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  1. #1
    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
    Dr. Bork Bork is offline Senior Member
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    Sleep Anxiety

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    So apparently I am blessed with kids/babies who are champion sleepers. Annee has consistently slept 5-6 hours at night before waking for a feeding and is gaining weight well. My mom has been a great help during the day taking care of our new baby and encourages me to sleep. I lay down for about an hour, but then I wake up and think I should get up to do ___insert whatever you want here___. The problem is I feel WORSE after napping, even though I'm really tired, and my body obviously needs to rest to help recover from having a newborn. Seriously, I'm falling asleep at the dinner table, at restaurants if we go out for lunch (getting out of the house helps with my baby blues), and right after I wake up in the morning. I keep trying to explain to my mom that I feel worse after sleeping, and logically I know the baby is fine, but just can't seem to get the rest I need. It's an anxiety issue, I think, but I don't know what to do to fix it. Help?
    --Trish (Bork)
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    Derpamix's Avatar
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    How much are you eating? What are you eating? Prolactin is increased a lot postpartum, this could explain the sleep anxiety and the tired feeling as it directly opposes dopamine.

    If you don't mind supplementing, progesterone is very helpful.
    Longing is the agony of the nearness of the distant

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    No great font of advice here other than to confirm that you are normal. I had this same issue after both my children were born. I felt that I should be "doing something" not just sleeping. I believe now that it was directly related to postpartum depression. It will pass..

    If I were you I would force myself to sleep, then when and if you get anxious about it just tell yourself to shut it.

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    I have a suggestion (that might not help, but I'll throw it out there anyway).

    1) When I was researching polyphasic sleep, it was repeated that the most efficient and optimal length of time to nap is 20 minutes (for every 1.5 hour sleep 'cycle', only 20 minutes is actually restorative, and people who are sleep deprived tend to immediately go straight into this magical 20 minute period as soon as they fall asleep). People tend to have the most trouble feeling refreshed when their sleep cycle doesn't take this into account. So theoretically, it's better to sleep for 7.5 hours than 8, and 9 hours is better than 8.5 hours.

    What if you tried to time your naps so that you were only sleeping for 20 minutes? You could set an alarm, and if you know it will only be for 20 minutes, maybe you won't feel that anxiety about all the things you should be doing.

  5. #5
    namelesswonder's Avatar
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    Derpamix, I don't know if it's wise to supplement progesterone (or any other hormone) while breast-feeding. That's something BB should ask her doctor.

    I'm not sure what is okay to take while breast-feeding, but that kind of sleep anxiety, I have experienced. Your body is probably more stressed than usual since you are recovering from the pregnancy and still physically/nutritionally supporting another human being. Not pregnant, 5-HTP helps me with those feelings. I used to wake up during the night and have anxious thoughts or frustration over being awake. I tended to not feel well rested in the morning. It also keeps away my depression. A small dose in the evening might help with the anxiety, but again, I don't know if there are any repercussions of taking it while breast-feeding.
    Journal on depression/anxiety
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  6. #6
    Derpamix's Avatar
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    Progesterone will eventually normalize itself either way. Alas, I am also unsure, so don't take my word on supplementing it as anything more than something to inquire about.
    Longing is the agony of the nearness of the distant

  7. #7
    VacillateWildly's Avatar
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    Gosh I relate to this so much. I don't have much advice but lots of sympathy. I had PND with both my children and my cortisol levels were through the roof, I could barely sleep at all and by the time my first born was 3 weeks old I was certifiable. Thankfully the darling mite slept 13 hour nights from 8 weeks until he was 4.

    However, that feeling of 'Baby is asleep I SHOULD rest, but I COULD also do the laundry, start dinner, iron, clean the shower etc is consuming. I didn't rest, but with my second baby I gave up on the idea of sleeping and decided I would try and lie down and do a full body scan relaxation. Sometimes I could only stand it for 10 minutes as the urge to be busy was huge. That tiredness of the breastfeeding (or newborn feeding, any feeding, bottle feeding) mother is not like any other.

    I don't find 'shoulds' helpful. In the evening, a warm bath, a foot soak, 10 minutes reading, something for you before bed. Thankfully you are eating well, fantastic for both of you. I hope you can relax and get some rest soon, my heart goes out, it's tough.

  8. #8
    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    Trying to eat right. Ratios are usually 60% fat, 25% protein, and 15% carbs. When I go down for a nap, it takes at least 30 mins for me to fall asleep, and the next 30 mins are spent in light sleep. I sleep really well at night (honestly I find myself doing the "No, Ma, I don't wanna get up. 5 more minutes" when I hear Annee smacking her lips in the middle of the night around feeding time). Yet I wake up feeling like I need another 12 hours of sleep in the morning. I got a bodybugg for Christmas to help me keep track of calories so I can help keep my milk supply up, and get baby weight off safely, and it tracks sleep as well. Sleep efficiency at night is around 98%. It's just during the day I can't seem to get my brain to STFU.
    Even after cuddling with hubby and watching our favorite shows last night to help unwind, I still couldn't get that darn mommy brain to shut off. I think part of the problem is I'm worried Annee will wake up just as I'm nodding off/finally comfortable. Hubby & my mom both tell me they'll grab her if she wakes up, but it doesn't help me relax. I KNOW she's in good hands, I KNOW she's safe and taken care of, just can't seem to shake the illogical other stuff.
    It's kind of like going Primal for the first time. You look at the clock and think "Hey, it's noon, I should probably eat something", and it takes a while to learn that you don't have to eat/do specific tasks at specific times any more. Does that make sense? I think I might be rambling now...
    --Trish (Bork)
    TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
    http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
    FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

  9. #9
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    I have no answers, but I can SOOOO commiserate! I went through that four times. It was insane. I would even wash windowsills instead of sleep during the day! Sorry you are going through this!
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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    I remember feeling that type of anxiety during the early stages of bringing home my new babies (I had 4: The last two were twins). I would feel very anxious as I tried to close my eyes for some sleep because I felt that one or both babies would wake, upon me falling into a much-needed sleep. The stress of that on me was quite intense.

    I have found practicing deep breathing and relaxation techniques to be quite helpful. So, you might try lying down in a quiet, dark room and begin to take some very deep breaths --- from way down in your belly. Breathing deeply, try to let go of the 'racing mind' and all the tasks that you feel you 'should be doing'. Let go and try to clear your mind of everything. I think of fields full of sunflowers and bring my mind back to that soothing thought every time it tries to wander off into another 'worry area'. It takes a bit of work to get to the point where you can almost instantly relax and fall into a nice medication state, but it does work.

    Try to cut yourself some slack -- you have a new baby and your body and mind are juggling a lot right now. Try to relax and 'go with the flow' without worrying about 'everything else'. Looking back in time, those days with new baby are so precious, and we all know how fast babies grow into toddlers, and then into school-aged children. And before you know it, they are off to university and the only time you see them is when they drop off their dirty laundry :-)

    /Lu
    ----------------------------------------
    F, 48, 5'10"
    Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
    Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

    Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

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