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Can you die from insomnia?

(26 Posts)
Tea1Sugar Sat 04-Jan-14 08:51:41

I don't mean an odd bad night sleep I mean bone-aching exhaustion. I know bad sleep in pregnancy is common but I've been surviving on 4 hours of broken sleep a night for the past two weeks and it's making me ill. I've had a fortnight off work for Xmas (I'm a teacher) but don't feel even remotely rested. Back to 12 hour days on Monday along with having a 3year old terrifies me. I've never known exhaustion like it and I'll never use the term "I'm exhausted" casually again. Every muscle aches, i feel sick and despite being so chronically tired I just can't sleep. Dd as a newborn was way easier than this. There must be something I can take to knock myself out. I've been in tears for weeks. It's killing me. Please help.

stillenacht Sat 04-Jan-14 08:56:47

Take some time off work, get signed off. I am a teacher too though not pregnant. You need to rest and schools are no places for even a moments rest. I bled during both my pregnancies and was signed off for 6 weeks in each pregnancy. Look after yourself, school is not a priority xxx

stillenacht Sat 04-Jan-14 08:58:36

colleagues of mine are currently signed off for stress (and associated exhaustion). At the end of last term we were all dropping like flies. You owe it to yourself to restbrew

Tea1Sugar Sat 04-Jan-14 09:01:00

I don't even know how to go about it. I'm back to school on Monday, I won't be able to see a doctor beforehand. I hate making a fuss. Never been signed off before for anything. They'll get arsey at work :-(

stillenacht Sat 04-Jan-14 09:06:01

I know they do, trust me I know how arsey they get. Go sick tomorrow, emergency dr appt and talk to Dr. Schools are relentless, better this than you collapsing in front of a classhmm

RubyLovesShopping Sat 04-Jan-14 09:10:18

Agree with pp, ring in sick on mon and go to gp and ask them to sign you off.

Tea1Sugar Sat 04-Jan-14 09:11:48

It doesn't help that my blood pressure is too low and I faint a lot. I don't want them thinking I'm taking time off "because I feel a bit sleepy"

stillenacht Sat 04-Jan-14 09:13:56

No, if you are exhausted that's reason enough, also low blood pressure - you need to have a rest. Is DD in childcare? Teaching is utterly exhausting when not pregnant, think of yourself and not the school xxx

Kveta Sat 04-Jan-14 09:16:47

I was told I could try an anti histamine occasionally when I had the bone crushing pg insomnia you describe. Think I tried it once a week to try and get some sleep banked. It is so soul destroying, isn't it?

SavoyCabbage Sat 04-Jan-14 09:19:32

I've had insomnia for ages too and it's just awful. I'm not pregnant though. I waited until I was on the edge until I went to the doctor and I wish I had gone earlier now.

I had reached the point where I was unable to function. I'm damn sure I shouldn't have been driving as I was definitely making mistakes at work and at home.

Some thing that helped me is listening to music at night. I downloaded a relaxing classical music album on to my phone and I leave it on repeat. Then when I get into bed I listen to it. I focus on it I mean.

I have a,so found hypnosis/meditation CDs helpful. There might be some at your library. The one I used is Restful Sleep by Bonnie Groessl. The first night I tried it I felt like a complete fool lying there while an American woman told me to go to sleep, but it really worked. I also put that on repeat. Like with the music I have found that you have to actually listen to it.

Tea1Sugar Sat 04-Jan-14 09:20:49

Just left a pathetic tearful message on the community midwives' voicemail. I don't know what they can do, I think I just need to let off steam. Mn is great for that. Thank you.

damnitchloe Sat 04-Jan-14 09:21:44

Try googling for Natal Hypnotherapy & Maggie Powell. I've listened to her CD when I can't sleep & since listening to it a few times have stopped waking up so much. I'm sleeping much better in this pregnancy than my first when I didn't do this. Really sympathise & hope that helps you too. Xx

Tea1Sugar Sat 04-Jan-14 09:22:23

Dd is in nursery 8.30-11.30 each day then my mum has in the afternoons during term time, so we are all back to our routine on Monday.

VoodooChimp Sat 04-Jan-14 09:32:04

I was signed off at 24 weeks with stress/exhaustion. Work were arsey but really there is nothing they can do as you can't be disciplined for pregnancy related illness. Just make sure the GP indicates that it's pregnancy related on your sick note.

Tea1Sugar Sat 04-Jan-14 09:33:33

Can you just ask to be signed off? I imagine it's the doctor's decision.

stillenacht Sat 04-Jan-14 09:40:26

Yes you can, if you explain it all like you have done here I can't see the GP saying no.

aroha77 Sat 04-Jan-14 10:03:38

The anti emetic I'm on has side effects including being a sedative (and an anti histamine I think). It's safe in pregnancy so perhaps your GP would give you something like that to try? Xx

steppyhen Sat 04-Jan-14 10:06:43

im in same situation been prescibed iron tablets as had low iron felt awfull all xmas never got out of bed went to docs and explained couldnt cope ,was meant to be back to work yesterday but have been signed off. Firat time I have been signed off and boss was awful on the phone dreading going back im 31 weeks. Hope you feel better soon xx

whereisthewitch Sat 04-Jan-14 10:08:23

OP the school don't need to know why just tell them you're unwell pregnancy related and your dr can write on the line 'Pregnancy debility'.

