I’ve always known that sleep when you have a newborn is a precious thing – rare, you take as much of it as you can, when you can. What I’d severely underestimated is just how little sleep you can get in the third trimester! It’s very hot and humid in New Zealand at the moment – not quite the sort of weather that we had in Samoa, but it’s been difficult nonetheless. Even Papa M has struggled with the heat some nights. I’m quite used to waking up at least a couple of times at night to use the bathroom, to readjust my pillow fort, to gain or lose a blanket.
Sunday and Monday nights, however, were in a league of their own. I could not get comfortable AT all. I was absolutely knackered yet the clock kept ticking on into the early hours of the morning and still that sleep eluded me. Lack of sleep at night was turning me into a zombie during the day. Monday afternoon I was coaxed into a nap by the resonant voice of Morgan Freeman (March of the Penguins for the win) but by Tuesday I had got to that over-tired point where your thoughts literally don’t make sense to you anymore.
I have been this tired before. My anxiety after Mum’s death meant that a couple of times I was literally up for days. Two problems with that, however; I cannot take sleeping tablets to normalize my sleep patterns while pregnant and I cannot be a zombie while packing to move this weekend. A couple of hours spent trawling the internet lead me to the following points to try:
- Warm milk – ah yes, the old classic. In my case, Zero Lacto milk with just a pinch of low-GI sugar to help it go down easier.
- Food with protein just before bed – I’m not usually a eat right before bed person but one article outlined that part of the reason you might be restless is that your body knows it doesn’t really have the fuel for you to sleep for your usual length of time. With trying to “eat down” our cupboards before the move, this ended up being a piece of toast slathered in peanut butter.
- Cool down – I spent some time in front of a fan while packing my clothes in the evening so my core temperature was probably lower than it had been previously
- Non-internet recommended – I also had a panadol. Panadol is considered safe during pregnancy but I certainly try and avoid relying on it. In saying that, I’d been struggling particularly with back and pelvic pain the previous two nights so thought that one tablet, prior to going to bed should be enough to take the edge off.
Lo and behold, despite one middle-of-the-night waking and only eight hours of sleep total I feel like a new person! While I certainly won’t be taking a panadol every night to help me sleep, it’s good to know that there is something that works when I am absolutely desperate and have a lot to get done. I am certainly looking forward to Tuesday next week, where I will have nothing more to do than enjoy my new home!