Now that Becca is sleeping more, I am finding that I have been having difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep. I think it is partly because I am so used to waking up intermittently throughout the night so I have begun to wake automatically. There is also a lot on my mind so once I am awake my mind starts processing and has trouble shutting down again.
The other night Becca awoke briefly from 3:15 to 3:30 a.m. and I found myself drifting in and out of sleep until 5:00 a.m. Instead of just tossing and turning in bed I decided to get up and do a little research on insomnia. I thought it might be helpful to find out what might be causing it (besides a 15 mos old) and how I might be able to cure it.
I found the first article I read, Some Useful Information on Insomnia, on the Native Remedies: The Natural Choice website. Ironically, it listed no healthy way to deal with insomnia– interesting. It did however list a few causes of insomnia that I could relate to:
- stress – I wonder what might be causing me stress?
- environmental noise – such as a crying baby?
- sleep/wake schedule problems such as those due to jet lag – or dealing with an infant/toddler?
- expecting to have difficulty sleeping and worrying about it – You can say that again!
- irregular or continually disrupted sleep/wake schedules – BINGO! I think this is the big one.
Since I am pretty clear on what is causing my insomnia, I continued trolling the Internet to see what I could find. I was pretty upset to learn that Less Sleep Means More Weight For New Moms and Sleep Key to Pitching Pregnancy Pounds. In Less Sleep Means More Weight for Moms, the research suggests that moms get 7 hours of sleep to alleviate the weight gain (I should be able to do that- right?). According to this article, research is currently being done on how to help moms get more sleep (good luck with that!). In Sleep Key to Pitching Pregnancy Pounds, the article suggests that moms only need 5 hours of sleep (that doesn’t seem like much.). Unfortunately, neither of these articles suggested any magic way to deal with the insomnia.
Some Useful Information on Insomnia suggested taking sleep medicine which I would prefer to avoid at this point. Looking at the “Causes of Insomnia” list included in Some Useful Information on Insomnia , I can infer a few ways of dealing with my sleep problem:
- Don’t stress myself out
- Cut out excessive environmental noise
- Install a good thermostat so there aren’t extreme temperatures throughout the night
- Don’t make abrupt changes to the surrounding environment
- Have a consistent sleep/wake schedule
- Avoid medications with insomnia side effects
- Don’t worry about my insomnia
- Cut down my caffeine intake
- Don’t drink alcohol before bedtime
- Don’t smoke cigarettes before bedtime
- Don’t nap excessively in the afternoon or evening
- Avoid and irregular or continually disrupted sleep/wake schedule
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?
Now that I am done worrying about my insomnia, I will finish my glass of warm milk and head back to bed. Here’s to 7 hours of good sleep,Cheers!