My GP has had no issues signing me off for 12 weeks due to hyperemesis!

emmajbxxx Sat 04-Jan-14 10:23:47

Doctor will def sign you off, and try and get some sleep throughout the days if possible? I'm having trouble sleeping too, from positions to sickness to headaches to needing the loo. And it makes you feel awful! Especially when your growing a human!
Your work are not allowed to use ANY of your pregnancy related sickness against you, it shouldn't even go on your record. My work have even so arsey with me, so much so that I'm going on maternity early.
Just be strong, and put you and your baby first. Screw work!

emmajbxxx Sat 04-Jan-14 10:24:27

Doctor will def sign you off, and try and get some sleep throughout the days if possible? I'm having trouble sleeping too, from positions to sickness to headaches to needing the loo. And it makes you feel awful! Especially when your growing a human!
Your work are not allowed to use ANY of your pregnancy related sickness against you, it shouldn't even go on your record. My work have even so arsey with me, so much so that I'm going on maternity early.
Just be strong, and put you and your baby first. Screw work!

projectbabyweight Sat 04-Jan-14 10:34:30

I feel a long post/lecture coming on... (skip if you like!)

I've just recovered from over 3 years of insomnia (started when dc1 was 6 weeks). Only yesterday a friend of mine told me she's started sleeping badly and here's the message I sent her:

The book I read is here
The basic thing I got from it as the reassurance that there was nothing wrong with me except I'd got into the habit of worrying about not sleeping. And even though I often wasn't thinking about it overtly, I'd be much too aware of the feeling of being about to drop off, and would notice it, which interrupted the flow and then I'd be wide awake!
The author's quite persuasive that your body and brain want to sleep, nothing's "broken", but your mind is just that bit too anxious/aware.

So that's my summary, but the notes I made when I first read it were:

The basics/sleep hygiene:

No stimulants before bed
Be comfortable in bed (and for me, an eyemask and earplugs, which I did anyway even before I had a problem)
Relax/meditate/yoga 15 mins/day + get some exercise
Don't go to bed until sleepy
No lie-ins (as if!)
No naps

The more psychological ones:

When you can't sleep get up or at least turn light on and read/write (though she says no reading in bed but I choose to ignore that bit!)
No "crutches" to help you sleep, e.g. alcohol, sleeping tablets - this is really important actually - she says that anything like this takes away from your belief in your own natural falling asleep mechanism, which you really must have faith in. (also I found I'd only get an hour or two from a sleeping tablet, then feel groggy for ages)
Don't look at the clock in the night. This took me a while, but it's a fair point, you can get quite caught up in panicking about the time, and anyway it's how you feel the next day that's important, not the number of hours you got.
No "negative sleep talk". Again this is to restore faith in your ability to sleep normally.She says "the story you tell about your sleep comes true", so no saying you're an insomniac/dreadful sleeper, etc. Instead, affirmations like "I often sleep really well" (even if it's not true, it helps it to become true)
Also related to the last one, make no compromises for it, like refusing to stay the night away from home in case your sleep's even worse.
Stop searching for other cures, or it becomes self-perpetuating, like a part of your identity (or something like that)
Use a safety thought, like I said I'd think something like [dc1]'s at preschool for 3 hours tomorrow so that takes the pressure off, or [dh]'s at home tomorrow, or I never feel as rubbish the next day as I fear I will.

Best of luck!

projectbabyweight Sat 04-Jan-14 10:36:03

Sorry, that wasn't specific to pregnancy insomnia but I hope some of it might help. x

Mabelandrose Sat 04-Jan-14 12:14:28

You can sign yourself off for 1 week. Plenty of time to get a doctors note. Feel better soon op

MrsPatMustard Sat 04-Jan-14 12:27:01

Definitely echo the sentiments here. Your health and the health of your baby are the most important thing now. Get yourself signed off. I left the teaching profession a few years back having been crippled by stress and insomnia for the previous two years (and i wasn't even pregnant.) Have no idea how a pregnant woman with low blood pressure can cope in that kind of environment, particularly when sleep-deprived. (And, from what i understand from former colleagues, the pressure in the job has got even worse since my day.)

The problem is there's a big 'coping culture' in the profession. Everybody is expected to keep whatever the circumstances. It's only now I've left that i've come to realise how unreasonable these expectations are.

You have my complete and utter sympathy. Sending you big hugs. thanks

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