There are few things worse than not being able to sleep when you're anxious and worried.
When you just can't get yourself to doze off into dreamland or you find yourself waking up at 2am and just not able to go to sleep again, it's infuriating. And completely exhausting. Anxiety-induced insomnia wears on you on a whole other level. Because it's not just that you can't sleep. You are wide awake and extremely worried. What's worse, not sleeping will make your anxiety worse. (Tweet that!)
With a few daily tweaks you can sleep even when you're worried about your baby.
Stay away from screens.
As hard as that is when technology is one of the only things that’s keeping you sane and connected to the world, at least 1 hour before you want to sleep, turn it all off. No TV, cell phones, tablets or computers.
Set up different ringtones.
When you are dreading a phone call from a doctor, it can make you jump every time you hear the phone ring. Give your doctor or your baby’s doctor your cell phone and program different ringtones for different doctors. That way you will know just by the ring who is or is not calling.
Massage your face.
Did you know that if your face is tense you won’t be able to fall asleep? Our bodies are just programmed that way!
Grab your favorite scented lotion, lie down in your bed in the dark and massage your face, focusing on the temples, above your eyebrows and your jaw. As you feel your face relax, let the rest of your body follow and relax into sleep.
Focus on an image
When our bodies are ready to sleep, our brains switch tracks from thoughts to images. As long as you’re on the “thought” track, you will stay awake. So pick an image of your favorite vacation or a painting that you love and focus on the image.
Don’t try to describe it or think about it. Just look at in your mind. It will trick your brain into switching tracks and drifting off to sleep.
Give yourself permission to rest
In a situation where you’re feeling so helpless, you will look anywhere to find some sense of control. Many moms feel like if they allow themselves to rest, something bad will happen.
Remind yourself that is just not true. If you go into labor in the middle of the night, you will wake up. If something happens to your baby in the NICU overnight, they will call you and you will wake up to that ring. Tell yourself it’s ok to sleep.
You need the energy to fight on another day.
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