Since the Kids Sleep Through the Night - Why Can't I?

Updated on June 09, 2011
J.R. asks from Bay City, MI
17 answers

Ladies - I'm tired! I'm not going to rant and rave about my long days that make me this way - since we all have our stories - but how do you sleep through the night? I go to bed everynight between 11p-Midnight and almost on the dot wake up at 5am - when i do not need to be up until 7:30am. So, I wake up at 5, then toss and turn then wake up again at 6:15 since that's when my hubby gets up, then toss and turn til my alarm goes off. I am miserable and gassed out by 5p usually. I would pay someone to let me take a nap right now, but then I'd probably wake up at 4am.

I didn't realize how restless I was sleeping until about 2 weeks ago - when I was sick and the Dr told me to take Nyquil to get through the night without hacking up a lung. I didn't wake up once during that time and actually woke up refreshed and rested. I joked with my hubby that I was going to be drinking the recommended 2 glasses of wine everyynight before bed. I did it one night but paid for it the next day in the loo. :( Wine didn't seem to agree with me.

With everything going on in my day one would think that I would be like a doll and be out before I even hit the pillow - but that never happens.

What do you ladies recommend? Do you take anything to sleep through the night? Tylenol PM? Ambiem? Anything??


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answers from Minneapolis on

I sleep like you describe on days that I don't get enough physical exercise or outdoor time. I feel the most tired when I've had a long stressful day, but those are the days that I need to exercise the most. I've gotten so I'm better at telling the difference between "mentally tired" and "physically tired" and physically is the kind that usually helps me sleep well.

I also hear that interrupted sleep, like you describe, is a possible symptom of peri-menopause. I have noticed that this sleep pattern is happening for me more often than it did when I was younger. I'm 50 now.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

The only thing I can think of if going back to the kids' Healthy Sleep Habits book...maybe you're going to sleep too late?? I wonder what would happen if you went to bed at 10:30 or 11 instead? Or maybe just one glass of wine? :)
My experience is that I can't keep my eyes open on the couch between 8:30 and 9:15 but then when I actually go to bed, I have trouble falling asleep.
I feel for you...sleep trouble sucks! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

I drink a magnesium supplement every night called Natural Calm. It's amazing. Doesn't make you groggy or anything, but completely relaxes me and helps me sleep all night. I started drinking it when I was pregnant and would wake up all night in discomfort. I still drink it now because I was having trouble going back to sleep in the middle of the night after feeding the baby. I'd toss and turn for 2 hours before I could fall back asleep. This has totally fixed that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

Is anything bothering you?

I mean... I had a time when I just could NOT sleep a full night's sleep. I was waking up exhausted and struggling to get to sleep every night for months! I was literally going crazy and I couldn't figure it out...

This may sound silly, but one night I was sitting there, wide awake but tired and I could feel my shoulders tensing, my heart racing and this feeling of "impending doom"... I felt like I was about to have a panic attack! Then in my brain I suddenly realized that my husbands bedroom fan was making this very quiet, but incredibly irritating squeal. I shut off the fan and laid back in bed and slept SO well... the next day I told my husband that we could have a water fountain, or maybe a different fan or something... but that old fan was in the trash!

Later I had a few nights that were really difficult for me to sleep when we were dealing with some stressful financially issues. I took a stress management class at my college because I was starting to get too stressed out and for me, Stress + No Sleep + Work = Terrible Migraines... which turns into a cycle... In that course we were taught "guided visualizations" with deep breathing to help manage stress and we "practiced" at the end of each class... Every time I would be happily and restfully asleep just a couple minutes in to the "visualization"... I started doing them at home if I had trouble falling asleep, or if I woke up in the middle night. It really helps me sleep a lot, and keeps me from sitting in bed "just thinking...."

Last, during the winter, the lack of sunshine tends to really mess up my mood (in fact I have been diagnosed with "seasonal depression"). Thankfully, I am aware of it and so I make an effort to get outside or near a window even in the worst of weather do get my daily "fresh air"- and if I can't do that I am doubly sure to get in some exercise, which can help release chemicals that can elevate my mood... Better Mood is equal to better sleep. My exercises of choice are brisk walking, yoga, and dance.

Now, I have heard that there is no proof that sedatives of any kind give you the real deep sleep that makes you feel refreshed in the morning. All they do is "knock you out"... but they don't really relax you so that you sleep your best. Alchohol doesn't really cause deep sleep either... but if a glass of wine or a bottle of beer helps you relax in general, go ahead and have one with your dinner... just don't rely on it to make you sleep restfully.

