Kicking My Insomnia

Another random Works For Me Wednesday post from me…

After Kenni was born, three and a half years ago, insomnia hit me.

Now, she slept through the night at three months of age (please, no one use expletives in your comments over this one for I was given a definite payback as my second didn’t sleep through consistently until 9 1/2 months…and even now, it is still up for grabs on any given night)…

At any rate, it wasn’t my child that was keeping me up.

I just COULD NOT get to sleep.

My poor husband took the brunt of it with my tossing and turning, flopping and flipping, and great sighs of frustration while he snored peacefully away. (I am the reason for any insomnia he may have.)

I could lie in bed for hours at a time before finally dozing off.

My husband told me that I needed to stop drinking caffeine.

I poo-pooed his idea.

Puh-lease. I have been drinking caffeine for ages, and it never had any effect on me whatsoever. Found that out during finals week in college…

I was convinced it was major chemical and hormonal changes that having a baby had wracked on my body. I mean, I thought of it kind of like the wreckage left behind from an earthquake. Major structural damage was glaringly visible, but it was the unseen destruction that was the worst.

And who’s to say that maybe that isn’t part of it? Coupled with the fact that being a mommy adds, in great quantity, to your already mind-numbing list of Things I Might Forget Or That Might Possibly Happen That I Should Worry About Be Prepared For. And this list seems to take on the voice of Gilbert Gottfried and begins to yell at you after the hour of 10:00 p.m.

But, I discovered also that being 30-something is NOT the same as being 20-something. In so many ways, but that’s a post for another day…

I gave Stephen’s no-caffeine-after-4:00p.m. a shot.

You know what?

It worked.

And in the process, I discovered that a cup of hot tea….especially the kind with chamomile infused somewhere within, works wonders for me.

Speaking of chamomile, as a total side note, does anyone else find the label for lavender and chamomile baby wash just a little bit…what’s the word…ridiculous?

“Soothes fussy babies.”

Uh huh. I have NEVER found that stuff to help either one of my children sleep better or to ease away their fussiness. (Granted, one did have a near debilitating case of acid reflux, but still…)  I will say that it does smell wonderfully delicious. I’ll give it that…but that’s all.

Back to my insomnia, so no caffeine (including my dear love, chocolate) after 4:00 and a cup of hot tea.

Does it always work? Well, no. But I can say that about 9 times out of 10, it does the trick.

And for the 1 time it doesn’t, well…there’s always Tylenol PM.




  1. says

    Even though it sounds ridiculous, I too would need to be convinced that the (high volume of) coffee that I drink ALL THE TIME would keep me from sleeping.

    Maybe it does have to do with the hormones. Our bodies are so different after having children. I’ll never be able to run for any distance–bladder control! Jumping jacks are OUT OF THE QUESTION!!

  2. says

    It’s so true! I think it may be a hormonal/caffeine combo thing though. I noticed this after I had been thrown into surgical menopause. Cannot drink 1/2 of the coffee as I could before and get any kind of decent sleep.

  3. says

    I totally understand.. certain things I eat.. do that to me.. too. I used to sleep in too.. and it would make going to sleep almost impossible at night. Now I wake up between 5 and 6 am lol well with kids.. now.. no choice lol

  4. says

    Thanks for this post! I have tried the no caffeine thing and it didn’t work for me. I will say it has been a few years and I am now in my 30-somethings, so I should try it again! I also have the problem with waking up in the middle of the night and staying up for hours.

    Oh and I totally agree with the soothing baby stuff. A friend of mine says it worked with her baby. I wanted to laugh out loud because he is the best baby I have ever known… OF COURSE IT WORKS! It does smell yummy though.

  5. says

    Great tips, these are the kind that you don’t always think about. Will keep in mind for when needed. And yes, I agree with those goofy labels!

  6. katmaxx says

    Since I started taking zyrt*c I noticed it makes me sleepy so I switched to taking it at bedtime and found it helped my insomnia. So if you take allergy meds try it at night.I read somewhere else that the sleep aid in over the counter meds is usually an antihystamine anyway.

  7. Stacey says

    My problem isn’t falling asleep. It’s STAYING asleep. I wake up (hello, 2 baby monitors – one for each kid upstairs since our bedroom is downstairs) thinking I hear one of the kids then my mind starts racing. I make mental to-do lists in my head, overanalyze past or upcoming siutations, etc. Then I just can’t turn it off. I usually toss and turn for 2 hours then wake up in the morning feeling like I haven’t even been to sleep. Tonight I will stay awake wondering where my Sunday coupons are and lamenting what great shopping deals I’ll be missing as a result!

  8. says

    Jen, I cut all caffeine after 4:00, so I might skip the tea with caffeine. I scanned the tea labels like I was searching for lead as an ingredient to make sure there was no caffeine at all in it. But, then again, you never know…I don’t know what caffeine levels in tea are as opposed to Coke.
    I hope you find something that works for you!!! Insomnia stinks!!!

  9. says

    I’m dealing with insomnia right now and it totally stinks. I think I’m guilty of the caffeine thing since I usually have a coke zero with dinner. Ok, I’m going to try to cut that out and see what happens. Question–do you think diet iced green tea is ok to drink instead of the zero. I know it has some caffeine but since you recommended the tea w/ chamomille I wonderied if this would be fine. Thanks for the tip.

  10. says

    I am so glad you posted this. I think people use caffeine and never really think about it. I am convinced that is my mother in laws problem. She will be drinking a full leaded Coke or Dr. Pepper at 9pm. Then she complains that she has has chronic insomnia for years. Hummmmm, maybe you are on to something. I am glad you found something that works for you.