i have great difficulties to fall asleep lately. It can take me hours of rolling in the bed. When i wake up for night feeding a couple of hours after i finally fall asleep i m wide awake again. It is like this for few weeks now.
It s hard to say what it is. It could be just work related stress (too much of it lately). On the other hand, my twins are 2 years now. And they are breastfeeding at night very irregularly: some nights 1-2 times, some nights up to 6 times. The last of their molars are cutting through.
Could i have problems because of prolactine hormone change due to night weaning? Usually the first 3-5 hours of the night (when i struggle to fall asleep) are very peaceful.
I m so sleep deprived i got a flu and pink eye. But still cant sleep...
I drink baldrian tea and try not to think about work before sleep. Is there something else i can do? Should i seek for help? Does somebody have a similar experience?
It's possible that lower prolactin and less oxytocin- that's the hormone responsible for milk release- would cause sleep disruption, because prolactin and oxytocin can make you feel relaxed and affectionate, which can make you sleepy. But there are a lot of other hormones in your body that could be at work! In particular, thryoid imbalances can cause sleep disruptions.
Things to do to cope with insomnia:
- make bed a place where sleep happens- don't read work stuff in bed, don't surf the web in bed, don't watch tv in bed, etc.
- avoid artificial light in the evenings (the more your body is in tune with the natural changes in light levels, the more you'll feel like sleeping when night comes)
- try doing about 10 minutes of deep, slow breathing (if you have a smartphone or tablet, there's a great app called "Breathing Zone" which can be very useful)
I suggest try avoiding screens (tv, computer, smartphone) for at least 30-60 minutes before you want to be asleep. Unless it is for something that helps you sleep like mommal suggests.
I have also found that I have to resist the urge to do 'one more thing' before going to bed, because that one more thing turns into another hour of activity and then I am often too wired to sleep well. Instead I make a concerted effort to go to bed as soon asd I am feeling sleepy.
I read in bed with a tiny booklight and that helps me fall asleep especially if it is a book i have read before. (or just a not very exciting book.)
i ahve struggled with insomnia since I can remember, my mother claims I was insomniac as a baby.
Anyway, what i found over the years has most helped is reading (as lllmeg wrote, a familiar book I read before is best, I have a whole little "library" of those, mostly Georgette Heyer and Dorothy L Sayers - they work well for me because nothing horible ever happens), and definitely not something new and "unputdownable". It is not only the fact that I can just let go when sleep comes but also I think now my brain knows these books mean going to sleep, if that makes any sense.
The other thing that does help me much is to get up again, if I feel it will not work to got to sleep rather than roll around in bed and do something really boring (cleaning, dishes, sorting clothes), no music or anythign just plain old boring house keeping. After a while I can feel it uncoil me. I used to also tkae warm baths, but had to give this up as if my boy wakes it is impractical if i am dripping wet.
Another helpful thing for me has been to have the glass of warm milk and a cookie or chocolate, the carbs i think act as a sleep aid, but again it may just be a routine.
Some other things to consider (some were already mentioned):
- regular bedtime routine every night (i.e. wash face, brush teeth, jammies, then climb in bed - we do it for our kids b/c it conditions them to sleep. It can work for adults too : )
- avoid doing anything in bed other than sleeping, sex and nursing. Read and watch TV elsewhere. If you read in bed your body starts to think that it need to be alert for reading while in bed
- Avoid exercise (who has time anyway?!?) for a couple hours before bed
- avoid alcohol and caffeine (even chocolate) for a few hours before bed
- don't lay in bed tossing and turning. Like PP suggested, get up and do something really boring until you feel sleepy then head back to try to sleep
- turn the clock on in your room around so you don't stare at it and worry about how long you've been trying to sleep
- keep a notepad next to bed to write down anything that pops into your head (e.g. work tasks, errands, groc list) that way you don't stay awake worrying that you will forget
I feel your pain mama! I took a job for awhile specializing in sleep disorders b/c I, too, have terrible insomnia. Mostly related to worrying for me. I hope some of this helps!!!