In my opinion, first rule out other factors- your sleep environment, eating habits, exercise, stress management... etc. Chances are whatever is giving you sleep problems is effecting other areas of your life and health as well! Rather than just treat the symptom (tiredness)- find the cause and treat THAT. Look to sedatives last, otherwise you won't really solve the problem... just compound it.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I can't speak for any of the "supplements" to help you sleep. But when I started noticing that I wasn't sleeping very well, and wasn't waking up rested at all, we started mattress shopping. Getting a new mattress made ALL the difference. How old is your mattress?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Sleeping pills have never worked for me, especially not Tylenol PM but you could go to your doctor and see if they recommend something for you.

I have heard great things about Meletonin (Sp?) you can get it at your health and vitamin stores. Its supposed to help you naturally go to sleep and stay asleep.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

i take melatonin every night and it helps me go to sleep earlier and stay asleep

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I take "Hyland's Calms Forte- for adults."
Its natural.
From Whole Foods or natural food stores.
You can look it up online.
It does not make you groggy.

Moms, anything wakes us and we are always stressed.

"Natural Calm" is good too.
I use that too.
From natural food stores.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

When you eat turkey at Thanksgiving you fall asleep and take a nap because of the seretonin (sp?) in the turkey. You can't buy seretonin (sp?) but you can buy melatonin, a close relative.

Melatonin works for me. I take one pill when I'm all keyed up and have too much on my mind and can't sleep because my mind is too busy. The other thing that works for me is to sleep on the couch with the tv on low. It keeps my mind on the tv and I don't think of other things I may or may not be worried about or thinking about. If I'm having a hard time getting to sleep at night, I read a book to relax, then turn off the light and go to sleep much easier.

Good luck to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would talk with your doctor about your sleep issues. He/she may recommend a specific medication or even therapy to help. Perhaps they can do some kind of sleep study?



answers from Detroit on

I spent years not relaxing enough to sleep - then I began visualization. I read for as long as it takes to get in a relaxed state (sometimes just a page or two) and then let my eyes close and continue the story in my mind...what would happen next? Pretty soon I'm falling asleep.
If I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind won't shut down, I either imagine sitting on a sandy beach listening to the surf, or I go into another room (sometimes our sound machine, the fan, or highway traffic irritates me) and can fall asleep immediately after the annoyance is removed.
Having said that, I was diagnosed with year-round allergies and take Zyrtec at night as well, so that may be aiding the initial knockout, but I can do visualization during the day and achieve the same sleepiness.



answers from Detroit on

Power naps during the day? Whatever it takes, you're burning out and you need to re claim that sleep.
A thought would be to take a calcium tablet or some sort of calcium, right before bedtime. Calcium helps you sleep, and while asleep it can work on your bones while you're not using them.

So if power naps aren't an option, try the calcium. If you're burnt out, your bones could be crying out for help.



answers from Milwaukee on

I can TOTALLY RELATE! I'm a terrible sleeper.


answers from Dallas on

Are you eating enough? And not eating much sugar? Those are two things that get me and make it hard to sleep. Taking calcium/magnesium helps somehow too.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I was having the same type of problems and finally discussed it with my dr. He recommended taking melatonin - which is safe and natural - for a few weeks. A lot of times when our sleeping cycle gets out of whack, our body can't make the readjustment. Taking the melatonin every night for a few weeks helps the body find its circadian rhythm again. It worked wonders! Every so often I start the same cycle and it has helped me get back to "normal" every time.

Good luck!



answers from Saginaw on

I think you're going to bed too late. Just like my kids, if I get to bed too late, I wake up earlier. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it is true. Try heading to bed earlier. If it continues, talk to your doc. I was having similar issues and went in for a sleep study and found out that I have sleep apnea...and I don't snore OR sleep on my back. Good luck to you!



answers from Detroit on

You know the "old wives' tale" about warm milk before is the calcium that helps your body relax. You might try taking a calcium supplement that has magnesium and vitamin D. Take about 2000mg about an hour before bed. It is a natural way to get relaxed...good for your bones too! Coral calcium worked the best for me. It is absorbed more efficiently by your body. Extra calcium also helps w/ distributing oxygen around to all your cells. It's a "win-win"! Those other sleep aids could have other side effects that you might not want. You also might try one of those "white noise" players (Bed, Bath and Beyond has one complete w/ alarm clock and radio) or even a fan in your bedroom.

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