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Help! I Can't SLEEP!

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Insomnia making you miserable? Here's what you can do.

woman cannot sleep

Though her character on HBO's "Entourage" has everything under control, actress Debi Mazar says she has battled insomnia since her mid 20s. Luckily, the 44-year old mother of two eventually sought help and is managing her sleeplessness. We put our kids on sleep schedules, yet many of us are suffering with sleep issues, and the truth is, it affects everything in our lives. It's a very common problem in America (as many as 1 in 10 people) and is twice as likely to occur in women, especially moms.

Momlogic's sleep expert Jill Spivack says the reason why moms in particular deal with sleeplessness so much, is that "moms are hyper-alert during the night because they are conditioned to be woken by their baby or child."

How do we retrain ourselves so we can get a good night's rest? Here are some easy tips from Jill:

1. First, you need to know the reasons why you're having insomnia and address those reasons directly, so you can find solutions that best work for you. For example, are you having anxiety, stress or have you just withdrawn from a specific medicine?

2. If you do have anxiety, make sure to be with friends frequently. They help reduce anxiety when sharing your problems and stressors. It's hard to find the time when you're a mom, but can really help -- even if it's only five minutes.

3. Make a to-do list before getting into bed, so you don't think about it when your head hits the pillow. If you wake up in the middle of the night thinking, have a pad and write your thoughts down.

4. Exercise regularly, but be sure to exercise several hours before bed time and eat two to three hours before bed time

5. Keep the bedroom dark, don't watch television or read. The bed is for sex and sleep only.

6. Try to wind down before you go to bed, not as you're getting into bed. Even listening to some calming music if you don't have time for a bath can help.

7. Just like your kids -- go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time.

8. Go to bed when you feel tired, not to try to GET tired. You'll just be anxious and stay awake longer.

9. Working moms: turn those Blackberrys off! Knowing it's on your night stand will only keep you up through the night.

Do you have a tip that helped you overcome insomnia? Please share in the momlogic community!

next: Bags Found in River -- Connected to Caylee?
5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Ray Foucher November 13, 2008, 10:53 PM

Some good tips. Also important to get sunshine, if possible, during the day and sleep in as dark a room as possible - your circadian rhythm works better that way. See more at a webpage I just built -

Gayle Greene November 14, 2008, 6:41 PM

Some of these tips may be helpful to some people, but some may be useless. For example, many people find reading in bed helpful, some even find DVDs a good way of unwinding (like me). We all have to work out our own way with this problem—we’re all very different, as I found writing INSOMNIAC. My books offers many more (original) tips picked up, talking with insomniacs.

Melissa November 15, 2008, 4:36 PM

Tip 6 suggests listening to relaxing music a bedtime. You can dowload sleep music with or without guided imagery from Dr. Steinberg’s site: http:\


anon November 15, 2008, 4:54 PM

What if you have the opposite problem??
Lately I’ve found my self exhausted by 8pm and in bed and out cold by 9pm. I Have a very hard time waking up at 5:30am. That’s 8 1/2 hours of sleep so I should wake up feeling well rested but I don’t. What’s worse is that I feel tire throughout the day…

Pharmg678 April 6, 2011, 11:49 AM

Hello! dkbedge interesting dkbedge site!

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