Momsomnia is real!
You! Me! We have no reason to not be completely exhausted by the time the sun goes down.
Yet, you can find us moms tossing and turning desperately trying to fall asleep.
Then there's the middle of the night wake-up that you just can't go back down from!
Even when my kids were sleeping through the night, and I was no longer waking up to pump; you could still find me at 2 am with my mind racing and restless.
I had to do something about it!
Here's what I did to cure my Momsomnia:
What is Momsomnia?
While you were pregnant you may have had a difficult time falling asleep.
With the inability to lay on your stomach, heartburn, restless leg syndrome, (in my case the nonstop leg cramping); it is expectedly difficult. This all boils down to the cleverly worded Momsomnia or "Mom insomnia"
The above, was all going on before you had a human on the outside to care for.
After delivery, even as those symptoms went away; I had the de-habilitating inability to fall asleep well.
Why Can't I sleep postpartum?
Initially there might be several reasons you have difficulty falling asleep postpartum.
There's the babies feeding schedule throughout the night, engorged breasts if you don't pump, or maybe it's just the anxiety of it all: "is my baby still breathing?".
There's also another theory that in spite of being incredibly tired after a full day with a baby- moms need to have a little time to unwind- even if that pushes sleep out later (catching up on a show even if their really tired- just to feel human).
I personally relate to this theory. I could fall asleep putting my youngest down, wake up in his bed, and then like a mom-zombie watch a show just so that I felt like I related to news/pop-culture- anything besides just "mom land".
Whatever the case, doctor's will agree that lack of sleep and new mom depression are greatly linked so catching Zzzz's is crucial for not only your physical well-being; but your mental health as well.
In fact, new moms that don't get good sleep are more likely to experience postpartum depression, intense postpartum hair loss, inability to lose weight, irritability and poor focus, and a lot more health/mental issues.
Bottom line, sleep is crucial so how do we get it?
How to get sleep:
Two words: RESET + CONSISTENCY.
The absolute only thing that worked for me was: first resetting and retraining my mind/body to sleep, and then being super consistent about it.
The first thing I did was set a bed time & wake-up time (now I get you have little ones so things will come up but make this something that is reasonable for you).
For me this looked like my littlest being down(fully asleep) by 7:45pm and me setting a sleep cut off time by 9pm. My youngest is usually up in the 6am range so I'm waking up at about 5:45 am consistently for the time being.
This is actually a good amount of sleep; if I can get it.
Now here's where I needed the reset to jump-start this schedule.
Since my body was not used to being able to fall asleep right away I turned to a hormone our brain already produces in response to darkness: melatonin.
I chose the baby blues postpartum vegan melatonin gummies and would take them about 30 min before my desired sleep time of 9pm (so I was popping 1-2 around 8:30 pm.)
What I really love about taking only melatonin without anything added (a lot of other brands add things to their melatonin that can actually be addicting - so be diligent) is it's unlike a sleeping pill in that melatonin alone is not a sedative.
Melatonin instead works by signaling to your body that it's nighttime and just encouraging your body's natural sleep-wake up cycle to let you "power down" for the night.
This reset worked!
After a full week of being consistent with when I took my melatonin and when I woke up I feel like my body truly embraced this routine.
The results of improved sleep are almost immediate. Better mood, better energy, my body felt better. Long term benefits have been healthier skin & hair!
After a week I no longer needed to rely on adding melatonin every night and now I'll only take my gummies if I've had a particularly anxious day.
I recently went on vacation with pretty significant time difference and my gummies came in handy for my reset when I returned.
Hopefully this encourages you to try your own reset. Let me know in the comments what's worked for you or if you've struggled with Mom-somnia postpartum.