Friday, September 20, 2013

Are Anemia & Insomnia Linked?

For almost as far back as I can remember I have had trouble sleeping.  It has gotten worse with age. The first trimester of each  pregnancy I can sleep anywhere anytime, but then I will have a couple nights a week that I literally never fall asleep.

I have tried:
New Pillow, different bed, reading, melatonin, Ambian, Valerian, Unisom, NyQuil, warm bath, not napping, it doesn't work.  I would say schedule helps, but i never even got close to being on one, its a vicious cycle.

My mind won't turn off, I get thirsty, I have to pee, I doze off and a child wakes me, hubby is snoring, I get cold, like deep cold, under 3 quilts, fully clothed, heating pad, and shivering.  I'd be up at 2am in a hot bath just trying to get warm.

Then the week between having #4 and getting a blood transfusion I would be in bed, desperate for sleep, and totally unable to fall asleep.  It felt like my veins were collapsing.  My limbs would go numb, as though blood wasn't reaching them.  This wasn't a totally new feeling, but it was greatly magnified.

Once I had blood I started feeling better, and sleeping a bit better.

And then the effects wore off and I couldn't sleep again.

Pregnancy #5 was excruciating.  I almost never slept at night.  I could get naps in here and there, but nights I just paced the halls.
  And it wasn't just lack of sleep that had me feeling tired, I felt anemic again, like i did prior to the blood transfusion, so I had my CBC taken.  My Iron levels were fine, but my Folic levels were low...whatever that meant.

My OB kept telling me to take Folic Acid for my anemia, but I was like, huh? Anemia is caused by Iron, my iron levels are fine.  I'd take it for a while then forget and move on.

Finally, can't remember when, my Doctor explained that Anemia is caused by Iron & Folic Acid.  One form is that you don't have enough red blood cells, the other is that they are just too small.  (don't quote me on this, but you get the picture)

So I started taking Folic Acid religiously and in high quantities.  After about a week that empty blood vessels feeling went away, my arms stopped feeling numb, my legs stopped tingling, I stayed warmer, and.... I COULD SLEEP!!

So fellow tired, anemic, insomniac mamas, give it a try!  test my theory!  See if managing your Anemia (via Folic Acid or Iron) can help you sleep.  If you do give it a try, let me know if it helps with sleep or if it's just a fluke thing.

1 comment:

  1. Anemia normal makes you tired and causes you to sleep more.

    I would mention it though, as both the anemia and insomnia could be from an underlying condition.


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