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Insomnia, mama!

It's 2 a.m., and I'm awake. I'm so tired; I was up early this morning to the peep-peeping of a chick stuck in the floorboards (long story, all my fault, but I got her out!) and I have lots of work that I left un-worked-on, or at least, incomplete.

I almost never have insomnia. When I'm tired, I sleep, and I've been that way since college, when I was always tired. In fact, in college, I could fall asleep anywhere, even in every single three-hour British lit seminar class. A friend in my writer's group read an essay about insomnia in a recent get-together, and I felt a lot of sympathy, and badly for every time I'd wished to be the sort of person who couldn't get to sleep. (My theory: I could get more done. Her reality: insomnia is crippling.) But now, my mind's buzzing, and I've done this since "going to bed":

-- remembered about Monroe's missing library book

-- searched through a whole box of papers for said book

-- looked through the kids' whole library for missing book

-- eaten a bunch of popcorn

-- stressed about what I should do for school fundraisers; just send a donation check? Skip it altogether and donate another time?

-- worried about being on time for school tomorrow

-- worried about my kids' dental health

I'm resisting taking Melatonin myself, even though I give it to the kids to help them sleep. As I finally close my eyes and try to rest my brain, how do you deal with insomnia? Do you get it bad, or only occasionally like me? What keeps you awake?

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I get it from time to time and generally just resign myself to having a tired day the next day. Try watching some TV or something else to relax yourself. Assuming it only happens from time to time, yeah, it sucks, but it'll pass, too.

Oh, the racing brain. It gets bad when I'm thinking of everything I can/should do and need to remember.

It helps to get out of bed and write things down. No need to stress about remembering them if it's written down.

It helps to turn my mind to the details of a pleasant, non-stressful, but not-too-exciting project--thinking of how I'd redesign the flower bed in the front yard or what I could do in the downstairs bathroom, money no object.

But what reliably helps is to take some melatonin. We started using it for our daughter, who otherwise really struggles to sleep (and then has even more trouble paying attention during the day). And now I use it for myself because it really does make it easier to be calm and sleepy.

I had insomnia for the last 10 years that got so bad I went about six days without sleep and started hallucinating. I knew someone who went psychotic from no sleep, so asked my doctor for a prescription for ambien which I ended up taking for six years. About a year ago I decided to get off it, gradually weaned, and now I can mostly sleep. The current routine is two tsp of this powdered magnesium called Calm of all things, and 10 mg of melatonin. The racing brain is now quieted with visualizations. The worst is when a song gets stuck in my head and it bounces around endlessly. I have much envy for those who can simply close their eyes and fall asleep. Luckily my kids are great sleepers.

i love Skullcap (tincture form). so helpful for a busy mind and trying to sleep.

I read the first paragraph and though, "melatonin!", then saw your comment about resisting. I first remove all electronics, phone, tv, or iPad, but sometimes the mind races too much, and melatonin works wonders. The worried mama mind needs rest.

Working ut helps a lot. I never imagined it would elp so much. it makes me tired, but not too tired in the evening and helps me fall asleep easily. The problem is with finding time to work out, but in my experience it is totally worth it and I generally prefer drug-free solutions. I don't mean to be judgmental about taking drugs. I do it too sometimes.

i recently learned in a physiology class that there's a big melatonin surge that naturally occurs in children just preceding puberty. from what my professor said, it's not well understood. that is, it isn't clear if the surge happens because puberty is coming, if it plays a role in triggering aspects of puberty, or something else. i just thought i'd mention it in this conversation because i know so many people who give melatonin to their kids. i've given it to mine. but after our discussion in class, i certainly wouldn't use it regularly with children in case there's any causal relationship between melatonin surge and puberty. it seems like we have so many environmental variables that can predispose kids to early onset puberty, i'd hate to add to the mix.

don't mean to hijack the thread! it's just been percolating for me and the comments triggered it. carry on!

I had the most terrible insomnia during the first few weeks of my baby's life - so terrible that I didn't sleep a wink for a few nights in a row. One midwife gave me an Rx for ambien which just made it worse because you don't get the deep sleep you need. The next midwife prescribed breathing. I thought she was nuts, but I was so desperate and was amazed when it worked: breathe in through your nose as slowly as possible (like count to 15 slowly...longer than you think you can) then out through your mouth equally as slow. Continue doing this for 5 minutes - though she recommended doing it 30 every day. It quiets your mind because there is no way to think while breathing in this manner. I'm sure there's plenty of meditation books to explain why this works, but I didn't read them. I just did it and slept! I love when something so simple is better than drugs.

I do the breathing thing with my daughter when she has the hiccups (regular occurrence right at bedtime during the wind down stage). I do it myself to quiet the mind. Sometimes it works, sometimes my mind goes off on a tangent. It can be difficult to focus on your breath, but I agree that once you master it the simplicity can be very satisfying.

oh, you are so not alone! I'm on month three of insomnia, predominantly related to marital strife. Here are some things I do:

1) exercise early. For me, this is when I wake up, say 3:30 - 4:30AM.
2) no coffee after 9AM.
3) breathing exercises/yoga.
4) I concur with the Calm product with magnesium. It is a little expensive, but better than other things I've tried.
5) Strive to understand why I'm not sleeping well and accept that this is where I'm at and that there is someplace better in my future.

Oh, if you DO need more help: my husband (who does have periodic insomnia) says Tylenol PMs "erase your mind" and make it really easy to sleep. Ditto (obviously) Nyquill.

Though obviously this should only be done occasionally

What I do:
-make sure the room is relatively cold
-turn on a big standing fan to generate white noise (I don't point it at the bed).
-lie down
-imagine being on a beach, watching the waves crash and roll on the shore, feeling the crash and the roll, hearing the crash and the roll, over and over and over.
Hope it helps.


My insomnia periodically gets so bad that almost nothing helps, not melatonin, not magnesium, not controlled breathing, no camomile teas, or passion flower, not counting sheep, not thinking doesn't help, my mind remains blank and my brain numb. I am unable to visualize—I only see spots, flickers of light, and blotches of scenery and faces. It becomes an extreme torment. My mind has turned against me and has decided to sabotage my life.
Valium has worked in the past but I refuse to take it because the after affects are so debilitating. Sometimes I just want to lop off the head from my body so that the two wouldn't be at odds anymore and both could finally rest.
Phenibut has worked but not consistently, and again, the next day affects are less than optimum. I've done and still continue to exercise, meditate, spin wildly until I collapse from dizziness, and pretty much everything else suggested. I haven't yet tried dunking my head underwater and holding it there for over a minute.
Insomnia is wrecking my life. I am not able to provide for my children. As soon as they have grown independent I can go throw myself under a tree in the forest and get buried with autumn leaves and the snows of winter, but for now I must totter onward.


Saluton! Ĉu vi scias se ili faras neniun plugins por defendi kontraŭ la hackers? Mi kinda paranoja pri perdi ĉion, kion mi streĉe laboris plu. Ajna rekomendoj? Hi tie, mi trovis vian blogon pere de Google dum serĉis rilatajn temo, via retejo venadis ĝi aspektas granda. Mi havas paĝmarko ĝin en mia legosignoj.

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