Friday, October 16, 2009

Parents' Inability to Sleep Post Children

Posted by Mandy at 6:25 AM
Each time I was expecting a baby, I knew to expect sleepless nights once the little screamer arrived. I learned this, especially, after the second baby...

What I didn't know to expect was my own inability to sleep through the night once my children were older. I never could have imagined lying awake in bed as my three kids slept peacefully all night long. What gives?

Over the past few months Clayton and I have been noticing that at least one of us is up EVERY night. I can't remember the last time I slept a full night through. Often times I wake up and try to avoid looking at the alarm clock in hopes of not starting the "it's 4am now, if I go back to sleep soon I can get another two hours of sleep before the alarm goes off..." "... now it's 5am... come on! Go back to sleep! Only one more hour!" cycle. Many of you probably know how fun this torturous game can be.

What I find astonishing is how when I first wake up, say at 4am, I am totally awake. I could hop out of bed and begin my day! I often think to myself how I wish it was already 6am and I felt so great! But, then what happens... I finally go back to sleep, only to be jerked awake much too soon by the alarm clock. Where is that great, "I wish it were time to wake up now," feeling then?

I've done some digging to find out how I can help myself stay asleep all night, and I'm coming up empty handed. Most suggestions are things like exercise more, lose weight, avoid caffeine in the evening, keep a bedtime routine, yadda, yadda, yadda. I'm jogging 1.5 miles a day, I'm at a healthy weight, and I stop all caffeine after 4 or 5pm. (unless friends are over... some ppl socially drink alcohol, I socially drink Coke Zero.) My bedtime routine is fairly set in stone.

Am I hopeless? Is this why my own mother has always woken up for an hour or two around 3am, unable to go back to sleep? Did I ruin her? Have my kids ruined me?!

I suppose if you keep the routine of never sleeping going for several years, through several children, your body adjusts to it. Why won't my brain realize that there is no reason for me to be wide awake at night anymore and let me sleep? Doesn't it know that one of the main reasons I don't want to have more babies is for that exact reason? I'm tired of being tired?

Have any of you found this to be true as well? At least temporarily? Does it ever end?


Anonymous said...

I have to say that I do not have this problem. You know me I can take a 2 hour nap and still go to bed and sleep all night. You have never been a nap taker, so maybe you should start there! It works for me!
Love ya

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