Coping with Insomnia was one of the hardest things when I returned to work after both my girls. I went back both times and was fine for a couple of weeks. Then it was as if it hit me. This was reality and I was leaving them three times a week to work. There was so much to fit it, remember and juggle. Both my girls got sick at times and I had to take time to look after them and take time off when I got sick as well.
I know for me stress and anxiety was a the culprit. With my gremlin insomnia hit me like a bolt and at first I genuinely didn’t know why I just couldn’t sleep. I was literally exhausted; getting 4 hours a night if I was lucky.
This matches research from beds.net who reported in a recent survey that 73% of us Brits are being kept awake each night due to stress, as well as some other rather amusing reasons such as their neighbour farting!
I never had the latter problem but can totally empathise with the 73% of stressed Brits. It’s a horrible and ironic thing going through your day in a fog of tiredness but not being able to sleep. Barely keeping it together at work. Struggling to read to your child at night. Withdrawing and cancelling social occasions because of feeling tired and anxious. For me, I even lost motivation to work out, which is huge for a total fitness addict.
It wasn’t a pleasant 2 months. Burning eyes, tears and exhaustion and the most frustrating thing was, my eldest was sleeping pretty well.
Coping with Insomnia
Obviously though, you have to cope with insomnia and try to get over it if you can. And I did! Now the things that keep me up at night are small and want to climb in my bed! Both my girls can wake me up at least once a night. I’m currently breastfeeding my 8 month old and he still wants 2 feeds a night. I’m doing this lying down but it still means being awake for 15 minutes at a time! He’s a lot rougher feeding now so I can’t doze off!
Obviously these disturbances will pass but I do know insomnia will rear its ugly head again if I’m stressed or anxious.
So I need to cope and this is what I do:
– Accept it! Accept that I am in a little funk of insomnia and almost be mindful of it. I think this can be a large step in it passing.
– Have the mantra of, “what’s the worst that will happen?” A friend once said that to me in regard to not sleeping. What really is the worst thing? Yes, you’ll be tired and yes it is rough but that’s it. You’ve got through tired days before and you will again. This can really be a good thought when you are panicking at 3am about not being asleep yet.
– Relaxation techniques before bed. For me meditation worked. I had a few goes and was falling asleep when doing it. I realised that my lack of sleep was all in my head and that helped me fall asleep.
– I really did have to practice a bit of sleep hygiene. Coming off my phone. Having a nice relaxing bath. Reading to make myself sleepy. Not doing any blog work close to bedtime. I needed to switch off my brain.
– Talked to people about how I was feeling. How I was finding work hard. How I was struggling to sleep. It did help me. A problem shared. I did consider seeing the GP but in the end I started to sleep again.
Coping with insomnia and being kept up at night is rough! It’s frustrating, exhausting and stressful in itself but I usually find it passes. It’s linked with stress and when I can deal with this, sleep comes back again.
How about you? Do you have any tips for coping with insomnia?
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.