My Story

Thankfully, I’ve been a great sleeper for most of my life. I’ve never really had trouble sleeping Alhamdulillah. After becoming a mom and having to do night duties, I realized just how important a good night’s sleep is. As it can really make or break your day!

When I was pregnant and on a holiday to Seattle in June 2023, I had a terrible episode of insomnia linked to a birth trauma. It started like a panic attack. I just couldn’t sleep for about 2 weeks there. During that time, I truly understood the importance of a good night’s sleep. Since I was completely crashing without sleep at 5 months pregnant, I reached out for help. Spoke to doc, a psychologist/consultant, spiritual guru and expert friends. Learned a lot of tricks that I’m sharing with you today in this article.

Why make an effort to sleep better?

A good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Physical Health:
    • Cell Repair and Growth: During deep sleep, the body repairs tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system.
    • Heart Health: Adequate sleep helps regulate blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.
    • Weight Management: Lack of sleep disrupts hormones that control appetite, leading to weight gain.
  2. Cognitive Function:
    • Memory Consolidation: Sleep enhances memory retention and learning.
    • Focus and Productivity: Well-rested individuals perform better cognitively and are more productive.
    • Creativity: Sleep fosters creativity and problem-solving abilities.
  3. Emotional Well-Being:
    • Mood Regulation: Insufficient sleep can lead to irritability, anxiety, and mood swings.
    • Stress Reduction: Quality sleep helps manage stress and emotional resilience.
    • Emotional Balance: Sleep contributes to emotional stability and mental health.
  4. Hormonal Balance:
    • Hormone Regulation: Sleep influences hormones like cortisol, insulin, and growth hormone.
    • Reproductive Health: Proper sleep supports reproductive hormones and fertility.

So we must prioritize sleep—it’s a vital component of a healthy lifestyle!

Even more important for new mothers

good night’s sleep is crucial for mothers, especially during the demanding phases of pregnancy and early motherhood. Here are some compelling reasons why adequate rest matters:

  1. Pregnancy Health:
  2. Labor and Delivery:
  3. Postpartum Well-Being:

Remember, prioritizing sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, especially during significant life transitions like pregnancy and motherhood.

Things I learned from my doctor

Sleeplessness can become a cycle. So we need to break it ASAP. With time, it gets associated with the bed, room etc and hence anxiety increases.

  1. Consistency is the key for a good bedtime routine.
  2. Keep trying meditation.
  3. Around bedtime, keep dim lights. Warm lighting (not white). Switch off before lying down in bed.
  4. Diet: Less carbs. Concentrate on fats (nuts, butter etc). Light meals.
  5. Go on a long walk in the evening
  6. Remove all caffiene: So no coffee, tea, chocolate or pop. If you must then try in the first half of day rather than later in the evening
  7. Have warm milk at night
  8. No screen-time 2-3 hours before bed
  9. Warm bath: Using epsom salt. I had a great experience with this. All body aches & pains also disappeared
  10. Read a book in bed
  11. Herbal remedies: Melatonin, Magnesium Supplement.
  12. Medicine: Safe during pregnancy: Doxylamine Succinate. I got this verified from 3-4 doctors. So I took it during my pregnancy multiple times.

Other things I learned that worked for me:

  • Use a noise machine (or play white noise on your phone) in your room before trying to sleep. So you are not disturbed by any external noise. Works great for kids rooms too
  • Keep a journal next to bed & write down to-do lists of anything thats on your mind
  • Do what you love. When you do the things that make you happy, you are stress-free and can sleep better
  • Keeping a gratitude journal also helps. e.g. 5 Things I’m thankful for. 5 good things I did today. etc
  • Keep room temperature cool and use soft blanket.
  • Get an appointment with a psychologist/counsellor and talk your heart out. Esp anything causing anxiety or depression
  • Do breathing exercises daily
  • Do guided yoga or meditation daily
  • Try to be regular in namaz & try to say it while thinking of meaning
  • Indulge in mindful activities during the day especially the ones you really enjoy like: cross-stitch, paint, draw, color, pet an animal, cuddle with your children.
  • Avoid disturbing content: Make sure all the content you consume during your day/night is not disturbing. Try watching funny/fun shows/reels and avoid watching/reading anything that upsets you deeply
  • Take chores as mindful activities like: folding clothes, tidying up, stitching buttons, cooking etc
  • Read the Quran or listen to surrahs audio. Many people find comfort in reciting Surah Al-Mulk (Chapter 67) before bedtime, as it is believed to provide protection and ease.
  • Say namaz or duas in your mind.
  • Avoid napping in the day
  • Get fresh air and exercise
  • Limit how much you drink esp close to bedtime: to avoid going to the loo often.
  • At night, if you try and really can’t sleep: listen to audiobooks, listen to surrahs of Quran, listen to sleep hypnosis, listen to music, read a book, cuddle with your spouse or kid. If nothing works, then try to play a lively drama/show in the background and try closing your eyes

Some useful audio links:

If you really can’t sleep, turn these on and listen to them while you rest with your eyes closed.

Please comment:

Do you struggle with insomnia? If you found anything useful in this article, please do comment. I love hearing from my blog readers.

References:

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About Nadiya Najib

Hi guys! Subscribe to my blog to know about the drama that I am, my love for Pakistan and planet Jupiter and my general rambling on whats what! ? I have so much to talk about. I'm passionate about Tennis,? truck art, family trees, organizing, traveling, stamp collection, natural remedies, leaf art, social media, cats, blogging, chess and so much more! I'm always exploding with ideas. Come let's socialize. ?

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