Monday, January 28, 2013

Question for moms of kids over age 2

If anyone reading has progressed to the point where the youngest children in your home are now over age 2, I have a question for you.  Will I ever feel rested again?

My sons have been sleeping through the night--for the most part--since they were about six months old.  We have had occasional wake-ups due to illness or for unknown reasons, but I have been getting a full night's sleep on a fairly regular basis for the better part of six months. . . and yet I am still tired nearly every day.  And oddly enough, I am often more tired on the days after I've had a full night (which I define as at least eight hours) of uninterrupted sleep.

MM and I have been alternating nights of "baby duty" since the boys were about 8 months old.  (Prior to that time, I did ALL the night wakings with them.  Yep.  All of them, even after I went back to work full time and MM was home on FMLA leave.)  So I am guaranteed a solid night of eight hours of sleep at least three nights a week.

I don't stay up late reading or watching television.  I am careful to limit my use of media (computer, TV, iPhone) within an hour or so of bedtime.  I don't exercise in the evenings, as that has always interfered with my sleep, and I consume no caffeine after 2:00 p.m.  I try not to drink more than a little bit of water after 6:00 p.m. so I won't have to get up at night due to a full bladder.  (I generally drink two liters of water during the workday, so doing this isn't too difficult for me.)

I have recently resumed exercising three mornings a week.  Nothing strenuous, just a brisk walk with the dog or 20 minutes of yoga.  (I am woefully out of shape, more out of shape than I have ever been, even at weights 25 lbs more than my current weight, but that's a sad topic for another post.)

Based on all this, I believe that I am probably getting sufficient sleep, so I can't understand why I feel tired all the time.  I'm not anemic.  I have had my thyroid levels checked recently, and they are normal.  (In fact, I have had quite a bit of lab work done, and the only abnormality found was that I am vitamin D deficient, something for which I am currently taking supplements.)

It's true that my stress levels are quite high, probably unhealthily so, nearly all the time.  But apart from that, I really don't see any reason for my feeling so tired all the time.  My sons are pretty good sleepers in the main, and have been for some time, so it seems like I shouldn't be so tired.

Thoughts?

17 comments:

  1. I am still in the under 2 war but I am excited/terrified to hear the answer. Can you report back what others say? Maybe only if the answer is a good one...

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  2. If you find the secret, I wanna know. I am perpetually tired.

    I think though, it will get better. Twins is a LOT and in the next couple of years they will get more independent and able to do things and require less physical effort (but more mental!)

    And, uh, they grow up and move out eventually? :)

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    1. You still have a kiddo under 2 also, I believe. ;-)

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  3. Could it be apnea? That's the only thing that comes to mind. Hoping you feel rested again soon. Stress is no good, maybe some meditation before bed would help?

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    1. I have considered apnea, since my husband says I snore sometimes, but I don't think I have it. My husband has never noticed any periods of not breathing (and he's a light sleeper who is often awake at night), and my doctor doesn't think I have it either.

      It's probably stress, I'm thinking.

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  4. My twins are 2 now and last year at this time was much easier. They still napped and want down from 7 p - 7:30 a. Now they are super energetic with no stopping. Sigh. I'm not sure if it gets better or if you just get used to it!

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    1. I can say advisedly that I will never get used to feeling tired all the time. LOL

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  5. Yes! I found that I was fairly well-rested when LG was 1-2 and then 4+ has been fine. 3-3.5 was an era of night-waking (and I know other moms who say the same). But it DOES get better for most kids (and their parents!)

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  6. I get the sleep but sister I am exhausted.

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  7. I have also experienced the phenomenon of feeling less tired on days when I got less sleep the night before. I can't explain it. I DO feel rested sometimes, but I also am inexplicably tired much of the time. I usually get 7-9 hours of sleep, and my 2.5-year-olds usually sleep through the night, so I don't know. I suspect it's a mix of a few things - I go to bed later and get up later than I used to, which is not how I normally like to do things (I'm a morning person), plus the physical exhaustion of being with two toddlers all day (or in all my spare time, anyway) just wears me out. I'm much less tired on days when they go to preschool, even if I spend the day doing chores and manual labor. Small children are just exhausting, I think.

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  8. My wee one is just 2 but I'm guessing that the answer to the mystery is that you are working full time, running a house and have two small children. I know that I am totally shattered most of the time and I only have one child (I also work full time). And pretty much everyone I know who has kids this age, whether they are sleeping through the night or not, are exhausted too - only ones that aren't are the ones with huge amounts of help from relatives, cleaning ladies and relatively unstressful jobs. I AM told that it gets better eventually - and I see friends with children of primary school age who seem to be fairly OK - the kids are more independent, more even-tempered (I'm worn out with "terrible two temper tantrums"). We can only hope - suppose a lot depends on the kids :-).

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  9. Did you start your Vitamin D? That has a huge impact on my energy levels.

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    1. Yes, haven't noticed any difference at all so far.

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  10. I have pseudo twins (adopted kids that are two weeks apart) and they are a little over two. I work four days per week and on Fridays clean, grocery shop, and cook ahead for the week. So yeah I hear you on busy! My suggestion may sound counter intuitive but if you can start a more strenuous exercise program. I am a runner and on the days I run (five mornings a week at 4 am which I know is crazy but its what works for me!) I have a ton more energy. The few mornings I roll over and sleep another hour and half instead of running I drag drag drag.... Just a thought! And it doesn't have to be running obviously but just something that really revs your heart rate up. Hang in there!

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    1. MyTwoLines, I have to say that your post made me literally "LOL". I could barely jog eight years ago, when I weighed 35 lbs less and had a lot more free time, so I think the odds of my being able to run now are pretty much slim to none. . . and I don't have the ability to do any other types of vigorous exercise. (No access to exercise equipment, no time to go to a gym.) It is all I can do to manage to squeeze in the brief 20 minutes of brisk walking or yoga I do three times a week. (It's taken me a year to be able to fit that into my schedule.)

      I do appreciate the thought, though. Thanks!

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  11. Hi there! For me, once C hit about 1.5 (and def by age 2) I started to feel less tired. Even though he is a busy boy on the move, I can sit/stand back and watch him. I found that period when they first start walking to be SO exhausting because you have to hover a bit.

    Stress definitely can make you feel tired.

    Hope you are feeling more energized soon!!

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  12. I was going to suggest the exercise thing too. It definitely gives me more energy. I think I DID feel more energy as Liam got older. However, he was always a really good sleeper, so we really were getting good sleep early on. It's hard to remember that I ever felt truly rested before getting pregnant again. ....I think you just kind of get used to whatever type of your you're getting, as sad as that sounds. Okay, that was of no help.

    Exercise, it's where it's at :)

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