An insomniacs finest hour: The battle for sleep.

No, this title is not the next follow on to a Hollywood blockbuster, it’s my current fight each night, and I’m not on the winning team. Insomnia, it can and will, drive you insane.

I’ve been thinking as I lay awake about what to share with you bunch next. I want to expose myself to others and open up through my writing. I’m not good at public speaking or even chatting aloud to strangers and so I find it much easier to interact and socialise with others through the use of my writing and online sharing.

Let’s talk insomnia,shall we? I haven’t really ventured into sharing with you the lack of sleep that I face each night lately. It’s 11.19PM and once again, I can’t seem to get to sleep. To make use of the passing time, I thought I could post a short blog. My mind seems to be in over drive lately and I’m suffering with a spell of insomnia, deprived of any chance of a good nights sleep.

I can only describe this as gruelling, it’s horrible. I go to bed at 10 PM each night and I see every hour or there about. It’s not through choice, believe me, I try to sleep. My body fights to get to sleep but the more I fight, the more alert and awake I become.

I lay awake each night, tossing, turning, thinking. I think a little, I think a lot, sometimes I don’t even think, I just lay as still as can be in the hope that sleep comes. It never does and I’m lucky to catch a solid three hours. I get by during the day but my mind is elsewhere, a place that I don’t seem to recognise and a place I can’t quite comprehend or put into words.

I’m unsure wether the insomnia is due to the fact that  my anxiety seems to be at an all time high. I struggle very much lately with the increasing demands of a baby and keeping on top of the daily grind. From trying to complete one task to the next all while tending to a baby and ensuring that I spend enough time each day to interact and play with her can be challenging.

If I dare spend too much time on the house work or catching up with online reading for my own career, making the dinners etc, I fear that I’ve not given Eleanor as much of my attention as she deserves and the Mum guilt kicks in. It creeps up and I feel terrible if I notably leave her alone for any time period. I must add, just in case any of you wonder, I always leave her secure and safe, wether it be strapped into her baby bouncer or on her play mat away from anything that she may get her hands on and could cause harm and she is never left for over ten minutes without being checked on.

However, no matter how little or how long I leave her for some alone time, I feel bad. Eleanor is my baby and it should be my responsibility to be with her and teach her every step of the day. Or at least that’s what my mind tells me, being a Mother really is a full time job. Lot’s of love to all of you parents out there doing your best. I’m beginning to wonder who depends on who, it seems where Eleanor is fine to be left alone and rather happy to be so, I can’t seem to deal with being apart from her.. ONE ROOM APART. God damn that Mum guilt.

My mind is in over drive, I have a lot going on, with a holiday next month I seem to be planning and thinking about this a lot. It is always at a bed time that my mind begins to start springing out ideas and organising. It’s 11.33PM now and I’m thinking about holiday outfits, what to pack, what shoes I should bring, how much shoes I need to bring? (for one week). Can I bring Dr Martens to Cyrpus?

Surely such thoughts can be put on hold until the morning when I wake rather than torment me as I try to drift of and catch even just a solid hour. Give me a break. Heaven knows I need one right about now. This sleep issue can be harrowing and I often feel alone, me against the world as I lay awake in silence through the early hours.

I often wonder, is the insomnia part of the post partum finest? Hell, I’ve already got the whole Mum pouch, the hair loss, the breastfeeding sweats, the body aches and pains. I’m sure the insomnia is just another perk of Motherhood? Have any other Mum’s out there suffered with insomnia post baby?

I find that with the mix of anxiety, the whole rush of Motherhood and busy days.. busy weeks, months, can lead to my mind setting itself in over drive. A place quite tough to crawl back from.  I’m going crazy trying to stay on top of the whole balance of Family life. I am trying to plan a holiday, plan my Wedding day, stressing about my return to work after my leave, trying to spend as much time as I can with my family yet keep on top of all the daily activities and chores. I can’t do it all but I feel like I am expected to right now. My baby needs me and I don’t like to put her second. Ever.

Everyone wants more and more from me and I don’t have the ability to meet all of the demands I’m faced with daily and try to get some time for myself too. I mean, at least it feels like everyone wants, however, this is just what my mind feeds me. Nobody expects anything from me in reality and the only challenge that I face is dealing with the balance and fighting the fact that I am not Superwoman and I can’t do it all. At least not on my own.

Since having Eleanor, I don’t think I’ve had as much as six hours sleep, never mind alone time. I’ve been out with Euan on cinema trips away from Eleanor and Motherhood duties for no more than four hours at a time. I crave some alone time yet when I have it, it doesn’t feel right and I feel like I should be with my family rather than taking time out for a break. I chose to become a Mother after all, I don’t really have the audacity to request a break. Do I?

I must add, I am now six months post partum and I believe I feel and look worse than I did at two weeks after giving birth. Motherhood is not glamorous, I am tired, I live in the same over washed joggers and knitted jumper, I over heat, I break out in spells on acne, my hair is so thin it’s falling out all around me and my body has unexplained aches and pains every single day. My knees burn, my back hurts, my body doesn’t actually feel like it belongs to me. I don’t feel as though I am in my own skin, yet I seem to not remember myself in any other form.

As if I didn’t need more on my plate to content with, throw insomnia and a six month old teething into the mix and you have one twenty five year old ready for the grave. It’s tough, and it can be very testing. Some days all I want to do is lock myself away and take a nap, but then I remember that I am not fifteen anymore, I have a child and I hold a great deal of responsibility.

11.41PM, I have rapidly swapped the thought process from holiday packing to self esteem. See what I me, my mind races, it’s in over drive and at the worst as I try to sleep. My mind is now working to be little what self esteem I have left right now, I tell myself I am too skinny and have to gain weight as I’m stare at my frail legs and being knees. I wonder about my hair and hope that it won’t begin to fall out in clumps, I can’t take losing much more and now I feel sad that I cut my locks so short, I long for a full and shiny mane once more. The more tired I become, the more I notice myself to criticize and note my every flaw.

I just want sleep to come, it doesn’t and I know long after I stop with this post, I will still be laying here in silence. So here I find myself ask for advice for sleeping aids, have any of you had sleep issues that can recommend some products or routine to help?

I have tried hot showers and face masks, tried no caffeine past six, I would read or play music but it only stimulates my mind further and brings provoking thoughts.

I don’t do well with yoga but I have tried the whole yoga breathing, th counting of sheep classics  to help ease my mind before drifting off, only this can bring me to more thinking, my mind just wonders. There is little I can do with Eleanor in the bed so, I am working to get her into her own bed only teething seems to be a bit of a big issue right now and comfort feeding next to me is all that will settle her tears.

I’m afraid to take any sleep aids as with Eleanor next to me, I would be too concerned for her safety and never forgive myself if I fell Into a deep sleep and rolled onto her or any sort of freak accident were to occur. Are there any herbal remedies that can aid sleep? I am planning to try with the lavender and get some sleep scent spray for the room after doing some research.

Please feel free to add your comments, recommendations, requests. I’m happy to receive any tips and feedback. In fact, it is nice to hear from others from time to time, it’s not often that I venture out of my comfort zone and chat with strangers. A mixture of an introverted personality and what can be over bearing, I want to crawl under a rock type anxiety.

Better get back to trying to sleep and laying patiently awake, dwelling into the thoughts in my mind. Goodnight all, thanks for reading.




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