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Flatwhite32 Tue 18-Jun-19 06:20:57

Hi everyone,

Does anyone out there suffer from insomnia? I haven't slept through the night since falling pregnant (DD is now ten months) but it got really bad a month/a month and a half ago when DD started waking for the day at 5am (she sleeps through until then). I wake around 3 times a night dreading her waking at 5, and I find it very hard to go back to sleep. I'm getting 3-4 hours a night. This morning, DD unusually slept til 6, but I've been awake since 4.30 anticipating her waking up. The only time I slept better was the last few days of a holiday recently when DD slept til 7 everyday (we did absolutely nothing differently. She just slept later) and because she was doing this daily, I started to relax and slept much better, because I wasn't anticipating her waking early. I felt great, but as soon as we got home, DD's 5am wake ups started again and my sleep deteriorated. We have tried everything to move DD's wake up to later, but absolutely nothing works, so I've given up with that and am now focusing on my own sleep. I've tried napping in the day when she naps, but I always end up feeling worse, and her naps usually aren't very long anyway.

This week I've been taking prescribed zopiclone sleep tablets, but 4 days in (I have 7 days worth) they have stopped working. I just can't sleep knowing she'll be up at 5 (or typically 6 today but I still woke at 4.30!). I've tried downloading an app to help, but it just keeps me more awake.

Any tips from anyone who has had insomnia? I'm back at work in 3 weeks and nervous about feeling this dreadful while juggling DD and working. It's getting to the stage where I nearly had a car accident with DD in the car as I'm so tired. Thank you!

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NeurotrashWarrior Tue 18-Jun-19 11:05:55

Have you been checked for anything else eg thyroid?

RedPink Tue 18-Jun-19 11:22:23

That sounds absolutely horrible. It's just the most awful feeling to be so tired all of the time.
I haven't really any advice as I'm
Sure you've already considered all the obvious reason. Hopefully your DDs sleep patterns will change sooner rather than later.

Oliversmumsarmy Tue 18-Jun-19 11:33:44

I suffer from terrible insomnia. My go wouldn’t prescribe sleeping pills as they can after a time have no effect.

We go to the US quite a bit and I pick up Melatonin there.
It has been a life saver I too was on 3-4 hours sleep per night.

If Dd slept through till 7am on holiday then immediately returned to the 5am rising when you got back I would suggest looking in her room and seeing what happens at 5am.

Does she have black out blinds and curtains? Is her bed at an angle where a crack of light is shining in her face at sun up.

Does a boiler go on and the pipes rattle. Does next doors flush their loo?

The fact that Dd did sleep later suggests the problem lies in her room.

Once you have sorted that out then I think it will solve the issue and you can relax.

Alternatively as she gets older if she is still getting up can you give her a clock to look at and tell her that she can’t get up till in reads 8am

Flatwhite32 Tue 18-Jun-19 13:28:39

@NeurotrashWarrior Yes all blood tests were normal, so all good there!

@RedPink I kept crying last week (hence the sleeping tablets) but I know they aren't a permanent solution. It's so frustrating!

@Oliversmumsarmy Thank you so much for your helpful reply. We thought this too re her room. She has blackout blinds and curtains on top, so there's no light getting in. Nobody else is up at that time. We do live in a flat, but we don't hear a peep from our neighbours in terms of noise. She's brilliant at self settling when she wants to (eg for naps and at bedtime) but we really don't want to leave her at 5 as she makes a lot of noise, and if I was our neighbour I certainly wouldn't want to be woken at 5 by a loud baby! She seems wide awake at 5 (crawling pulling herself up etc) and it has become much more frequent waking at this time since she started crawling. I do wonder on holiday if she was just exhausted as we did so much every day, but she wasn't crawling on holiday and is so active during the day now, it surprises me that she still wants to wake at 5. Later bedtimes don't work, and just mean that she's really grumpy the next day as she hasn't had enough sleep. I have already bought a gro clock for when she's older, haha! I just need to get to grips with my own sleep and stop waking up thinking about her waking up!

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Judystilldreamsofhorses Wed 19-Jun-19 00:23:17

I don’t have children, so this might not be useful, but things that have helped me are:

Proper “bedtime routine”. Each night I light a nice candle in the living room, and before bed I brush my teeth, turn out all the lights, then go in and blow out the candle. It’s like switching off the day.

Bedroom not used for anything except sleep and sex. No TV in there, no reading or phone/tablet in bed.

Earplugs - probably no use if you need to wake up for DD, but my partner is a terrible snorer - and complete darkness.

Magnesium supplement about 30 minutes before bed. You can also get it as a spray you apply to your skin.

Lavender oil - I rub it round my nose just before getting into bed. Also a pillow spray. The best one for me is the This Works Sleep Plus spray, but it is expenny.

