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Will I Ever Sleep Again? Help!

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Notes from a New Mom: Though my 1-year-old is now (finally) sleeping through the night (well, at least most of the time), it seems I am now in the pattern of being up all night myself. In fact, I don't remember the last time I got a full night's sleep -- "full" meaning 7 or 8 hours. People always told me, "Sleep will never be the same after you have a baby," but I didn't realize they'd meant I would never sleep again!

sleepless woman

My daughter goes to bed around 7; I go to bed around 8:30 and am usually up again at midnight, then at 2, then at 5:30. I wake up feeling absolutely exhausted. I have a really hard time falling asleep too, not to mention getting back to sleep. When my daughter was a newborn, I was given Ambien to help me get back to sleep. That doesn't really help, though, because I am still up every three hours ....

I have tried warm milk, chamomile tea, a heating pad, reading, meditation, praying and every kind of medicine out there. I can't fall and stay asleep. I think it's affecting my everyday life, my relationship, my moods, my sex life -- everything. ESPECIALLY my moods. It seems I just can't seem to get a handle on them, because I'm just tired all day long and feel like I'm often grumpy and complaining.

Moms, what do I do? Is there anything I haven't tried? Is there something natural I can buy to get me to sleep? Some magic potion? I am desperate. This is ruining my life! Help!

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
JD in Van October 7, 2010, 11:34 AM

I have suffered insomnia since I had my daughter 10 years ago! She was one of those children who never slept well, still even at 10 she doesn’t sleep nearly as much as her peers (she averages 8 hours a night while most 10 year olds sleep close to 10 or more). Going to bed at 9 or 10 and waking up completely on her own around 6.

She stopped napping at 6 months, until she was 2 she got up at LEAST once a night. I got in the habbit of staying up till midnight and then WAKING her up to take her to the bath room or give her water so then I could sleep from 1230 to about 530. Now that of course she can still do these things for herself I am still in the habit of sleeping very very little. Some things, such as self meditation have taught me to go to sleep better but on average I sleep 5 - 6 hours a night, during times of stress I still closer to 3 - 4. My body just seems to have rewired to need little rest.

Making the most of the uninterupted period of rest is key for me. Once I wake up I DO NOT go back to bed both because I generally am very awake but also I actually find I feel worse if I do. So if I’m up at 3 am, I’m up at 3 am and deal with it. Following a bad sleep night I do NOT go to bed either either, no matter how exusted I am. If I do I’ll just perpetuate the cycle. If I go to bed exusted at 1130 I’ll sleep till 5 am, if I go to bed exusted at 830 I’ll be up at 2.

Anonymous October 7, 2010, 1:43 PM

I find that going to bed every night at the same time helps. I also used to catch 10 or 15 minutes catnaps during the day and I have completely cut that out. I would advise you to go to the doctors and see if your hormones are normal. I went thru insomia for a couple of weeks last year and it turned out that my hormones were off.

anonymous October 7, 2010, 2:15 PM

Get your Vitamin D levels checked.

KS October 7, 2010, 6:05 PM

First I would go to the doctor for a complete work up. Then try melatonin. It works wonders for many, many people. You are going to have to do a bit of research for what dosages and where you can find it but it’s much better for you than sleeping pills. You may also want to try a later bed time and a sleep routine along with the supplement.

Kristen October 8, 2010, 11:32 AM

I had this problem once and it turned into a bad situation because I stopped being able to function. I tried EVERYTHING natural and then went to ambien and lunesta and just like you said, you can go to sleep but can’t stay asleep. I ended up being on a medication called trazadone for 2 months and then weened of it very slowly, I’ve never had a problem since. It was like my body needed to be retaught what to do. You should also have your thyroid checked just to be safe.

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