Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Why I am Always So Tired (Or Tales of a Zombie Mama)

For my birthday I got a fitbit flex. I love it. Have you heard of these? It is a bracelet you wear and it tracks your exercise as well as your sleep (including the number of times you are awake each night). I have always been a terrible sleeper. I often get insomnia at night and have trouble falling asleep, and despite the number of hours I am actually in bed, I usually have trouble waking up and feel exhausted most of each day. When the kiddos were little, I expected to be exhausted and didn't think twice about it. But now that my children are sleeping through the night, I feel like I should be waking up rested. I never expected to still feel like I had a newborn when my youngest was 3 and 1/2.
But now I know why I do.
According to my fitbit, I am waking up between 12 and 37 times a night. Yes-- 37!!! This doesn't mean I am up and out of bed that much, just restless and not fully asleep. When I am "sleeping" for 7 hours, and waking up 37 times, that means I am only really sleeping in 10-15 minutes stretches. Yikes.
Well, at least this explains why I am constantly tired. Now I just need to figure out how to be a better sleeper. Doing some brief internet research leads me to believe that my chronic back pain (which was made worse by my August car accident) is probably at least partially to blame. The pain is probably just enough to make me uncomfortable, and move around, partially waking me in the process.
So now I am on a quest to be a better sleeper. 
How do you help yourself fall into a restful sleep?
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  1. Wow, no wonder you are so tired. Hope you are successful on your quest, I am sure you will feel like a new person with some regular, uninterrupted sleep.

    I don't have much trouble falling asleep, by the end of the day I am beat.

  2. Oh, geez, Taryn! That's terrible! We just started magnesium supplementation to try to get more restful sleep. We do both epsom salt baths/foot soaks and we daily spray on magnesium oil. Maybe that will help? Hope you find some relief soon!

  3. I have a withings pulse and refuse to wear it at night because I know I wake frequently. I blame it on my aging maturing female body. I am lucky though that I can function no matter how many times I wake up :) I come from a family of light sleepers.

  4. My husband started having seizures due to chronic lack of REM sleep. I never had a clue how important sleep is to the brain. Watching a loved one have a seizure is not a fate I would wish on anyone and scares our son half to death. Dr. Braeden at Pacific Sleep Center was worth every penny and probably saved my husband's life. If things don't improve, you might want to consider a sleep specialist.

    1. Wow-- that is crazy and good advice to consider. Thanks for sharing. Tiredness can be dealt with. Seizures are a whole different ballgame.