If unable to sleep/get back to sleep I have several mental tricks. I count backwards from 100, go through the alphabet and name a thing for each letter (animals, countries, household appliances and so on. I never do the same thing twice in a row), go through class registers (no use if you are not a teacher!). The other thing that I sometimes do is imagine myself in a white room, like a spa, lying down in a robe, soothing music, nice smells - I use this to fall asleep - and try to visualise each thing and how relaxed it makes me feel.

I am a terrible worrier, so I do a to-do list for the next day after dinner. Writing stuff down really helps me switch off from it because I know there’s a plan. I use my phone, but went through a phase of keeping a notebook in my bedside table - I found if I woke up at 3am feeling anxious about something, writing it down and how I would deal with it kind of shut it off.

I also prefer to go to bed either before my partner, or after he is asleep. If we go together and cuddle/whatever or chat, it’s like my brain forgets I have gone to bed to sleep.

(Apologies if this all sounds like nonsense!)

Flatwhite32 Wed 19-Jun-19 07:19:16

@Judystilldreamsofhorses That's brilliant advice thank you. I can't afford expensive things right now so will give the spray a kiss, but will get some magnesium and lavender.

Mental tricks don't work at all for me unfortunately as they keep me more awake because I'm thinking about them!

I always go before my partner, but the low noise of the TV keeps me awake most nights til he comes to bed at 11 (we are in a 2 bed flat so not much space for the sound to travel).

I know if DD would sleep later my sleep would improve hugely, but she just won't and there's nothing I can do about it. Last night I couldn't get to sleep til 1.30 (and that was after taking two zopiclone tablets) and I could easily still be asleep now, but DD was up at half 5. Lavender and magnesium it is!

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Flatwhite32 Wed 19-Jun-19 07:19:36

Not a kiss! A miss!

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swingofthings Wed 19-Jun-19 08:04:22

5 am is not that early for a baby. My two used to wake up at this time and have always bee clearly risers. It feels very early because you are not used to it.

What time do you go to sleep? Can you try to adjust going to sleep earlier so that 5am doesn't feel the middle of the night? Melatonin would definitely help feeling sleepy earlier and you can order it online from the States.

You need to break the mental cycle that gets you anxious at the prospect of being awake at 5am and keeps you awake. It will be easier to adjust your sleep pattern than that of your baby. That will come naturally.

Ellabella989 Wed 19-Jun-19 08:10:20

Sounds like anticipatory anxiety. Check that out online as there are lots of tips on how to beat it x

RedPink Wed 19-Jun-19 08:32:52

Can't your bot friend wear headphones when he watches tv?

Flatwhite32 Wed 19-Jun-19 08:48:45

@swingofthings I go to bed at 9/9.30, but I couldn't fall asleep til 1.30 last night.

You're absolutely right that I need to break the cycle. I just don't know how. I'm also lying awake worrying about my baby, who has gone from being such a happy girl, to one who moans, fusses and is becoming such hard work to take out places. I don't know what's up with her. We've had one happy day in ten days recently.

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Flatwhite32 Wed 19-Jun-19 08:50:13

You're right @Ellabella989, thank you.

@RedPink We haven't got any for a TV, but I'll look into it.

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swingofthings Wed 19-Jun-19 09:06:27

I sympathise fully. I didn't sleep well for years, then when I finally got back to sleeping deeply, the menopause hit me and I'm back to sleep despite no reasons to be anxious.

Melatonin and meditation helps. There is also a a type of CBT that specialise in sleep hygiene that helps learn how to break the cycle.

I'm up at 5am every morning, go to bed at 8pm, read for 30-60mns, but wake up 3 or 4 times in between and if after 2am, can be awake for hours. Not fun!

Judystilldreamsofhorses Wed 19-Jun-19 10:59:23

Boots do a pillow spray which is about £6. The This Works one is like magic, but ££. I understand Lush has a good range of similar things, but have never tried any of them myself.

vics26 Wed 19-Jun-19 23:09:53

I can also hear my youngest when he wakes at the crack of dawn, until he starts shouting for me, then everyone hears, so I've put a box of toys(mainly soft toys and the odd other thing) right at the foot of the cot so he can grab things through to play with. It gives me a bit of extra time in bed in the morning before he starts shouting. He loves it!

Flatwhite32 Thu 20-Jun-19 07:38:12

@vics26 I tried this yesterday morning and it did keep her occupied for a bit. I'm not comfortable leaving toys in her cot overnight though. My issue is once she wakes up I just can't get back to sleep.

Last night was the worst so far, despite trying to practise good sleep practices - no phone for two hours before bed, had a relaxing bath, listened to Headspace, DH had no TV on! After all that, I woke up at 1, and just dozed on and off for the rest of the night (rather than proper sleep). Woke at 5 expecting DD to be awake, but she woke at 6.15! Got a follow up with the doctor today. I feel awful.

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