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can't sleep when baby sleeps :-(

(10 Posts)
Divaahh7 Fri 07-Aug-15 12:28:33

Hi,
My baby is almost 4 weeks old and I can't seem to sleep when he sleeps. I have a two year old who needs my attention during the day and I'm exhausted. I had such a terrible night last night. Baby slept well and I only managed maybe an hour. I'm so desperate. I have started taking fluoxetine 20mg in the morning. I'm on day 3. I also take zopiclone when hubby is looking after the baby which I would rather not as I don't want to be dependent on sleeping pills. I had Pnd with my first and similar symptoms but had a lot of help to look after baby as mum was around. Anyone who's taken fluoxetine for Pnd and it helped with their insomnia? Any tips? HELP

Pushonregardless Fri 07-Aug-15 12:54:02

I really feel for you. I have suffered with this too. It was awful and like you had a series of nights where I didn't sleep at all and months of waking for the day at 3/4 am. There is no torture like not being able to sleep. It drove me right to the edge and I needed serious intervention from the mental health team. I was put on sertraline and also prescribed zopiclone. I believe that my anxiety was cause by intense sleep deprivation during DDs first six months (she was very unsettled) and then I just couldn't get sleeping again when she started sleeping through. I also had a lot of anxiety related to her health and weight.

Keep up with the AD and take the zopiclone when you need it. I ignored this advice at first as I am very anti meds. Didn't take my ad for months and it was a mistake. I really believe it's controlled my anxiety and over a couple of months has allowed me to teach myself to relax and sleep again. I used zopiclone when I really needed it (which was quite often). If you are sensible it will help and won't become a problem. I'm not 100% yet but I feel so much better.

GP thought it may take a month for the meds to improve my sleep. In reality it took 3 months. Stick with it.

You aren't alone. It will get better and you will recover.

Sending an un-mumsnetty hug.

Divaahh7 Fri 07-Aug-15 13:19:35

Thanks so much for your response. It's nice to know someone out there has been through what I'm going through. It's torture bit having had any sleep. I will keep on taking the ADs. I hope they'll start working soon and the zopiclone when needed which like you is quite often for now till my ADs kick in. Can't thank you enough for making me feel I'm not alone and that it will get bette.

Pushonregardless Fri 07-Aug-15 20:24:07

It will. It definitely will. I didn't believe that and thought I was having a nervous breakdown. After a week of no sleep at all I reached the point of suicidal thoughts. The mental health crisis team were brilliant and I could call them any time if day/night. I did call them at 4 am several times to get some perspective. I'm wondering if there is anyone like that you can talk to? I think there are some specific PND related charities which may have helplines. Others on mn may know more about this.

I couldn't believe how awful it became and how serious it felt. I have never had any kind of MH or sleep problem before. I was worried they would take my baby away ��

The other thing that helped me was that I was also prescribed diazepam to take as needed until the sertraline took effect for 2 weeks. I was horrified and refused to touch it. However things didn't improve quickly and that really helped to take the edge off the anxiety at night. They prescribed it three times a day but I just took one if I woke at night. Might be worth asking your GP about this. It was only a very tiny dose because I had a baby to look after.

There is nothing I can suggest in terms of helping you to nod off as I have found it's so different for everyone. All the nhs advice talks about sleep hygiene and routine, milky drinks and baths etc. Didn't work for me. I obsessed about not using screens (iPad etc) as they say it wakes up your brain. But when I mentioned this to the clinical psychologist she said that really annoys her and to just do what works! So I could go back to falling asleep in front of box sets in bed wink

You will be ok. It's a terrible thing when you just feel like you should be blissfully happy with your new baby and sound asleep when they are. As other posters have said on your other thread, do go back to your GP. Don't let it become full blown PND again

Hand holding here. Feel free to pm me any time.

LHReturns Fri 07-Aug-15 21:01:28

Pushon, you are a lovely person and I agree (and recognise) everything you write. I seriously thought I was losing my mind for a while, and almost shook with exhaustion and anxiety all day long. I prayed for someone to admit me to hospital so I didn't need to face one more minute of my life. Good sleep hygiene won't even TOUCH insomnia once you have reached the stage we are all talking about. And I do fall asleep using my iPad because it relaxes me and a sleep psychologist also told me not to worry about all that No Screens stuff.

