Sleep when the baby sleeps. That’s what they always say. But really, how hard is it to just turn out the lights and fall asleep?
There’s always something to think about. Something to worry about. I found myself falling laying awake for what seemed like hours after Cricket was snoring away.
When she was brand new, I developed a little trick to help myself fall asleep, and I want to share it with you in the hopes that it will help you guys get some much needed shut-eye also.
I call my trick Alphabet Animals. Okay, I know. It sounds dumb. But it really works.
The trick with this is to engage your brain with something that is just interesting enough to keep you from thinking about that fight you had with that guy on the internet or the giant pile of laundry in the washer that you forgot to put in the dryer and is probably going to stink in the morning. But it has to be boring enough that it doesn’t stimulate you and keep you awake.
Simple alphabet games can be perfect for this provided you pick a topic that doesn’t wind you up. Initially, I was doing alphabet gratitude, but since I grew up in the South, the gratitude morphed to guilt and I found myself staying awake feeling bad about random things. Not helpful. So I switched to animals. I rarely get past K. Which is good because K is a tough letter at 10:30 at night.
I’ve got some pretty specific rules that I follow when I play this game. I’ve got to name actual, specific animals. A for ant, b for bear, c for cat does not cut it. They’ve got to be more unusual animals. And some nights I pick a theme like marine animals or birds.
I happen to know a lot of animals, so this particular theme works for me. What can I say. I mostly only watch nature documentaries on TV. You might know more book characters or food items or celebrities. Pick a theme that works and go for it.
Here I go!
A is for arapaima.
B is for banana slug.
C is for chinstrap penguin.
D is for dusky dolphin.
E is for elephant seal.
F is for frigate bird.
G is for giant Pacific octopus.
H is for Humboldt squid.
I is for ichthyornis. (I cheated there, but I is a hard one)
J is for …..
*Please do be aware that trouble falling asleep can be one of the signs of postpartum depression. If this is a constant thing and you are having other indicators that PPD is staking a claim in your house, contact your healthcare provider right away.