Thoughtful Thursday: Losing Sleep

May 14, 2009

Thoughtful ThursdayTurns out I spoke too soon in my last post when I said that the only time I’ve lost sleep during this pregnancy was the night before the nuchal scan. Monday night, I was up for 3 hours after DH went to bed, filled with Dead Baby Thoughts.

Wednesday night, I was up for 1.5 hours after DH’s bedtime… not from anxiety, but from poo problems. My body apparently refuses to let me sleep until all is well in the digestive tract.

I’d say, though, that 95% of the insomnia I’ve experienced in my life was TTC- or infertility-related. As I wrote a while back:

I used to sleep like a log, all the way through the night no matter what. All my life I slept like a log — too soundly, even; I have slept through major earthquakes, fire alarms, and too many alarm clocks. As soon as I started charting, I kept waking up many times throughout the night, wondering if it was time to temp yet. Never mind the fact that DH would wake me at the proper time. I was so eager — it’s funny to imagine now. I have barely slept through the night in the seven years since then, even though I gave up on charting over 4 years ago.

Aside from the above, I can literally think of three other times, aside from rare occasions when I’ve been kept up by illness, that I’ve been unable to sleep for hours at a time.

  1. The night before the first day of 6th grade. I’m not sure why I was so excited, but it seemed it would be the most thrilling first day of school ever. I don’t think I slept the whole night, and instead I calmed myself with deep breathing techniques far beyond what an 11-year-old should have the wherewithal to do at 4am. In the morning, I had my mom fix my hair in a tidy bun (the only one I ever wore to school in my whole life, though I wore a bun to ballet class) to camouflage my exhaustion.
  2. My wedding day. I went to sleep fine, but I woke up 4 hours before I needed to. I did some last minute tasks, and danced frenetically around the living room to The Monkees.
  3. The night before a job interview four years ago. I had a series of interviews all around the country, but there was only one for which I couldn’t sleep, almost the whole night. It turned out to be the job I ended up with. I spent 2 hours sleeping and 6 hours in my friend’s guest room watching Season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (she had the whole series). I made a pretty good dent in the first season that night, and eventually went on to watch the rest of the series at much more reasonable times of day.

What about you? What causes you to lose sleep? If applicable, what percent of your sleepless nights are the result of infertility?

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13 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Losing Sleep”

  1. ^WiseGuy^ Says:

    Hey Cass….Congratulations on the wonderful scan pics and the great news they are bearing and thanks for calling me a stalwart!

    What about you? What causes you to lose sleep? If applicable, what percent of your sleepless nights are the result of infertility?

    I am a great sleeper…I am dead when I sleep…The longest spell of sleeplessness was prior to and during my 12th class exams. I was too tense about my preparation for it and it caused me to remain sleepless for a long while. I tend to be a very light sleeper when I am planning for a next-morning pee stick game. I had a rough time with sleeping during the last few days of my IVF/ICSI 2ww as well….and I remember staying awake and roaming around in the house the night after my BFN….there was an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice on TV and I was watching that….I just could not sleep.

    Only on major days like that, I would either totally lose sleep or have several ugly dreams etc….

  2. Kristin Says:

    The absolute worst thing for me getting good sleep is my husband working night shifts. I just find it very hard to make myself go to bed on time when he isn’t here.

  3. jill Says:

    I am a great sleeper. I always tell people “I could lie down on the floor right here, right now, and be asleep in 10 minutes.” And mostly, that’s true. I usually fall asleep within minutes and stay asleep for good. I recently wrote on my blog how, because of this, I have a hard time understanding people who have sleep issues and I wish I could be more compassionate towards them.

    The one thing that keeps me up is stress and sadness caused by fighting. I have an incredibly hard time sleeping if my husband and I fight/argue right before bedtime. Especially if it doesn’t reach the “kiss and make-up” stage. Ugh – I lay there for hours feeling sad, mad, guilty, depressed… you name it. I always try to resolve every arguement (to my husband’s dismay) before going to sleep but sometimes there is just no resolution or we are too upset with each other. It drives me insane to leave things unresolved.

    I don’t think I’ve had any sleeplessness related directly to IF/TTC. I do think though, if I ever get pregnant, there will be a lot of sleepless nights.

