Insomnia Anxiety

Been having trouble sleeping for a week now. Night times feel scary. Im tired but when i close my eyes to sleep, my heartbeat seems to be faster and louder, I get scared and wake up in a panic. Over nothing in particular. As such I go through the night by walking around the room or the house. Trying to sleep in different rooms.

Its affecting my day to day movement due to tiredness. On top of that I am pregnant and worry it may affect my pregnancy.

What should I do

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Dear @Sha90

Firstly, thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your challenges with us. I appreciate your trust. Not being able to sleep, especially during pregnancy can make things feel a whole lot more unpleasant. It’s understandable that you would feel some anxiety over it considering that it’s a sudden onset in the last week.

If you’re comfortable, could you please share if anything unusual happened before last week? You mentioned feeling scared, would it be okay for you to share more about what feels scary? Also, how many hours of sleep in total, are you able to get?

It is normal to experience some amount of insomnia during pregnancy. Pregnancy-related insomnia can occur due to various reasons like fluctuations in hormones, physical discomforts, anxiety, and stress. Please inform your gynae of your insomnia at your next medical check-up. Your doctor can assess if there are any specific factors related to your pregnancy contributing to your sleep difficulties, and offer appropriate guidance or referrals.

In the meantime, here are some suggestions for you to consider:

⁠Bedtime routine: This can be helpful to signal to our body it’s time to sleep. A mom once shared that getting into a routine of applying lotion/oil to stretch mark-prone areas was soothing before bed. Another found listening to pregnancy/labor affirmations was helpful. Some read a few pages of a storybook aloud and bonded with their baby. These are some pregnancy-related ideas. Please create a routine that brings a smile and gives you comfort.

  • Limit screen time/device usage at least an hour before bed as the blue light emitted may disrupt the cues to the body that it’s time to sleep.

Create a relaxing environment: Make your bedroom conducive to sleep by keeping it cool, dark, and noise-free. Consider using a sound machine or calming music to drown out any external noises or silences that might be triggering your anxiety.

⁠Practice relaxation techniques: When you notice the onset of sensations of feeling scared or your heartbeat beginning to go faster. Take a deep breath in and then exhale longer. For example, take a deep breath in, see how many counts you can breathe in till your lungs feel full (e.g. 4 counts,) then exhale longer (e.g. Try taking 2-3 counts (6) longer to exhale). Please go at a pace that is comfortable for you and listen to the wisdom of your body. Before beginning any new practices please check with your doctor.

  • If doing calming breaths doesn’t resonate with you. That’s okay, you can try humming. Gently hum to a song that you like or just hum and make your own creation. The gentle vibrations of our throat can also help calm our nervous system.

  • Bilateral tapping, also known as the Butterfly Hug.

  1. Find a Comfortable Position: Sit or stand comfortably in a quiet and calm environment. You can also do this technique while lying down if that’s more comfortable for you.

  2. Cross Your Arms: Cross your arms so that your right hand is resting on your left shoulder and your left hand is resting on your right shoulder. Your hands should be touching your upper arms, creating a butterfly-like position.

  3. Start Tapping: Begin tapping lightly on your shoulders with your fingertips in an alternating pattern. For example, tap your right shoulder with your left hand, then tap your left shoulder with your right hand. Continue this alternating tapping motion.

  4. Focus on Your Breath: As you tap, focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Inhale through your nose, hold for a moment, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this breathing pattern throughout the tapping exercise.

  5. Engage Your Senses: While tapping and breathing, you can also engage your senses by noticing your surroundings. Pay attention to the sounds, sights, smells, and sensations around you without judgment.

  6. Continue for Several Minutes: Continue tapping and breathing for several minutes or until you feel a sense of calm and relaxation. You can adjust the speed and intensity of the tapping based on what feels comfortable for you.

I hope the above are helpful for you and if you notice that things aren’t getting better, please reach out for professional help. A counsellor that works with pregnant moms may be better skilled to tailor a support plan suited to your unique needs. You’re always welcome to reach out to us if you’d like more support. Please take good care of yourself and the little one within you. I hope you find relief soon. :smiley:

Wishing you a safe and comfortable pregnancy journey ahead! :revolving_hearts:

Kind regards,
Cool Breeze =)