My battle with being wide awake when I am meant to be fast asleep has been a war waged over so many years. Stress is always a culprit; whether it be work related, financial, just life in general my mind apparently prefers the timeframe of mulling things over when it’s the moon’s turn to be high in the sky. It’s not a conscious choice to participate I must add, but my brain seems to have other ideas. And once that thought train leaves the station baby, there aint no return ticket back.
I remember during my last pregnancy I encountered insomnia regularly, so perhaps it is par for the course for me when carrying a baby. The first time around, so much of it stemmed from fear – being the control freak that I am, not knowing when the baby would come, and just how dramatically life would change, used to keep me staring at the dark ceiling for endless hours on countless nights. And while you might say “well, at least you know what you are in for this time around” some night that is precisely the problem - except this time it's more along the lines of: “oh God, I know what I am in for this time around”. Then the internal battle of wills ensues, with the logical side of my brain trying to soothe its irrational counterpart with some sense. “Perhaps this time will be different”, I’ll argue with myself. Then, more adamantly, I declare silently “IT WILL BE DIFFERENT, I SHALL MAKE IT SO!”.
By which point due to such vivid internal dialogue my whole body is spiked with adrenaline and therefore wide awake. And because I have to get up a trillion times a night to pee thanks to the lovely side effects of growing a baby, my mind has ample opportunity to kick into gear. Thoughts, like monkeys, swing rampantly from vine to vine and before I know a small person has appeared at my bedside (or lounge side, should I chose a different ceiling to stare at) and the day must begin.
The silver lining I suppose is that I have learned I can still survive on so little sleep. Like earlier this week, when slumber eluded me from 4am and I had a huge working day ahead that would require much mental concentration to avoid any errors. I basically still managed to put in a successful 12 work hour day and juggled my mum responsibilities on my own too. Sure, I fell in a heap at about 8.30pm that evening but during the day I was able to avoid acknowledging the fatigue I knew I felt, but was not able to succumb to.
And of course, if nothing else I can see this broken, diminished sleep as all good practice for when baby number 2 arrives.
Do you have any suggestions for overcoming - or at least managing - insomnia when it strikes? If so, I'd love for you to share them so shut eye no longer eludes me!