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…