I've been hearing from so many of you recently about sleep difficulties. Many of you have shared that even with your usual sleep aids, you're still not sleeping well.
This is not a surprise. When we're spending our day in fight/flight/freeze, we live in a state of perpetual arousal. Our brains are on high alert searching for the 🐻 .
Sleep isn't safe.
More importantly, even if we do fall asleep from utter exhaustion, our brains will not let us fall into a deep sleep. This is why you might find yourself waking up prior to reaching deep sleep. That level of relaxation, your brain has decided, feels dangerous.
And forget about reaching REM sleep, a level of sleep where our muscles - the things required to fight or run from the bear - become paralyzed.
You're not crazy. Sleep disturbances make sense, but they are not something you should just "put up with".
And yet, sleep disturbances are a catalyst of a whole host of health problems. During pregnancy, poor sleep and vital exhaustion has been tied to preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, placental abruption and fetal growth restriction, among others. (See Pregnancy Brain for details) & outside of pregnancy such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and others.
The solution to better sleep is not more sleep aids
The solution to better sleep is to come out of survival mode and into safe mode. Ideally we want to be in safe mode for most of the day, but definitely right before you fall asleep.
If you're pregnant, you'll learn how to do this in my new Pregnancy Brain course . The entire focus of this course is to help you learn how to feel safe during a high-risk pregnancy or a pregnancy where you're feeling highly anxious. It's perfect for women who are pregnant after loss or prematurity as well.