Why are you awake while everyone else is sleeping?
I spent twenty-four long months with insomnia before I discovered why this was happening to me.
In this post, we’ll discuss why postpartum insomnia happens and the natural remedies to help soothe you back to sleep.
What is postpartum insomnia?
It’s when you cannot sleep after childbirth. Usually, you’ll notice when everyone else is sleeping and you’re awake – that is a true sign.
Postpartum insomnia symptoms
- anxiety when bedtime comes
- unable to go back to sleep after a feeding
- awake at night when everyone else is sleeping
- OR anticipating a feeding, so you wake up to be prepared for when your child wakes
- waking up @ 5:00 am with your heart beating out of your chest
- anxiety during the day or excessive heart palpitations
- tired @ 3:00pm
- you may feel a bit depressed as well
- if your cycle has returned you may feel this more the week before your period
Can postpartum hormones cause insomnia?
Yes! Your body is trying to flush out all of the hormones from your pregnancy AND if you’ve had twins, it’s been said you may struggle with postpartum insomnia more due to these excessive hormones.
Additionally, when your cycle returns – you may notice you get insomnia before your period due to excessive estrogen and the inability to clear it from your body.
So, detoxifying the postpartum hormones with sweating and a whole foods diet is very important to healing.
How long can postpartum insomnia last?
It can last years. Typically, women stop calling themselves “postpartum” after they reach a certain date – 6 months or a year, but insomnia began after childbirth.
So, why does postpartum insomnia happen?
There are many reasons, but some of them include:
- sleep deprivation – your sleep gets interrupted night after night and loses it’s rhythm
- hormones – after birth, your body is trying to detox from all of the hormones you’ve had in your body for eight months. If you have poor detoxification pathways, you may struggle more.
- anxiety – when you don’t sleep for weeks or months this turns into postpartum anxiety and then depression
- environment – if you don’t feel comfortable in your home or bedroom you may experience insomnia
- trauma – or unresolved trauma that comes out after pregnancy
Postpartum insomnia treatment
It takes more than herbal medicine to heal insomnia. Here are 5 suggestions to start.
#1 Cut out the caffeine
I refused to do this and I suffered. Even just a little bit of caffeine can increase your anxiety and make it challenging to go back to sleep. Considering adding in a coffee alternative like Dandy blend or tulsi tea instead.
#2 Address your trauma
Seek a therapist to work through any unresolved trauma. Watch this video, as I talk with my therapist about how my postpartum thoughts came back when my husband passed away.
#3 Eat warm cooked foods
The first 40 days is a popular postpartum book discussing how a woman should keep her body warm after birth. Often we just reach for any food that is available, but if you can have friends make you soup and warm foods to nourish your body and improve digestion after birth to help soothe the nervous system.
#4 Integrate nervines
Nervines are a category of herbs that help soothe our nervous system. They can be gentle, like Chamomile or more intense as a sedative like California poppy. By soothing your nervous system with herbal medicine and other holistic techniques – you’ll discover you can sleep more soundly
#5 Add adaptogens
My first breakthrough with insomnia was when I added in a new adaptogen called, Ashwagandha. Adaptogens can help us come out of fight or flight and prevent burnout. Read this post, to see the safe postpartum adaptogens. https://taragregorio.com/8-must-have-adaptogens-for-breastfeeding-moms/
Want a recap? Watch this video to learn more:
You can overcome postpartum insomnia, when you address any unresolved trauma, learn how to soothe your nervous system, and fill any nutrient gaps with supplements.
I know it’s not easy to struggle with insomnia. That’s why I created a 10-day sleep restore BootCamp and it’s safe if you’re breastfeeding. Learn more here: https://courses.taragregorio.com/p/sleep-restore-bootcamp