Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Terrible sleeper

Hi Ladies

Happy New year to you all!! X

Just curious, are all of you generally terrible sleepers? I always have been and it's common for me to take hours to get to sleep at night even when I don't feel like I have any worries.

Hence why it was impossible for me to sleep in between feeds or sleep when baby sleeps (I'm not sure I've ever been able to sleep during the day) so after 10 straight days of no sleep PP struck.

Has anyone tried any methods to get to sleep faster? I'm considering taking a meditation class, I figure it can't do any harm and I might even learn to relax :)

Thanks x

6 Replies

Hello Maxi

Happy New Year to you too ...... I hope the weather is warmer in Australia!

Thanks for coming back to the forum. Perhaps not being able to sleep is something you can discuss with your perinatal worker if she is still visiting you on 11th Jan?

I think with a baby / toddler in the house we are always half asleep ....... listening out if they need us during the night .... so perhaps our sleep is disturbed?

I think relaxation or meditation classes might help you but if you are still not sleeping I think you might ask your GP for advice. Hopefully your perinatal health worker will be able to support and listen to what you need. In the meantime we're here if you need us and I'm sure you will have lots of good advice from other mums.

Perhaps counselling might help as sometimes although we don't have worries on the surface, what you have been through is traumatic and might be unseen but worrying you? If you can talk about it openly to someone .... so it's out of your head and off your mind ...... it might help.

Hats off to you for coping with your toddler and routine without much sleep in between!! Take good care ......

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I have also always had trouble sleeping. Through worries or nightmares. PP hit me after 11 days non sleep.

I also find it hard to relax. I would suggest doing some adult colouring (really helps clear the mind) Aldo try listening to a meditation / relaxing app which can be downloaded (that's obviously if you can when you have a baby) I'm lucky my husband supports me and if I need to do mine he will be on duty and listen out for our little girl. I also have a lavender pillow spray and room scent which keeps it calm. Don't get me wrong, I'm not fixed, but they help at times.

The meditation sounds a good idea, hope it goes ok.

All the best x

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I think sleep is the most valuable thing and getting enough sleep helps you cope with the day ahead. Not getting it can really lower your mood.

My PP was a very long time ago and I never was a very good sleeper before I had my 2 children and while they were young, as Lilybeth said, you always have one ear listening out for them.

I have from time to time tried sleeping tablets but not when the children were young. I only ever had a very low dose and they did work but the feeling in the morning is a bit like being hung over so it is always a last resort.

All I can say is that my sleep has improved as I've got older. I think its good to take some time to unwind before you try and sleep, reading or watching something non-stimulating (I watch Friends as it still makes me laugh and I've seen each episode so many times it doesn't require any concentration!)

I also have a relaxation CD which was made for me when I tried some hypnotherapy which I find very useful, particularly if my minds buzzing & I can't switch off.

My other tip is to keep a pen and pad by the bed and write down anything that you need to remember for the next day so that you can put that thought to bed.

I think trying a meditation class or maybe a mindfulness class sounds like a good idea.

Best of luck


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Dear Maxi,

Insomnia is something I struggle with since I had PP. I just wonder whether it is also our make-up, in our DNA? Looking at my mum, she is an incredible hyper active person. I do not fight the sleepless nights anymore. If I can not sleep, I get out of bed and keep myself occupied. However, I believe it is more therapeutic to do something which makes you more relaxed. If you look into my profile, I enjoy painting. I used to meditate a lot before PP and now do it more in a gentle approach...Listening to calming & soothing music and short intervals of mindful breathing. It always is mentioned in my care plan, but it took quite some time until I felt more peaceful within myself.

I received two great presents from my wonderful friend, who is a nutritionist. It is a distiller/evaporator in the form of a beautiful lamp shape which changes continuously colours. Aroma therapy with is great. The other recommendation would be Epsom Salt for a relaxing bath before bed time. (Please, follow instructions/guidelines it is full of Magnesium)

Very occasionally do I take Valerian (natural herbs)..., but it does not mean that I fall asleep, it just stops my mind racing. In German mind racing=Kopfkino=head cinema ;-)

Hope I could be of help,

Kind wishes,



Hi Maxi

Happy New Year to you to and to all my new found virtual friends.

Interesting question about sleep. My PP was many years ago and I've never really been a good sleeper since, probably quite common when children come along! Strangely enough, I don't recall having problems with sleep before PP.

I certainly got next to no sleep in hospital after my daughter was born, first time mums were kept in for 5 days then. I certainly don't recall getting much sleep when I got home, but I was a new Mum and breast feeding. Also mind was on overdrive, I was so excited to be home with my beautiful baby daughter, so proud, I was fine, so organised, plans, whirling mind. Although I had no insight I was exhibiting signs of hypomania. Within a week, I was sectioned and in a psychiatric ward for 8 weeks on haloperidol.....and so the nightmare began!

The rest is history as they say but my experiences have always remained with me, hidden but not forgotten. I'm 60 next month, children now in their early 30's! Still not a good sleeper, not sure if it's an age thing now, anyway my best ideas and work plans etc often occur at 4.00am! My Mum, now in her 80's in a terrible sleeper to!

Anyway, all the best to you. Vee. Xx


Dear Vee,

I am new to the forum. Nevertheless I am learning and it is such a comfort knowing that I am not the only one who has had to struggle with this horrific experience.

Some of the words in your message are such a "sore in my eyes", they are just sticking out...Haloperidol and psychiatric ward/hospital and being locked up...and then you also have been mentioning your mum never rests either (she is 68) ;-)

I never have had problems sleeping before PP. I am somehow convinced that Haloperidol has been a contributing factor...My partner only identified that I still was not sleeping after 2 weeks in hospital (baring in mind that I had not slept much for 2 weeks after I gave birth to my son) and taking a huge amount of Haloperidol...he smuggled a mobile into my room and told me to text, if I can not sleep...he had to have the evidence and finally I was put on Lorazepam and Risperidone...

Here I have to highlight that medication is necessary and probably in some cases a life saver. In my case it was just difficult to find the appropriate type of drug/antidepressant. Thus, I believe that PP is very much tailored to the gene pole and influential factors of each individual.

Thank you for your honest account Val


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