Confessions of a sleep obsessed mum

I, probably like many of you, used to be a good sleeper. Oh yes, motherhood brings with it so many changes – one of which seems to be how a good sleeper can miraculously turn into a troubled sleeper.

Somehow, it seems for many of us, our body and mind becomes so hardwired to waking up several times a night, staying awake, not going to sleep at all, and waking early that long after that period has passed, we are frozen in Post Traumatic Sleep Deprivation Syndrome (otherwise coined by this blogger as PTSDS).

And of course if you, like me, are a victim of PTSDS you become a troubled sleeper, and a troubled sleeper becomes a sleep obsessed sleeper. Key sleep obsessions of which include:

1. Will I get to sleep?

2. Why am  I still not asleep?

3. Why am I now awake when everyone else is asleep?

4. How can I stay asleep?

5. How can I get enough hours of sleep to function properly tomorrow?

6. Am I ever going to sleep properly again?

As a victim of PTSDS you are likely to have a myriad of sleep crutches and rituals to try to alleviate some of the symptoms of PTSDS.

I am a little embarrassed to share my own with you here, but for the greater good of other long standing sufferers of PTSDS here goes. My nightly ritual includes:

1. No or minimal water after 8pm to minimise the need to pee 100 times before going to bed or throughout the night

2. Slathering myself in ouch ouch stingy Magnesium oil

3. Rubbing Tiger Balm on my temples

4. Taking the maximum dose of the natural supplement Valeria to help aid so-called natural sleep

5. Stuffing wax ear plugs in my ears – at the cost of my hearing because sleep wins over hearing in my book (what use is my hearing if I am a walking zombie?)

6. Wearing a night mask – ok but not any old night mask until of late but a ridiculous and so called “Revolutionary PATENTED Sleep Masters Sleep Mask” for maximum light and noise reduction. At over 20 quid you could call me a mug but this is seriously the ULTIMATE in sleep crutches!

7. Drowning my pillow in Lavender oil

I did at one point get so desperate as to resort to sleeping pills but found the whole process of being sucked into sleep so totally freaky that I couldn’t bare to go there again. Obviously with all of the above you now probably think I am a raving loony but I have a sneaky suspicion that I am not the only one that has taken these lengths to make sure I a) Get to sleep and b) Stay asleep. Come on…are you out there? Please tell me you’re out there?

Note: PTSDS is not actually a real condition in case you hadn’t gathered, just something I made up duh! But for clinical reasons I would obviously love to hear if you also suffer from PTSDS too…

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  1. OMG, yes. I’d write more except I’m off to bed to count the hours until the baby wakes me and I have to get up when my alarm wakes me at the butt crack of dawn. If I sleep now I could get 5 hours…

  2. I have this syndrome I think. It is true…..once you are a parent, you never remember how to sleep properly again. I am a little obsessed with water, and can’t stop guzzling it (weird, I know). So I really relate to your water rule. Otherwise I am up A LOT during the night. I am going to try lavender oil though. This sounds relaxing.

    • I think we should start a support group! Glad it’s not just me on the water front. I thought maybe I was being a bit weird? Actually I found lavender the least helpful the Magnesium oil really seems to do the trick though and worth the stinging!

  3. PTSDS is definitely a thing. I always try to go to bed before I get too tired. It really helps! If I go to bed too late I end up being overtired and it takes me over an hour to get to sleep. I also don’t drink anything after 8pm! There’s nothing worse than not being able to sleep and having to get up to use the loo for the umpteenth time! #twinklytuesday

  4. Actually I suffer from the opposite (once I am allowed to go to sleep) – I can’t wake up without having my eyeball being prodded or my hair being yanked by tiny hands. Ugh.

