Friday, September 17, 2010

Having Trouble Sleeping?

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I use to be the deepest of deep sleepers. I could sleep anywhere- on the floor, in movie theaters (husband hated that one), through a fire alarm (probably not so good). It wasn't until after giving birth to Jayne that I started suffering severe insomnia. It would take me 2 hours or longer to fall asleep at night. I was waking up every couple hours throughout the night as wide awake as could be while my baby was snoozing the night away in her crib. I was exhausted during the day. My doctor reassured me that it was likely just anxiety or stress of having a new baby. I found this somewhat hard to believe because although it was definitely a new adjustment having this baby in my life, I wouldn't have said I felt very stressed or anxious about it. I had a lot of help around the house from my husband and was lucky to have a pretty easy going baby. Regardless, I didn't question the docs advice and tried every trick in the book to help calm my body and mind before bed: hot showers, stretching, yoga, sleep medicine, meditation, lavender oil, adjusting my diet- and nothing was working. It wasn't until I started doing some serious research on insomnia and possible side effects that I figured out a thing or two (or three or four). I thought I would share it with you in hopes it might help any of you out there who may be struggling with the same thing.

There are many factors that could be affecting your nights sleep. It may even be a combination of a few. Common reasons are stress, anxiety, or depression. But did you know insomnia can also be a side effect from birth control or even breastfeeding?!  It wasn't until I started researching and thinking back to when my insomnia started that I realized I wasn't sleeping because of a combination of my birth control (I was on the Depo Shot) and breastfeeding. The hormones from both were giving me the side effects of sleep insomnia. Lack of sleep was also contributing to stress and anxiety, two extra factors that were inhibiting my sleep- like one really bad cycle. It was a total nightmare! As a result I switched birth control (no more birth control hormones for me!) and weaned my daughter off breastfeeding and switched to a bottle. As soon as I did those things I started sleeping better and better. Now I am able to sleep through the night again, and the stress of that nightmare is behind me. 

Don't lose hope if you are struggling with sleep after having a baby. Do your research, meet with a doctor, and get it resolved. 

There are not many things worse than missing out on a good nights sleep. Get those much needed zzzzzzzzz and start sleeping like a baby again! (well, a baby that sleeps through the night anyway, right?)

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