Yes, I am writing about sleep, once again. Just when you thought I couldn’t write any more about sleep, and that we were actually getting some sleep, I thought I would bore you with more of my sleep woes. Yes, some of the Mad House are getting sleep, sadly not all, and you guessed it, that’s ME! Bonus points to those who said it before they read it!
I am tired, and my poor body is so messed up sleep wise, my circadian rhythms are all over the place. I could cheerfully go to bed every night at 8pm, and sleep like the dead, but I would be awake at 3 or 4am, with my body thinking it has had its allotted sleep amount, for the night, then by 9am I am a miserable, coffee guzzling wreck. Or I get to a point where I am not in bed before midnight, and then my brain is over active, and I am awake until 2am, and have to be up for the day at 6am, and again, I am a coffee guzzling wreck by 9am. (Just ask my children or my fellow mummy friends who meet me at the school gate at drop off time)
So, now that Small Boy is in a much more normal sleep pattern, and things are on a more even keel, Mummy needs sleep too. I need to retrain my tired, confused body, and mind, and start getting into better going to bed, going to sleep and staying asleep habits. More than 3 years of little sleep (I didn’t sleep well when pregnant, so it all adds up when you think about the sleep issues we had with Small Boy as well) and having sleep issues of my own, have really put me into some bad habits.
I have tried various non pharmaceutical things, homeopathy, aromatherapy, sleep CD’s, etc, non of them work. I have tried sleeping medication, both over the counter and the hefty prescribed stuff. Sadly, the alternative stuff does little or nothing, and the medication either makes me feel like a zombie the next day, or sends me into what is known as the paradoxical effect, and makes me as high as a kite and hyper. SO, those are out too.
My solution is simple (and no it doesn’t involve gin)
I’m implementing a new night-time pattern, and adding melatonin to my regime. I have taken it before, and have seen it used successfully with adults and children with mild sleep issues and because it doesn’t give me any side effects, and helps me go to sleep, and seems to keep me asleep, or if I wake before 1am, I can take it and go back to sleep, it actually helps. Melatonin is not available in the UK, for licensing (ahem, read cost) reasons, so I am having some brought back from the USA where it can be bought over the counter (this isn’t illegal, I promise, I am not starting a black market sleeping pill trade!)
I am also going to:
- Getting a light therapy light to help my body clock adjust
- Be in bed by 10pm most nights, where possible.
- Ban all mobile phones and media devices from the bedroom
- Changing the light bulbs in our room to lower voltage
- Upping my magnesium and vitamin D levels (this is being done on advice of my GP, I had some blood tests done, and my D levels are low, and this could be a contributing factor
- No alcohol on week nights, no coffee after 12pm, I find both work as a stimulant, then I crash, then I am awake again.
- Using a white noise machine to shout out other noise
So, hopefully, all of this will help to send me off into the land of nod, and keep me there, otherwise I will either have to start getting Starbucks to sponsor me (no, wait a minute, they don’t pay their taxes, maybe Costa will do) and we will get shares in ridiculously expensive under eye concealer and eye cream, because they keep me from looking worse than I feel (no mean feat, I can assure you)
Wish me luck, and if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. This Mummy NEEDS SLEEP!
*As always, seek medical advice for health issues, and if you have problems with sleeping speak to your GP for help and input*
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