  5. Have you tried meditation techniques that try to calm the mind and divert focus from the need for sleep? Concentrating on a place or. Memory or a film in intense detail was something I found a bit helpful. I used to run Mary Poppins through in my head nightly and pick up from where I last left off at the next sleep round.mi also realised I hadn’t been awake as long as I thought as I wouldn’t have made much progress! Also. Don’t.! It just creates more stress. I’m tentatively getting the odd 8 hours now, myles does occasionally sleep through. Cranial osteopathy has helped him enormously.

    • Do you know funny you suggesting this I actually did deep breathing, meditation and yoga for sleep before I went to bed last night and actually got LESS sleep than usual. Argh! I never, ever look at the clock – something I have learnt over many, many years…wow an odd 8 hours really is gold dust I hope it becomes a more regular feature for you…so pleased the cranial has helped him…

  6. I feel your pain!! I’ve had little sleep for over three years that now even when the children are asleep in laying there waiting for the inevitable to happen!! #wineansboobs

  7. OMG! I have PTSDS!!!!! I never knew it had a name! lol. This is me to a tee. I used to sleep so well, but ever since I had my first baby (9 years ago now), I haven’t slept a solid 8 hours for one single night. Even when I can, I do exactly what you said – “why am I not asleep yet?”, “if I fall asleep now, how many hours will I get?…. etc, etc. It sucks!!!!! But I am glad to know I am not alone! I will be a member of your PTSDS club! lol


    • LOL well I don’t know if it had a name before but it certainly does now I’ve made it up haha! Well I’m feeling better that we are not alone and the club is growing..Welcome aboard Cindie and thanks for stopping by from #wineandboobs!

  8. So my kids are 6 and 4, and I still suffer from PTSDS. The hubs lays there snoring next to me while I toss and turn and count the hours waiting to FINALLY fall asleep. I have tried it all! Nothing seems to work, and even the sleeping pills lose their potency after a while.

  9. Love it Talya. I will be putting this up on my FB page. I still get this to a certain extent although not as severely as I used to. Moved from acute sufferer to chronic one!!

  10. I have a problem with sleep now. My little boy still wakes up a few times but I find sometimes I’m awake when he isn’t or I wake up just miraculously those few minutes before he does, like I subconsciously know or something. I have tried a few things, not as many as you though. I hope it improves, I hope mine does to #sharewithme

  11. I love Tiger Balm! I put it on everything. Insect bites, headache. I think its more the smell for me than healing powers really as my mother loves it and I havent seen my mother and I miss her and when I miss her I crave for tiger balm.

    I am on the other side of the spectrum here. As I am aneamic, I can always fall asleep as I get tired so easy. So nice but being anemic means I get dizzy easy too.

    But on some nights when I feel too restless I do some of the rituals on your list esp the tiger balm =)


  12. My hubby recently became a sleep obsessed sleeper and now really struggles with it. I wish I could help and I don’t know if its his age, being a parent and the pressures of life as we get older but hope it’s not something he will always struggle with. Bottle what you got and sell it girl!!! lol Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • Ah your poor hubby well they did once use sleep deprivation as sleep torture so I’m really hoping he doesn’t struggle all his life! Get him to give some of these things a go perhaps? Thanks as always for hosting!

  13. Oh no! I sleep so much better now than I used to! Before Zach, it used to take me at least half an hour to get to sleep at night, now, it’s as soon as my head hits the pillow because I am so bloody exhausted! There are nights I struggle more than others and obviously wake if Zach does! I’ve probably cursed it now though and will struggle tonight! That always happens when I talk about sleep! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  14. I hate that feeling of lying awake thinking why am I not asleep yet?! Luckily I am always so tired I rarely get insomnia and always fall asleep straight away, it’s just the being woken up part that I struggle with! Thanks for linking to #sundaystars

  15. I just drink a bottle of wine and take an ambien! It knocks me right the f@*k out! lol I have tried the over the counter sleep aids but they do nothing for me except make me itch like crazy. Thanks for linking up with me at #momsterslink. Sorry I am a little behind on my commenting.

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