Sleep, or Lack of
Updated: Jan 22, 2019
By the time my youngest reached the age of three, I had been running on three non-consecutive hours of sleep for close to four years.
My youngest will soon be 5, and let me tell you, she's counting down the days. However, there were many times where I wondered if I'd make it to this point because I was running on very little sleep. I was lucky if I could get a total of 3 broken hours of sleep per night, (and the sleepless nights had started before the end of the first trimester -months before she was born).
How many hours sleep do you get? Is it because you can't sleep, or someone else keeps you awake?
This beloved child of mine didn't know what napping was either, once she came into our world. Fifteen minutes, twice a day, seemed to meet her needs. At night, which began around 11:00 pm for her, meant she'd be wanting to feed every hour or so...all night long. That was if she wasn't screaming at the top of her lungs. I often joked during this time that had she been born first, she'd be an only child, but joining the family as child #6 ensures her spot as the baby of the family, and I'm done. When she was about two, she would wake up screaming at night, and we quickly learned that trying to soothe her with words or a reassuring touch only aggravated the situation and could make the event last an hour. An hour of kicking, screaming...it was exhausting. Somehow, dad managed to sleep though most of her fits, but not me. I was desperate for some sleep. (You know it's bad when you're looking forward to a few days in the bush with cadets on a field training exercise just so you can get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep at night...even if its close to freezing and you're sleeping on the ground without a fire nearby).
In comes Stress Away. Now, I am not promoting this as a cure-all. I am not a doctor and am not trying to diagnose or treat anything. I am simply sharing my story. But let's face it, I was desperate. Sleep deprived mama's can be a dangerous thing...or so the men-folk want us to believe. And as I mentioned, I was desperate. She was three now, and I needed some sleep, some rest or even just some down time.
I remember the first time I tried Stress Away like it was yesterday. As usual, she woke up screaming and I remember thinking -here we go again, because some nights we went through this more than once. I reached out for the bottle on my night stand and passed it under her nose so her could smell it, being very careful not to touch her. She paused when she got a whiff of it and took a deep breath. Then, to my disbelief, she dropped onto her pillow and went back to sleep. I thought she was messing with me. OK, I know that kids that young, in the middle of a fit, wouldn't try to pull one over on anyone, but it was just too incredible to believe that this oil could diffuse the moment. BUT IT DID. She slept for hours. I slept for hours. For the first time in almost four years!
I soon figured out that letting a drop fall onto her would quickly diffuse the fit and allow her to return to sleep almost a soon as she'd start flipping out. and even better, I started to offer her a drop before bedtime which she gladly rubbed onto her wrists as she settled into bed for the night. I say 'night' because I mean night. Hours of uninterrupted sleep. After a week using this blend, she began sleeping through the night. She's still not a peaceful sleeper, and can turn full circle and move in any which way in the bed while she sleeps, but she sleeps.
You can diffuse this oil and its amazing lime-vanilla aroma will fill the room and offer a blessed night. You can add a drop to a cup of Epsom salts that you add to your evening bath, or rub it on your wrist*. I imagine a drop on the pillow case might be nice as well. I sometimes diffuse lavender and cedarwood to promote a good night's sleep since Health Canada says they both can 'act as a nervine and calmative which enhances relaxation'. These oils happen to be in the beloved Stress Away blend, and I much prefer its smell . So, needless to say, it has become a staple oil in my home. My daughter now has her own mini bottle that I take with us when we go out, and she can wear her diffuser necklace whenever she wants. I love this blend and I am grateful for the peace it has brought to my nights. I've shared it with some friends who were stressed out, and they have fallen in love with it as well. It's a keeper!