Sleepless in wherever

I never liked sleeping too much. I know I have to, and my body usually tells me when I need to, but I am naughty like that and don’t listen all the time.

When I was little our parents would make us sleep not only at night, but in the afternoon as well, keeping our favourite cartoons as hostages i.e. “You are not allowed to watch the Ninja Turtles unless you sleep for two hours in the afternoon!” they’d say. Well, that did the trick … for some time. My sister and I would pretend to fall asleep and instead play quietly in our beds. Now that I think about it, I don’t think we could have fooled them, but never got round to asking if they suspected us (Note to self: Now is probably a good time to ask).

Anyway, as I said all my life I’ve been weighing up the pros and cons of spending a certain amount of time sleeping against doing anything else – reading, playing, being with someone, having a conversation, etc. Unfortunately, even when there’s no better alternative I still feel like I will miss on something and choose not to sleep. At night it is easy, because there’s not much going on then, not at least at our time zone J

Yes, but…

There are certain times in a woman’s life, when she just cannot sleep and can occasionally be seen wandering around the house in some pretty unusual hours. My most recent reason for being up comes from a condition called pregnancy. For the last few months almost every night if I want to sleep I face the challenge of having to overcome one of the following three consecutive obstacles:

  1. Usually it all starts with a simple physiological need – the need to pee. – It often comes suddenly, but can occur simply when switching from your left to right side for example (having a big belly means that you consciously change sleeping positions every night) and suddenly realize you have to get up, quickly! No matter how close the bathroom is, believe me it is a real challenge not to fully open your eyes while going the distance back and forth, especially while trying not to wake up the rest of your family and avoiding anything that might hit your belly on the way (at this point your pinkie is the least of your worries).

Solution: Do not turn the lights on – learn to find your way in the dark and if you must – do not fully open your eyes!

  1. Your belly kicking you from the inside. – I am speculating here a bit, but while you’re asleep your baby is either joining in on the moments of peace and quiet, or you’re too tired to feel him doing whatever. Once you get up, however, it is a whole different story – he wakes up with you, and starts being active. That is why when you finally get back to bed, feeling happy you managed to go to the bathroom with just one eye open, he starts playing. And it takes a lot of effort and exhaustion to ignore this.

Solution: If you cannot ignore it, try talking your way out of this by negotiating with the baby. If this doesn’t work you can either switch the side you sleep on or get up for a short walk to help him fall asleep.

  1. Final challenge – your mind. If you make the mistake of letting an incidental though linger long enough in your mind (good or bad) you’re going to have to start your sleeping routine from the very beginning.

Solution: This happens to me too often to be honest, and my remedy is to get up, go in the living room, watch a few videos on YouTube, browse a few websites and I’m ready to go – just something to get my mind away from the thought that woke me up.

Sounds easy? Try doing is almost every night. One good thing I’ve noticed that there are other people awake at this time of the day(night) and these are my mom and moms-to-be friends. So if you’re looking for company there usually is someone else in the same situation, who will gladly have a quick distracting chat with you.

Good luck future moms! Remember, this is not a lonely challenge 🙂


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