Why Can’t I Go to Sleep?

The kids are in bed, the household responsibilities are done and you climb into bed to sleep, but you don’t sleep. You check your email, or lie awake thinking of all of the things you still need to do, or mindlessly scroll social media, or play a game. You are not alone. I’m awake with you and so many other mothers are too.

My husband always comments that I’m so tired (and I am, and I’m not the only one) and yet, I don’t go to sleep. I have to explain to him that the time in bed, before I fall asleep, is just “my time.” I spend my days caring for others and it expends a lot of emotional energy. I need time to re-charge, re-fill and that time comes when everyone else is asleep.

tired momMomsomnia?

I wasn’t sure if there was a name for it, so I turned to Google, and I found the term “momsomnia.” Most things I read described it as a mom’s innate ability to just wake-up and it was described as a “hyper vigilant state.” Most of the information I found was related to those newborn days when no one really gets to sleep. I also found a bunch of suggestions for how to cope, but it didn’t exactly address my situation. I don’t have a newborn, I can sleep when I need to, and then I realized it, as horrible as it sounds, I just want to be alone.

Just an Introvert

When the house is quiet and the day is done I need to be alone. I used to get that time in other places that just are not available right now (yoga class, coffee shop, or a long commute). Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. Family time can be energizing and sometimes draining, okay maybe a lot of times with a toddler it can be draining, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. On the nights my husband goes to the gym I get to bed earlier. He asked me about it one night, and I realized when he’s at the gym I have my alone time. I recharge and I get to sleep at a reasonable hour.

I’m an introvert, not just in the sense that I’m not great at small talk, but in the sense that I need alone time. I need that time alone to sort through my thoughts and enjoy the quiet and reset. It is exhausting to be “on” all the time and the mindlessness that comes with jewel matching games or Pinterest scrolling allows me to conserve energy and recharge.  It seems the answer to “why can’t I sleep?” is because I need to be awake to clear my mind and reset for the next day. If you’re an introvert maybe this is why you’re awake too. So, when you are awake mindlessly scrolling social media or checking out your favorite blog know that you are not alone. I’m probably awake doing the same thing and hopefully we will both get to sleep soon.

A native of the New Orleans 'burbs, Melanie has lived in Baton Rouge since starting her bachelors degree at LSU. She earned her BA in Mass Communication and a master’s degree in Social Work both from LSU. In her professional life Melanie focuses on women’s mental health. Melanie and her husband Adam have been together for almost two decades. They have 2 bright and curious kids who keep them on their toes. When not working or moming Melanie can be found exploring yet another new hobby, trying to “get organized” and avoiding the laundry. She loves sitcoms, traveling, iced coffee and carbs.


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