, slender, fit woman in her 20s could also be so ill.

Until you can stay awake for normal amounts of time, to be safe, I would limit exercise to very light, and short intervals if any at all. There were years when standing up from a chair brought my heartrate up to 120 bpms and walking down the hall felt like my previous runs. Don't overdo, even if you want to be/stay fit. You can make up for it when you are well.

Well, that's a start. And that was a severe abbreviation.

ETA: I took St Johns Wort, 5-HTP and L-Tyrosine at different times to help with the emotional issues that came up during this process. The 5-HTP was essential for dealing with migraines related to thyroid function. This is not universal, but it can be hard to find that info, so if that's happening, this is at least a starting point. And yes, you will learn about brain chemistry too, unless you can heal before you must. I love learning this stuff under all normal circumstances, but not so much when under duress.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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Old 01-12-2010, 06:26 AM
 
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I was very tired for years, then I started to eat protein and a lot of it!

I also eat no carbs at breakfast , but as big of a meal as I can stomach - 2 eggs and turkey bacon usually.

I was vegetarian for years and finally gave it up and feel much much better. I eat as much meat as I can handle, which isn't actually that much, but I try to eat some almost every day. I went from being exhausted all.the.time. to having lost of energy and feeling myself again.

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Old 01-12-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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I would ask if this amount of sleep pre-kids was enough for you. Also what are you eating in the morning? If what you eat sends your blood sugar high and then it crashes in the afternoon that could be it. Same thing with caffeine. Are you able to get in any physical activity for yourself. I know chasing three lo will usually do it but I myself have a sluggish metabolism and I need to actually workout. When I do I find my energy levels are higher. I also tend to be borderline anemic so this is something I have to watch.

If all these questions don't lead to an answer then maybe it could be medical. I have read that a lot of us have systemic candidasis and don't know it but fatigue is a symptom. Hope you figure it out mamma. I am tired alot too but mine are smaller and don't sleep through the night.

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Old 01-12-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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I love learning this stuff under all normal circumstances, but not so much when under duress.
I hear you there!!! Well I must say I'm a little overwhelmed... it's going to take me a while to digest all that. But thank you for writing it all out with such detail!!! I honestly don't know that I have the stamina to fight this the way you've done... that is pretty amazing.

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Old 01-12-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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Op, so glad you posted this and that I am not alone!

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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I've been going through diagnostics for sleep apnea. I've fought with various physical causes for 2 years, and I think this is it. The quality of my sleep simply isn't good enough to make me rested.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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I have had low thyroid issues for years (since 1993) and have been successfully treated the conventional way with synthroid/levothyroxine. Lab tests easily picked up my problems and my general practioners over the years have treated me. I've never been to an endocrinologist. I had my meds slightly adjusted last fall (very small increase) and that did help my energy considerably.

Anyway, OP if your TSH levels are within the "normal" range, but toward the high end of the "normal" range (off the range at the high end means low thyroid function) it may be that you have just an underactive thyroid. When my meds were adjusted, as I mentioned before, my TSH was within the range, but toward the high end (meaning my thyroid was a little underactive). I asked the doc to adjust my meds a little bit and she did, which made my TSH come down closer to the bottom of the range. It also improved my high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Good luck!

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Old 01-13-2010, 10:18 AM
 
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When there is more work that needs my attention then I get tired but after a small nap I am ready again..
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:21 AM
 
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I'm another one that needs 9 hours of sleep.. Some people need more than 8 hours.

Abra, Married to George, Mother to DS 12/03 & DD1 08/09 & DD2 12/11 + Someone New in May 2015! After years of planning, we are finally living our dream in South America!!
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:46 AM
 
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my dd is 21 months but definitely does not sleep through the night. she wakes often to nurse and she loves to switch back and forth from side to side...

anyway, i'm pretty tired lately, but i think it's because i'm not getting a solid 8 hour stretch, and drinking too much coffee in the morning and wine at night and thus feel sluggish in general. yuck.

however, if i were getting about 8 hours a night, i would still need some fresh air and vigorous exercise to keep me alert. i get so drowsy around noon and after...a nap always seems like a good idea. but if i take a brisk walk outside instead, i feel great. or if i do take a nap, if i can take a quick nap, i feel better than if i were going to take an hour + nap. a walk in the morning and another early afternoon works great for me. i rarely motivate myself to accomplish that though...and so i'm tired!

Katie
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:02 AM
 
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Another thing to do is to have your thyroid checked. The recommended levels are much lower than they used to be, and many people suffer from hypothyroid without knowing it.

Christine, mama to Daniel & Abby, 9 and Patrick, 4. Wife to a rockin' train engineer. Gluten and nightshade-free. Multiple kiddie food sensitivities.

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Old 01-15-2010, 06:46 AM
 
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I haven't read all the replies, but off the top of my head, these are things that you may want to have checked!

- Vitamin D levels (might as well get the rest tested while you're at it!)
- Thyroid
- Allergies (gluten did this to me in a big way! It was well worth cutting out of my diet)

Look into adrenal support as well.

Weirdo Mama to amazing Aurelia, age 9 & Ember Roslyn, age 3!
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:34 PM
 
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I'm editing my post because I just read your reply in the thread that said you had been to the doctor.

If you are borderline anemic, that could also explain your tiredness. I too am anemic, and if I don't take my iron supplements (the RIGHT supplements), than I am always sleepy.

What supplements are you taking? I really like the liquid Floradix. It doesn't taste bad at all (it actually is growing on me) and you can chase it down with a glass of orange juice to help absorption into your body. I can't take any kind of pills or capsules because they don't work for me. Maybe trying a different supplement might benefit you as well?

Also, take a look at your diet. Are you eating regular meals (6 times a day -- small ones) and drinking your water? Are your meals healthy and nutritious? Do you do a cardio exercise 2-3 times a week? Eat figs, molasses, green leafy vegetables, almonds, beets, dates, celery, canteloupe, parsley, oatmeal, yogurt, lentils, the occasional piece of dark Chocolate. Try to eliminate sugars and sweet stuff. make sure you are eating the right kinds of fats and eliminate all saturated fats and trans fats.

If none of the above has pointed to a solution, then perhaps you just need to go to bed earlier. Maybe a 10:00 bedtime or 9:30 bedtime instead of 10:30 (I go to bed at 10, and get up at 7). Or try to take JUST a 30 minute nap in the afternoon.
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