Sleep & Illness

I’ve written pretty extensively about my struggles with sleep and illness since becoming a mother.  Sleep problems seem to be pretty normal for new mom’s (and dad’s).  But what’s been frustrating for us is that Little MPB has been a very good sleeper since basically day 1 (unless something is wrong like he’s teething or sick.  In fact, last night Little MPB slept 10.5 hours without waking up, the night before was 11.5 hours.  Truly, we are fortunate.

But, while living in hotels in the USA with a newborn we quickly learned that I don’t sleep through any of his sounds.  Every single sound made me think he was choking and dying.  This problem persisted when we got home.  In fact, Mr. MPB and Little MPB often shared a room (not in bed, we were never co-sleepers it just wasn’t for us) because I just simply would not sleep if I could hear Baby MPB.  At about 3 months we transferred Little MPB to his crib in part because Mr. MPB and I wanted to sleep together again and we really wanted me to try to sleep better again.  Well, it made no difference for me.  Somehow I have super sonic hearing, and I still hear every sound.  And somewhere in all of this I started just waking up after I’d get up with Little MPB – and I’ll be up for hours during the night.  Which means I was living off 4-6 hours of sleep on good nights, even though the rest of the house was sound asleep.

All the while Mr. MPB can sleep through nearly all of Little MPB’s sounds (including crying).  And, Mr. MPB can also go right back to sleep after being up with Little MPB (I’m beyond jealous of this skill).

So, after writing about deciding to get sleeping pills, I instead decided the reality is I do fall asleep very easily at 10pm.  The problem is purely that I just need to stay asleep through the night, so I’m not sure how sleeping pills would really help at 4am as I’d probably just end up sleeping through the day.  So, the decision became that I am no longer going to get up with Little MPB as often (Mr. MPB is).  And, a few nights a week I am now sleeping in the basement so that I can sleep through the night without hearing Little MPB at all.

This means Mr. MPB is doing more at night.  But, I will point out that Little MPB is sleeping really well right now – he’s healthy and he has no teeth coming through.

Since I finally said I just cannot function without more sleep, and I’ve taken the steps to get more sleep, all of the sudden I’ve been relatively healthy for almost a month!!

Funny how sleep is directly correlated to our overall health.

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13 Comments on “Sleep & Illness

  1. Wow, you’re a light sleeper. That can be a problem. And sleep problems are the worst, you are never functioning properly if you’re not sleeping well or enough.

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    • Hmmm….we have on in Baby MPB’s room but not in our room. Maybe it’s worth adding one to our room – this hadn’t crossed my mind. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  2. I am a light sleeper as well. This may be an option we will look at in the future. I hope my future babies are as good of sleepers as your little one!

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  3. I had severe insomnia while pregnant and to some degree I have it still. One suggestion I really despised but that worked was to actually get up out of bed if I couldn’t slee and go do something, like clean or write (on paper), until I felt sleepy again. It removed the stress of the insomnia– oh my god it’s already 2 am, even if I fall asleep right now I’ll only get four hours! The pressure of which added to the impossiblity of falling asleep. I also removed my clock from the room and forbid myself from looking at my phone, trusting the alarm would wake me when it was supposed to.

    I knew being a mom would mean sleep sacrifice and I am fine with that. What I wasn’t fine with was my own body/mind getting in the way of my sleep even when the baby wasn’t!

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  4. Glad you’re getting some sleep, and that you’re feeling better!! I wake up whenever Cadence makes noise, too. So whenever she gets up and moves in the night, but doesn’t necessarily wake up, I’M awake for a long time. Because, like you, it takes me forever to fall back to sleep. I talked to B about moving her into her nursery when she turns 6 months, but he’s against it. On one hand, I want to sleep. On the other, I’m still SO paranoid about SIDS, I feel like if we move her and something happens it will be all my fault. I know that’s pretty irrational, but I still constantly check on her when she’s sleeping to make sure she’s still alive. (I also wonder if going through IF and a miscarriage has given me PTSD, which is manifesting itself in this way!)

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  5. I’ve heard of studies that showed that women are genetically pre-determined to hear sounds at certain frequencies (such as the pitch of baby crying) more than men are. It seems realistic to me. And if so – getting yourself out of hearing range is probably a good way to deal with the situation. Babies profit from moms who are getting enough sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

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