Those of you who follow my blog know that I have battled with sleep pretty much ever since I became a mum almost five years ago. Perhaps it was the sleep trauma of not sleeping for the best part of the year, perhaps it was my struggle with my hormone imbalances, or perhaps it is the general hecticness of mum life that is to blame. Whichever way you spin it, although my daughter is now an excellent sleeper, I now seem to be the one who can’t shake off the sleep problems – and so I’ve finally decided to get it all out here in my insomnia story.
After the best part of the year of having a baby that would wake up every hour on the hour and be awake for hours on end throughout the night, sleep was never to be the same again.
I’m pretty sure something shifted inside me
…or perhaps broke entirely.
I’d just about fall back asleep and then bang, I’d be woken up with screaming just as I was hitting that sweet spot again. Torture or what?
And then our breastfeeding journey ended
…and that is when the fun really started happening! I would struggle to get to sleep and wake up at silly o’clock….whether my daughter was awake or not. That’s when the sleep props starting drifting in….the eye mask, the lavender oil, the earplugs, the magnesium spray and eventually the Valerian.
Fast forward another few years and I still can not get to sleep without the bizarre combination above.
Once a week usually after a bad run of sleep I take melatonin….on which the jury is still very much out in terms of how safe it is for you, despite it being “all natural”. I hate the fact I am dependent on all of these things, but without the Valerian I will be lying awake until the wee hours of the morning before sleep eventually takes hold. On some nights even WITH all of the above sleep can sometimes elude me entirely.
On top of all that, I have become a frustratingly light sleeper – probably because my brain has now been trained that way. The slightest snore, itch or noise outside and I’ll be awake again.
I have tried hypnotherapy, acupuncture, EFT, sleepy yoga, sleepy tea, meditation and what seems to be a bajillion other things. And yes before you ask I have incredibly good sleep hygiene. I’m considering cognitive behaviour therapy next.
I just want to be able to fall asleep naturally.
I feel like my body has forgotten how to do so!
Then in desperation, I booked myself in for an extortionately priced appointment at a Harley Street sleep clinic. The best part of £400 for the appointment and I was told to take melatonin consistently – every night for six months. But the thing is with melatonin – yes it makes me sleep, but at what cost? That eventually my pituitary gland will eventually forget how to make it naturally and will calcify?
So here I am, still scratching my head, wondering…
when I will be able to fall asleep naturally again?
I guess at least thus far I have avoided going on hardcore sleeping pills…having tried Zoplicone a couple of times in desperation quite frankly they frighten the hell out of me!
I’ve just been recommended Dr Berg’s Night Formula All Natural Sleep Aid which seems pricey yet promising – and I’m currently eagerly awaiting its arrival in the post. I really hope it works because I’m running out of ideas here!
In the meantime, I’ve decided I’m going to try and wean myself off the Valerian slowly but surely – much like you would have to with sleeping pills. Stepping down one pill at a time per week. I’ve started the process and hoping I will be able to see it through.
Do you struggle with insomnia? Have you found a way to fall asleep naturally? I’d love to hear your experiences and any advice you might have.