When Did You Become a Light Sleeper?

Updated on April 23, 2019
Q.1. asks from Vancouver, WA
11 answers

Before kids, I used to be a deep sleeper despite (apparently) having sleep apnea all my life. Now I awake at the drop of a hat. I have to cocoon myself away from light and sound with an eye mask and white noise playing in earbuds. I also had to get my own bed because any movement from my husband would wake me up.

I’m trying to figure out if it’s having kids that did this to me of the sleep apnea so I’m curious as to when/if this happened to other parents, especially if it happens with non-birth parents. I wonder if this will ever go away or if I’m stuck like this forever.

---ETA: Ug, I'd forgotten about the impending menopause!

I’ve had several sleep studies to get my CPAP settings figured out. At this point they said there’s nothing else to tweak since my numbers are good and they didn’t know anything that could be done to change my sleep cycles since I spend too much time during the buys REM stage vs the resotorative one :(

Horomones have been checked and they were ok but just did another test since it’s been years and getting results in a few days.

Tried melatonin but it doesn’t do it for me. Luckily I can fall asleep pretty quickly and don’t spend too much time awake after a mid-night potty trip. PMS gets my brain spinning but a backwards countdown usually helps me get back to sleep.

Love the suggestions, keep ‘em comin’!

@Julie g. - Yes! Our beds are pretty close together but he can move around all he wants and it gives a bit of space so the snoring isn't so close to me and I can pile up a pillow wall if needed for a little extra sound insulation.

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answers from San Francisco on

I haven't slept deeply since I became a mother. That was over 25 years ago. The teen years were almost as hard as the baby years. Sigh :-(

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answers from Washington DC on

You really need to see a doctor. That's just too light of a sleeper. That's not right.

Get a sleep study done. Get your hormones checked - just because you might be entering menopause doesn't mean you don't have other issues. You might not have enough melatonin in your system to keep you asleep.

I have never really been a "deep" sleeper but typically good for at least 6 hours.

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answers from Norfolk on

Menopause affected my sleeping quite a bit.
For awhile I would get too hot even if I only slept with a sheet.
Now it's a bit better so I can use a cotton blanket but for awhile I thought I'd never feel cold again.

As I get older I find I am more sensitive to caffeine than I use to be.
One cup of coffee early in the morning is all I can have.
You have to be careful about what ever else has caffeine in it too.
If I have caffeine after noon I'll be up all night.
I like a dark cool bedroom to sleep in and I use a white noise app to play rain/rumbling thunder.
I'm so use to the rain sounds now that if I set it to turn off at a certain time it works like an alarm clock - I wake within 5 min of not hearing the rain.
I seem to sleep more deeply at night if I get some exercise in the morning.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I was a heavy sleeper.. Like sleep thru a freight train half a block away kind of sleeper.. Then I had kids. I would wake easily. As the kids got older I discovered my ability to sleep thru stuff is returning. (One of the kids got up and I didn't know till my husband woke me to ask if I knew why they were up)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

I was always a very deep sleeper. The few times i wasn’t was when I was caring overnight for a child. This happened on a number of occasions from age 20 to 28. Those times I woke at every little sound or movement. After having my own kids I became a light sleeper every night. But of course my kids are always here. I suspect it is some kind of protective mechanism that we have when we are caring for children. I wonder if I will sleep deeply again when my kids are grown and leave home.

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answers from Chicago on

I hear you. I've been waking more and more. I too fall asleep quickly, and many nights I can fall right back to sleep after a quick potty trip. But lately my husband has been making it harder and harder to stay asleep. He was away for a few weeks, and since returning, he's sleeping in the middle. I feel his breath. I hear him snore. He rolls into me. I lay there. I count.

I'm ready for a bigger bed. I may be ready for separate rooms. I sleep great when he isn't around.

Has your own bed made a big difference?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

sleeping well is one of my many unsung talents. i come from a long line of sleepy people.

when my babies were little i was hyper-tuned to 'em, like most mothers. fortunately as they got older my deep sweet sleep returned.

menopause has rocked the boat some. my lifelong night owl days seem to have come to an end, so waking earlier makes sense.

but i certainly don't need silence or masks or white noise. you probably need a sleep study.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

For me, having kiddos did it (so 30's) and my husband won't wake in the night so I think I'm just on alert. Mine would sometimes come in and sleep on floor when very young, and although I didn't wake fully (enough to have problems going back to sleep) I was aware. So I kind of knew what was going around me - for years.

I also was the first one up - and got up earlier and earlier - and then went to bed earlier and earlier as I got older, and I can't wait to crawl in. I now have teens and a hubby who get home later than I go to bed, so I think my sleep is just disturbed - period.

I also have had pets that wake me .. but also hubby who snores, and he doesn't sleep well.

I take medications - so save them for night time (they make me drowsy) and that helps. Without them - I am sure it would be much worse. I am peri-menopausal, if not there 'ish. But definitely started when had kids, thirties, forties .. etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Aguadilla on

I too was a deep sleeper and I slept all through the night without interruptions and all that ended at 31 when I had my daughter. I am 54 now and I wake up with the slightest sound. I need white noise and yes, I have sent my husband to the guest bedroom when he snores which thankfully is only when he has had a hard and tense day at work. I am going through the transition to menopause which doesn't help with the matter either and I am looking into using CBD oil which I have been told is excellent to sleep soundly with just taking a couple of drops before bedtime. People swear by it and its 100% natural and much better than taking sleeping pills.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Do you spend a lot of time on your computer or cell phone? That can contribute to it.

There are special glasses you can get to wear during computer/phone work to help, if that’s the problem.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

It’s your mama bear protection mode. This is how mothers have kept our children alive from predators, sickness, and danger for thousands of years. It’s biology. When I’m with my kids I wake up so easily. If they are away or I am traveling I sleep like a rock.

1 mom found this helpful
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