ADs are definitely what fixed me, and while my sleep improved after about 4 weeks (gradual improvement, not sudden), just like Pushon it took 12 weeks to declare myself 'cured'.

While the ADs were kicking in diazepam made my anxiety much worse for some reason (very irritating), but on the nights that someone else was with my DS, I would allow myself to take a high dose sleeping pill at least 30 minutes before I went to bed, which sort of knocked me out for at least 6 hours. These few nights where I no longer lay in bed for hours working myself into a frenzy were a mini luxury. While still feeding, on those Big Pill nights, when I woke I pumped and dumped (but truthfully most of my sleep problems started after I stopped feeding so that was less of an issue).

OP, Pushon is right - you WILL get better.

Pushonregardless Fri 07-Aug-15 22:19:05

It's so good to talk about this! I've never mentioned it on here. LHR what you say is weirdly close to my situation. When I stopped bf I seemed to crash. It was part of the problem as DD was a terrible feeder and consistently lost weight. Had to struggle on to 5 months combi feeding then admit defeat.

When quizzed by my GP I admitted that I wanted to crash my car into a tree (without the baby) so that I could go to hospital and get a long rest. I'm so glad I'm not alone in this.

I used to lie awake, heart racing, sweating, wriggling and crying. Counting down the hours until DD would wake and I would have to survive 12 hours alone with her. Utter torture. And bless her she was so lovely and good.

LHR I completely understand the 'mini luxury' of sleeping pills. I was desperate not to use them as I never have but it saved me. I will never ever take sleep for granted again.

I don't feel I'm 'cured' just yet but I've only been on the ADs since may. Hoping to come off before Xmas but I am scared. Are you still on yours LHR? I'm so sorry the diazepam made things worse.

Why does this happen? It took us 2 years and treatment to get our gorgeous DD. She could NOT be more wanted. But it nearly broke me.

Divaahh7 Sat 08-Aug-15 09:20:12

Thanks dear.
Did the diazepam help you sleep? I was also prescribed some but been scared o taking them. Only taking the 2 zopiclones when hubby is around for the weekend. Could you hear the baby cry when on diazepam? I'm thinking I might have to use is next week as I'm alone with baby all through. I just need something to help before the ADs kick in. How long did your ADs take to work in that you didn't need extra help to get some sleep.

Divaahh7 Sat 08-Aug-15 09:23:34

Thanks for your response. I've had to stop BF as I'm taking fluoxetine. It's nice to hear from someone who is on the other side of this problem. I can't wait to feel better and the ADs to kick in. Just want to fast forward time till then.

Pushonregardless Sat 08-Aug-15 19:09:11

I used to take a diazepam if I woke feeling anxious and couldn't get back to sleep. They were only 2mg, tiny dose but actually I think it had more of a placebo effect on me. Along the lines of feeling like I had 'done something' to send me to sleep so would feel less anxious and therefore more likely to sleep. It did help and slowly needed them less and less. I've had over a month of good sleep. Weirdly I struggled last night and was mostly awake until 3am. However I had had a lot of wine which I think was the cause. It doesn't seem to sit well with anxiety. I can always hear baby, no matter what I take. Even zopiclone. The doc reassured me that I would. It doesn't knock me out. Try not to worry, you will wake up, but best to do it when DH is home.

I would say it took 3months to be able to sleep well. Sorry, I know that seems long but hang in there. Is a slow process. I still have the odd bad night but you will get there x

Divaahh7 Sun 09-Aug-15 09:50:00

Thanks Pushon. I will hang in there. Hubby goes back to physio for a week. He comes home weekends. (he was in a terrible accident in January and has been in hospital and now Physio ever since) and my anxiety is worse when alone. I will keep pushing on through the week. Thanks for reassuring me that I can still hear the baby if I need to take a pill to help me sleep. Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Hoping to give you a good update soon.

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