How does one relearn to fall asleep?

posted by Diana | Saturday, July 31, 2010, 8:53 PM | comments: 0

In a recent post, Jeff wrote about the various challenges we're having with Simon sleeping.  I, too, am having my own sleep problems which I need to work out.  For as long as I can remember I've never been able to fall immediately to sleep.  It's obvious I didn't inherit the Mattoni "fall instantly asleep the moment my head hits the pillow" gene.  I'm definitely more like my mom.  My mom was a self proclaimed night owl and often had insomnia.  I hadn't really experienced insomnia until I was pregnant (which didn't last too long) but for me, it's the amount of wind-down time needed in order to fall asleep.  Back during my working days, I'd known some friends to mock me in wanting to get to bed by 10pm (you know who you are!).  Perhaps what they didn't realize is that even though I'd try to be in bed by 10pm, I'd be lucky if I fell asleep by 11pm.  Now, logic might suggest to just stay up and then go to bed at 11pm, but that would backfire.  I'd still be up around midnight trying to turn off my brain.  

And that is where the root of the problem lies - I can't turn off my brain.  When I get into bed, I have 8 million thoughts racing through my head - recalling earlier moments in the day, thinking about things that need to get done tomorrow, making mental lists of things to remember/do weeks from now.  My thoughts run the gamut - thoughts about time and lakes (both which will have future blog posts), to what to pack for a trip that's more than 3 weeks away!  And it's not just at my initial bedtime.  It often happens when I get up in the night to feed Simon or  when I try to take a nap during the day.  Daytime naps (which I sometimes really need) are almost impossible - by the time I start to fall asleep, Simon is waking up from his nap.

I've tried various things, like some light reading before bed, warm tea or milk, slow breathing techniques, and focusing on the good things in my life (literally counting my blessings), but I'm still struggling.  I need to figure out a way to relearn to fall asleep.

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