Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sleep and Me.

Over the past 4 years, I have learned so much about sleep. I have learned how sleep impacts everything in regard to health. I could go on and on and on about how it is JUST as important as the food we eat to fuel our body. JUST as important. Anyway, that could be a post all on its own.

On a grand scale, I have never mentioned anything about my own relationship with restful sleep and how it has had a direct impact on why I push for healthy sleep habits for my girls. Stay with me - this is kind of difficult for me to put out there and though it may seem like something quite "normal" its something I have struggled through. I know its time I share.

Sleeping well is difficult for me. I can't shut down. This is the reason I make it a top priority to teach my girls where and when to sleep and how to do this on their own.

I want my kids to have better than what I have. I have a LOT of trouble sleeping. I think it has to do with some poor sleep habits/conditions that only I have/have had control of. I also think that some of it has to do with having small kiddos in the house. When you first become a mama, you keep your baby close to you during sleep time. They sleep in your room, right next to your bed - and they wake up in the night to feed. They need you, and they are not born knowing how and when to sleep. Its a discipline that has to be intentionally taught. This takes training, which takes you as a parent being up with them in those early days when they need you. You basically train yourself to sleep lightly - as to never really rest in fear that you could sleep through meeting your baby's needs if you allowed yourself to fall into that deep, restful, blissful, reviving sleep. You "sleep" with a baby monitor right next to your ear.

I am a 3rd time mom now - we have no monitor. All 3 of girls know how to sleep and they know when to sleep. None of them are sleeping in our room. So why can't I sleep? It seems that in working so diligently to train them to have good sleep habits - I abandoned my own. 

After having Kensington, and dealing with post partum depression - it didnt matter if she slept or not, I knew it wasn't happening for me. It was a vicious cycle. I wanted to battle the depression issue, and one of the first ways to do that is get sleep. Ha. get sleep? with a colic newborn? with a colic newborn and a 2 year old? Not an option, right? So the battle with PPD continued on, as I was unable to settle my mind and soothe my (then) 27 year old self to sleep.

I reached out to my OBGYN - and was quickly given a prescription for the generic form of ambien.(sleeping mediciation)  Kensington was about 18 weeks old, and FINALLY slept through the night and her colic was subsiding. I was given medication to sleep, and things seemed to be looking up for me. I was so ready to feel like a normal person again.

The ambien worked well for me. I slept. I didnt wake up in zombie like state. I felt rested. 
This is totally fine, right? Clearly not illegal. Clearly, given to me by a doctor. 
Here I am 18 months later, still depending on ambien to get me to sleep each night. I realized how dependent I had become on medication. Man made medication.  I can't help but think, at what point will I know that I can get off these pills and sleep like a normal person at night without aide?

Last week, this became a huge conviction on my heart. Tyler and I have made some very positive changes in our lives recently that we hope will lead us to some very positive places in the near future. In light of making these changes the Lord has really laid it on my heart get rid of some of the toxins in my life, starting with the ambien. I knew Tyler and I could not move forward unless I gave this up. This was sin in my life. Constant sin - and it needed to be dealt with. Thank you, Lord, for bringing me into the light of where the real struggle lied.

So 7 days ago, I began my journey of trying to train myself to sleep. Sleep sans any sleep aides. What a discipline it is! I am so proud of my girls for taking to this training so easily...I know now how hard it really is! The first 4 nights were rough. My sleep was light, and I woke constantly through the night. If Tyler shifted his weight at all - I was wide awake and struggled to get myself to go back to sleep.

I am happy to say that the past two nights have been much better! I came to find that my sleep has been deeper and more restful the last two nights than anytime in the last 18 months. God is so good, and he heard my prayers. He let me let go of this burden. God used Tyler to help me realize this was an evil in my world. He saw my struggle and did not disappoint in his responsibility as the head of this home to lead me away from my sin and to the Lord. 
Jeremiah 31:25 "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." 

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Psalm 3:5 "I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me."

Psalm 4:8 "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord make me dwell in safety."

Proverbs 4:16 "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."

Psalm 127:2 "...he grants sleep to the ones he loves."

Its safe to say, the Lord wants us to rest. He wants ME to rest, just like I want my girls to rest. It may be less about sleep, and more about refreshing rest in our Lord.

I am posting this because the Lord says, "Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy." - Proverbs 28:13


Anonymous said...

Lovely, Shea! Congratulations on taking this step... and thank you for keeping me aware of the possible consequences of taking meds. I was leaning toward something like Ambien because since Maxton was born, for the first time in my life, I have been unable to settle and go back to sleep at night. He's been sleeping through the night for weeks now, and I still wake at 1:30, 3, and 4:45ish every night and lie awake for at least 30 minutes!
What strategies are you using to help yourself fall back asleep if you do wake? Relaxation techniques?


Amber Ruth said...

very courageous of you shea! praying for you sweet friend. some of these verses struck a cord with me because i remember praying them over both my boys... still do on those hard nights/days.

Tyler and Shea Moses said...

Kim! Yes- it's like getting back to sleep when your ears are constantly listening for a baby to cry is just not possible! I've moved white noise into my own room! I need just a small sound buffer, that helps me settle. I'm also drinking yogi bedtime tea. I am looking into taking some natural/vitamin supplements- melatonin and Melissa leave that have lemon balm. Hoping that helps, but I would be glad to let you know! I am wishing you restful sleep. It's hard to function with kids if you can't get a little rest yourself!!!

And amber- I love that you pray those verses over your babes. You are one in a million- I love that we see eye to eye on sleep. You are a great mama!

kate @ livinglovinglaughing said...

oh shea, so very brave of you to share. As someone who is NOT a great sleeper myself, I totally agree how good it feels to give our children the gift of being able to sleep well! Proud of you for following your conscience! God bless - and sleep well xx :)
ps i also find a fan/white noise helps me sleep when there is a newborn in the house as currently is... otherwise i cant get to sleep listening out for every squeak!!