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I can't sleep, am exhausted. Please help! Sorry long post.

(23 Posts)
pudding25 Tue 19-Aug-08 19:55:27

My dd is 14 wks. Her sleeping has usually been ok. Wakes once to feed. Some nights unsettled. We just moved her into her room into a cotbed from a moses basket about 1.5wks ago and she was quite unsettled. One night sleeping with just one wake up, the next waking several times.

Anyway, I am a notoriously dreadful sleeper, all my life. I store up stress for nighttime and can't sleep. Pre dd, it was bad but at least I could cat nap whenever I wanted and sleep in a bit.

Since she was born, I am in a state. There is many a night when she is sleeping and I am lying awake stressing. Last night, she woke at 1am and straight back to sleep and then fed at 3am. I slept 30 mins the whole night. My DH had to take today off work to help me as I couldnt function but I still havent slept.
I lie awake waiting for dd to wake, stressing that I cant sleep and she will wake up soon anyway, worrying about everything and anything.
Baths and hot milk dont work. I dont have a walkman to play relaxation tapes. Please can someone give me any ideas. I am BF so cant take any pills or anything herbal (and herbal stuff doesnt work on me anyway).

I am so tired but the thought of the night ahead is stressing me already which doesnt help. DD during the day only sleeps for short naps and I cant relax enough to sleep for 30 mins when I know she will wake soon. DH works most evenings so I cant really go to bed early. Last night I did and slept for a bit but then woke up and couldnt get back to sleep.

pudding25 Tue 19-Aug-08 20:07:07

Am shamefully bumping myself. Please anyone?

JamInMyWellies Tue 19-Aug-08 20:13:48

Would co sleeping help you to settle a bit?

QuintessentialShadows Tue 19-Aug-08 20:15:17

Why did you move her from mosesbasket to her own cot in her own room?

Would it not be easier to settle her in the same room without getting out bed each time?

pudding25 Tue 19-Aug-08 20:19:08

No way to co-sleeping. She doesnt need to be in our bed as she has always settled well in her basket and now doing much better in cotbed. Also, my sleeping would be 100 times worse if she was in bed with me. I wouldnt relax ever. I understand why people do it but not for me.

She has now gone into her own room as the moses basket is too small for her and we have zero space in our room for anything else. Also, I could never get comfy in bed to feed her and was taking her into the living room to feed anyway. (we live in a 2 bed box so dont need to go far to do this!)

QuintessentialShadows Tue 19-Aug-08 20:21:50

So, really the problem is not your babys sleep but yours, if you say the babys sleeping improved when moved to her own cot in own room?

Is the problem that you worry for her and cant sleep as you cannot see her?

Is babys room big enough for a guest bed in there for you? If you feel anxious, you can move into baby rather than the other way around?

EffiePerine Tue 19-Aug-08 20:22:12

If she's waking once to feed, can you get your DH to take turns with the night wakings? Even a couple of days a week? Express some milk, get yourself some earplugs and catch up a bit

Is it just the sleep issue that's worrying you? Are other things stressing you out?

pudding25 Tue 19-Aug-08 20:29:39

Sorry, i ddint explain it properly! Yes, its my sleeping (although I would love her to sleep all night but am realistic!).
Its not so much that I am worrying about her (although maybe subconsciously I am) but that I got used to having her next to me and I could look at her in the night and see she was not waking up and then I could go straight back to sleep. As I cant see her, I dont know what she is up to (even though the monitor is on).
Also, my parents have been here this week (not staying with us) and I find them very stressful (for a million reasons although they mean well). I start worrying about finances and all sorts!
I ws thinking of going into her room to sleep but I also think I was disturbing her when she was in our room as I toss and turn so much in sleep, go to the toilet a million times if I cant sleep and drink water noisily.
I had a nightmare with expressing and have never been able to get much milk out!
As you can see, I am a delight to spend the night with! (DH wears ear plugs to block out my noise).
I think a bucket of vodka might help.

used2bthin Tue 19-Aug-08 20:30:17

I am like you, really bad at sleeping anyway and could never sleep when dd was small as I didn't know when I would be woken so couldn't relax. For me what helped in the end was jsut that DD got slightly more predictable so I began to settle into it a bit. I feel for you though I still find it hard to catch up on sleep if I've had a bad night.

