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can't get no sleep

(6 Posts)
palacelotty Sat 16-Jul-11 06:55:11

my 15 week son has just started sleeping better (up once at 4am and then wakes 'properly' at 6.30) - however, my sleeping has become terrible. for the last week i've only had about three hours sleep a night. my heart races when i'm trying to sleep and it's impossible to slow it down or relax - is anyone else having anything similar? i've always been a really good sleeper until now ... :-(

NanaNina Sat 16-Jul-11 13:03:59

A racing heart is a symptom of anxiety, and it's not surprising really as the arrival of a baby can often make us very anxious. It sounds to me as though you are on alert, in case the baby cries or stops breathing, and that is why you can't get to sleep. Assume your little boy naps in the day - could you not nap then, regardless of housework or anything else.

I think as your baby grows and gets into a good sleep pattern (waking at 4.00 and then waking properly at 6.30 sounds like a relatively good sleep pattern at this age. What time does he go down at night? My baby days were a long time ago, so hopefully there will some young mums along soon to commiserate with you!

One of my sons and dil have rarely had a night's sleep with little girl almost 2! Sorry that might make you feel worse - her sister slept 9 hours a night from 6 months so they are not all the same.

palacelotty Sat 16-Jul-11 16:09:55

thanks nana nina - yes, it feels like the anxiety is what is stopping me sleeping ... i'm also finding it hard to nap in the day because i worry about how long i'll have to sleep before he wakes up ( :-) ) and also end up with the racing heart then as well. it feels so unfair as he's just started not waking up regularly during the night so i should be more comfortable going to sleep. he goes to sleep at 7pm at the moment and then we wake him for a feed at 10.30ish - so i'm generally happy with his sleeping. i just wish i was with mine!!

i'm planning on going to the doctor on monday to see if they can suggest anything - i feel that if i could just break this cycle and convince myself that i can sleep like i used to that everything would be okay ...

GetDownYouWillFall Sat 16-Jul-11 16:32:51

Hi palacelotty exactly the same happened to me. My DD started sleeping better from about 6 weeks old, but I found it increasingly difficult to drop off myself, and in the end was barely sleeping at all at night.

I'm not saying this will be the case for you, but in my case the not sleeping was my first symptom of PND. I developed terrible anxiety and the lack of sleep just made it worse. Everyone used to say to me "oh, just sleep when the baby sleeps" or things like "it's so hard when the baby keeps you up in the night"... it used to drive me mad, as I physically couldn't sleep, even though the baby was sleeping. It was so frustrating.

It's good to hear you are going to the GP on monday, that is what I would advise. You need to tackle this early to stop it getting worse and worse. The GP may run through a questionnaire with you to see if you might have PND. You may possibly be prescribed a short term course of sleeping tablets or somethings anti-anxiety like diazepam. I think it's fine to take these in the short term, to help your body get back into remembering that it can sleep. But try and not take them unless you have to... maybe every other night... and start with a half dose. Honestly, it is scary how quickly you can feel you rely on them....

Depending on whether the dr thinks you are depressed you may also be prescribed anti depressants. It's up to you whether you want to take them. In my case they helped (once they had given me the right one). But don't forget all your longer term coping strategies and techniques to get at the heart of your anxiety - you could try getting a self-help CBT book like this one or there are loads of others on Amazon. It's important to get at the root of your anxious thoughts and try to work on solving them, so that you remain well in the long term.

The good news is, it WILL get better! Sleep deprivation is horrific (blimey, do I know that) and it clouds all your thinking making you believe life is awful and it will always be this way. I sleep great again now and love being a mummy again. You will get through this, I promise x

BeckyBendyLegs Sat 16-Jul-11 18:41:00

Hello! I'm another who suffered from insomnia following the birth of a baby, in my case DS3. I tried a few things to help with the anxiety and insomnia (and then anxiety about the insomnia) and for me the best things have been hypnotherapy, herbal tablets which helped at first when I was at my worst, herbal tea which I still drink, vitamin B tablets which I am sure have helped in some respect, and more recently CBT which I had 18 months after joining the waiting list (I didn't suffer from insomnia during all that time though). I found that it did get much better as my DS got older and by the time he was 5-6 months it was much, much better. The GP will be able to help xx good luck.

palacelotty Sat 16-Jul-11 19:32:10

Thank you GDYWF and BBL - your comments make me feel much better ... I'm trying to relax at the moment to give myself as much chance as sleeping as possible tonight, but think, as you say, that I really need the GP to help me work out the anxiety/ insomnia/ probable PND cocktail. A few times in the last couple of months I've felt that I might have PND - but bizarrely that had all been getting better the last few weeks - which is such a shame as I had been feeling much more relaxed with the whole new mum thing!

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