  4. Cat Says:

    Every single night I’ve had trouble sleeping has been IF, now pregnancy, related except the night before my wedding. Every other night of my life I have slept like the dead. I have slept through the loudest of thunderstorms in a tent while everyone else was woken up. I even slept through bears walking within feet of me, again in a tent, in Glacier National Park. Being a deep sleeper is probably the best genetic gift my dad gave my sisters and me. I love it.

    But, with TTC and then IF and then IVF, it’s not such a done deal anymore. I tossed and turned the night before any big procedure or test. I kept waking up just in case the alarm clock didn’t go off, even though it’s always gone off except on the rare occasions when I accidentally set it for PM instead of AM.

    I do not like this relatively new development at all. It throws me completely out of whack for the whole day.


  5. I lose sleep over deadlines. Even if I’ve already done whatever I need to get done by said deadline, I still freak out over it.

  6. rosesdaughter Says:

    I have always been one of those people who could go to sleep at any time, any place. As long as it’s not nighttime. After years of insomnia(starting in the 9th grade), and then night shift work, it was amazing when I could finally sleep through the night. But then came TTC, and the nightime “did I ovulate” obssessions. And then, the miscarriage along with the “what did I do wrong” thoughts. Now, it’s just the, my bladder wakes me up every 2 hours anyway. And the “will I see blood on the tissue when I go” thoughts. (sign). By the time I get back to sleeping through the night again, the baby will be here!!!

  7. S Says:

    What about you? What causes you to lose sleep? If applicable, what percent of your sleepless nights are the result of infertility?

    One of the problems I currently have is weeing every 15-20 minutes, its a result of drinking between 3.5-5 litres of water daily.

    My medication keeps me awake too (prednisone) hence I’ve started taking it in the morning.

    What ifs and dead baby thoughts keep me awake at all times, memories of pregnancies past and uncertainty about the future are close contenders. For example, I wake up at 3 to have a wee, and think. I have no effing idea what’s going on in there. Its too early. Has he/she died? How would I know? The answer is, I wouldn’t. Fast forward to 6am. Me lying wide awake on the sofa staring at the ceiling, listening but not hearing the songs on my ipod.

    Stress is usually what keeps me up. Job stress a few times. Infertility stress a LOT. My history is the primary cause of sleepless nights.

    And sometimes, just bad sleeping habits, like sleeping all day.

  8. S Says:

    or sometimes… just to be fun, its being slack and needing to complete an assignment on time! being the last minute queen and all.

    S

  9. Rebecca Says:

    I lose sleep over everything. I’m a bad sleeper.

  10. Eve Says:

    Congrats on a ggggggreat scan!

    My first bout of serious insomnia was when my father left our family when I was 8. I just couldn’t fall asleep, and if my mother was out with friends for the evening or on a date (after the divorce) I would obsess over whether she would come home or not.

    Second serious bout was when I was preggo…more hormonal and physical probably then anxiety, but miserable nonetheless.

    Now I fall asleep just fine on my own, but I definitely have ‘mom sleep’ which means I sleep with one eye open and hear every little sound in the house. It’s also common for my son to get up once or twice in the night either to go to the bathroom or just because, so I never have a night of uninterrupted sleep.

    But it’s worth it in the long run. I’m defintely NOT complaining.

  11. Photogrl Says:

    Growing up, I always slept like a log. Nothing could wake me up.

    Then, 5 years ago, I was blessed with Miss O. I became the lightest sleeper overnight.

    STC #2 has not helped at all. Especially, if I’m due to test the next morning, I can’t sleep for anything.

    I miss the days of sleeping soundly for 8 hours…


  12. I usually sleep like a log. I’ve lost count of how many times my husband has told me something went down in the middle of the night — like a burgler or fire alarm going off or an earthquake, and I totally slept through it.

    Infertility didn’t keep me up at all — though sometimes I woke up earlier than usual during that period.

    The whole becoming a mother thing changed all of that though. I often wake up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts about whether I’ll be a good mother, whether she’ll be healthy when she’s born, whether I’ll be able to do anything that I was able to do before her. The mystery and suspense of life after baby is really killing me right now.

  13. Arian Says:

    I will have to admit that I have spent many a night pacing about infertility too. I think that my writing insomnia may actually be a case of displacement in some regards. We aren’t hard and heavy with the pursuit of a little one right now and I guess part of me needs something to put in its place.

    Here’s to hoping for some peaceful rest for both of us!


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