QuintessentialShadows Tue 19-Aug-08 20:31:29

Try sleeping in her room. It may not disturb as much as you think!

PeppermintPatty Tue 19-Aug-08 20:35:57

I had this problem too pudding. My DD slept really well, but I was lying away all night. I've always been a light sleeper too.

No-one understood that it was because I couldn't sleep and nothing to do with DD waking me up.

It went on for a while, and I got so tired I felt ill so I went to the doctor and she gave me a low dose anti-depressant to help me sleep (certain types of anti-depressants have a sedative effect). It's helped loads

However I'm not sure if they're ok to take whilst breastfeeding (I stopped when DD was 11 months).

Sorry if this is not much help, but maybe visit an understanding GP if it continues. They can offer other things apart from tablets, I was offered counselling (but didn't take up the offer).

PeppermintPatty Tue 19-Aug-08 20:37:32

lying awake not away blush

verybigbird Tue 19-Aug-08 20:37:54

Can you listen to the radio quietly to get off to sleep? Always found "Countryfile" did it for me!

Sorry to hear things are soooo gruelling at the moment. It does get a bit easier, but those early months are a real uphill struggle and if you are BFing and all you hear from other mothers (who are using FFs) is how their LOs are "sleeping through", it can be really hard not to feel like you are the only one in the world not getting a night's kip.

If you only have the one LO, then do try to lie down and kip - or even just close your eyes - when your baby is napping. I really struggled with this at the time, and retrospectively I think I was crazy not to make the most of those quiet moments.

I know what you mean about cosleeping; I was always terrified I would squash the DC. But I did have them in the basket next to the bed for 4-5mths, and it made it easier in a way as I wasn't straining to listen out for them from far away. The best bit of advice I read from a book was by Penelope Leach who said that you have to try and train yourself to sleep the minute you have put your LO down. Even if they are snuffling and making hamster noises all night, if they are not in distress, try to relax and sleep through it.

Could you get your OH to listen out for your LO and wake you when she needs a feed - whilst you stick earplugs in and get a decent spell of sleep? I've done that when really desperate.

Sorry if this advice is useless. Really just wanted to say it gets better.

pudding25 Tue 19-Aug-08 20:43:40

Thank you for all your tips. DD is kind of predictable at the moment in a way but because I know she is going to wake between 2.30-3am for eg, I will wake up and lie there until she does. Once I have fed her, I am wide awake. She usually goes right back to sleep and I lie there. AAAH.
I think if a night like last night happens again, instead of lying in bed crying (that did wake up poor DH) then I will go and lie down in her room (unbelievably I would probably sleep better on a floor than my bed!) and see how it goes.
PeppermintPatty - I went to the gp today about something else and mentioned my atrocious sleeping. She told me to relax - helpful! I am going to go back to the other gp there and mention what you said. I know that you can take some AD when BF as my friend is but not sure if they are the right ones.
Fingers crossed for tonight.

QuintessentialShadows Tue 19-Aug-08 21:51:12

I hope you get it sorted!

pudding25 Wed 20-Aug-08 08:55:19

Thanks everyone. Last night was marginally better. DD only woke once for feed at 3am and straight back to sleep until 6.40am then again from 7-7.40am.
I got DH to give dd some formula (she has it sometimes) at dreamfeed. I slept on and off from 10pm-3am but then after her 3am feed, didnt go back to sleep until 5.15am. Still crap but better than the night before.
I stuck in earplugs but turned the volume up higher on the monitor so I couldnt hear every move but heard her when she cried.

juniper75 Mon 25-Aug-08 20:18:50

Dear Pudding. Sounds familiar what you're going through, but I think the best advice I was given when I had a similar stage during DD's early days was to surrender to lack of sleep during the night but give yourself as many chances as possible to cat nap! Simply, if you get stressed about the night time then it will get worse, which I know is a bit like what the GP said.
Get yourself a challenging book to read, and lie down next to your bambino whenever you put her down (day and night), read, and you may just surprise yourself if you go to sleep. If you don't, at least be pleased that you are lying down and your body is getting some rest. The book needs not to be too good.... cause that's a disaster if you get into a book that captures your imagination and keeps you awake! I read history books LOL!
I had exactly the same worrying problem - about everything on the planet, including my looks, my career (ha!), the house, etc etc, and you sort of HAVE to discipline your mind - pick up a book to stop yourself thinking about things. It truly does work, and in the middle of the night is a great way of semi-resigning yourself to a bit of insomnia but not letting it get to you. NOW THIS IS LONG!
Good luck. HOpe this doesn't sound preachy.

dinkystinky Tue 26-Aug-08 12:41:39

Pudding - I was exactly the same with DS. You need a really long wind-down to get to bed (long bath, nice read, feel v sleepy - try meditation if you can to clear your mind) and you'll sleep much better. It does get better and dont worry about sleeping and not hearing your baby (which was my worry)- you will always wake up if baby is crying and just need to give yourself and your body a break and get some sleep and quite time in.

baltimore97 Tue 26-Aug-08 12:54:10

Pudding, I was exactly the same with DD1, but with DD2 (now 17 weeks) I am much better. I can get straight back to sleep after she wakes, and am better at sleeping with her in the room. I can also catnap during the day if really tired, which I never managed before. I also had periods of bad sleep pre-children caused by stress and worrying.

I think I have overcome my sleep problems by reading sections of a book recommended to me by the GP - called "Manage your Mind" it has some strategies for overcoming insomia.

Also, after the months of total exhaustion with DD1 I think I finally realized that I wasn't actually going to die of sleep deprivation. Of course, I never REALLY thought that I would, but if you can manage to stop dwelling on your tiredness and just get on as best you can, you then stop stressing about how much sleep you are getting. With DD1 I would add up every night how much sleep I'd had and if it was under 7 hours, I'd feel really stressed. With DD2, I just don't even bother to think about it.

I hope this is helpful - I personally don't think drugs would have been any use to me at all. It was all about changing my attitude to sleep.

pudding25 Tue 26-Aug-08 19:55:31

it is good to know that it is not just me! I have always had sleeping issues, it is not just since dd was born. Reading has always been what I have done when I can't sleep. However, since dd, I just sit and stress with the book instead of reading it as all I can think of is the hrs I am wasting.
I have been sleeping marginally better the past few nights but most nights, can't get properly back to sleep after I feed her at 3am.

Baltimore - I am going to see if I can get hold of that book.
My friend also said that she had reflexology when she had probs sleeping when her babies were little. Not sure if I believe in it but she said she didnt either and it worked wonders.

MrsSnorty Tue 26-Aug-08 20:14:19

Could you get/borrow a crib? Think they're bigger than moses baskets but smaller than cots so might fit in your room.

bunyanvillas Tue 26-Aug-08 20:38:35

Oh, poor you. I had exactly the same thing with dd and it is slightly better second time around. But I recall those days very clearly and had nights when I didn't sleep at all. I ended up on sleeping tablets which clearly you can't do if bf - but other tips include yoga classes - great for relaxation/deep breathing, popping out for a run in the evening followed by hot bath/milky drink - OR if you are stuck in the early hours then come downstairs. Read a few paras of a book or mag or switch on the TV for a while. THEN head back to bed. Your mind will have been diverted away from some of those night-time anxieties and hopefully you might drop off. Hope things improve for you soon.

pudding25 Wed 27-Aug-08 09:20:54

Thanks for the suggestions. DD is now settled in her room so I dont want to start moving her round just because I have a problem.
I would love to go for a walk in the evening (don't think boobs could handle a run - they are huge!) but DH works afternoons and evenings so am on my own most evenings.
Last night, I wanted to sleep and was able to sleep but sods law, dd decided to wake up every 2 hrs!!!!

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