mother with infant

How Long Does Postpartum Insomnia Last?

Many new moms struggle with sleep after giving birth, what’s known as post-natal depression or PND. This can include trouble falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, and/or staying awake for long periods of time in between sleep episodes.

In addition to feeling depressed due to changes in life including career and family, some women also suffer from insomnia (sleep deprivation) at times beyond six months post partum.

When people are deprived of sleep over an extended period of time, symptoms may occur. These range from irritability, anxiety, mood swings, physical health problems such as weight gain, and sometimes even thoughts about suicide. All of these effects can be detrimental to your daily functioning and overall happiness.

Fortunately, there are ways to treat this. Most doctors will recommend sleeping aids to help you get enough rest. There are many types of medications that can help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feel refreshed.

This article will talk more about one type of medication used to treat postpartum insomnia – benzodiazepines. However, before reading, make sure you have a good understanding of how drugs work, different classes of medications, and why they should be only used for a short amount of time.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is not intended to diagnose or treatment for any condition, nor does it replace doctor diagnosis or treatments. Read our disclaimer here.

Second week

Most women will be sleeping more than eight hours every night in the first few weeks after giving birth, especially during the early stages of sleep deprivation. But unfortunately, not everyone is the same! Some people will experience longer sleep cycles which can make it harder to get back into a regular bedtime and wake time schedule.

This is called persistent insomnia or chronic insomia. It’s totally normal to feel tired at times, but six months later you aren’t feeling quite so sleepy. And when you are, your sleep cycle may take longer to reset too!

Why? Because hormonal changes dictate how well your body regulates sleep. Oxygen levels drop while hormones like cortisol increase as part of the stress response, both of which can keep you up at night.

Another reason could be that babies need extra attention and care, keeping parents awake until they go down for their second nap. All mothers to expect this!

If your sleep pattern doesn’t improve within the next couple of weeks, talk to your doctor about other possible causes of poor sleep such as anxiety or depression. You might also want to check out any nutritional imbalances that could be contributing to your lack of rest.

Third week

Many new moms struggle with sleep during this time, and it can be frustrating to try and get some rest when you’re constantly thinking about how your baby is doing or what you are should be done with next!

It’s important to remember that most women experience at least one night of insomnia in the third week after giving birth. This is due to hormonal changes occurring as your body adjusts to having a child.

Hormonal shifts occur when estrogen levels drop and progesterone levels rise. Both hormones play an integral part in regulating sleep.

When estrogen levels drop, sleep becomes more difficult to achieve. On the other hand, rising progesterone levels make it harder to wake up and start sleeping again once you do fall asleep.

This article will talk about some things you can do to help you get better quality sleep while you’re still experiencing postpartum insomnias. You may also want to read our article: 9 Ways To Boost Your Motherly Love After The Baby Is Born.

Fourth week

Many new moms struggle with sleep during this time, which can be frustrating for both them and their partners. It’s totally normal to feel tired most of the day, but some days are just more difficult than others.

That is what happened the second night after your baby was born. Hopefully you have learned how to relax and get some rest while nursing, but now that the milk has lessened, it is important to know how long post-nursing insomnia will last.

It is very common to want to nurse immediately right after waking up, but try not to unless you really need the nourishment. When you wake up in the morning, your body needs to downshift into sleeping mode so it does not keep working to stay awake. This could cause overnight hunger or trouble getting back to sleep if you are asleep when the feeding happens.

Instead, wait 30 minutes to an hour after wakening to feed to help promote relaxation.

Fifth week

By this fifth week, most women are back to sleeping at least six hours a night and experiencing less sleep deprivation. It is important to remember that your body needs different levels of sleep at different times in life. During pregnancy, your body does not need as much rest because you are growing baby cells and tissues.

After giving birth, your body goes through many changes such as hormonal shifts which also require relaxation.

However, it is very common for mothers to feel tired and sleep deprived during their post-pregnancy period. This can sometimes lead to mental health issues like depression or anxiety.

Fortunately, there are ways to help with insomnia during the pppoblament stage.

Sixth week

By this time, your baby will be sleeping longer intervals of night sleep. You may also experience more frequent wakeups during these nights. This is due to your body needing extra time to process all the hormones that have been raised during pregnancy as well as having your milk supply drop.

It’s totally normal to feel tired or even overwhelmed at times. It’s important to remember that you are not alone!

Many mothers deal with insomnia after giving birth, but it usually goes away within six weeks. If symptoms persist beyond this period, make sure to talk to your doctor about possible underlying conditions like stress or anxiety.

You might also want to discuss how you can help yourself get some rest, for example by limiting nighttime activities, trying lower-stimulation environments (such as curling up in bed with dim lights), and having a consistent sleep schedule.

Seventh week

Many new mothers begin to feel more relaxed about their sleep after the first few weeks, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, some women may be experiencing a very difficult time getting a good night’s rest in the seventh week post-baby.

Most babies will go down around bedtime which helps mom get some sleep, but then there are times when they wake up or need to be fed again early. Or both!

This can become a vicious cycle that continues to keep you awake at night. You might find yourself thinking about all of the things you have to do the next day, and how much you have to do, and then it just never seems like you will get any sleep.

What can make your insomnia worse is if you’re worrying about what work you have coming the next day or what you did the day before. Thinking about all of these things makes it harder to fall asleep, and once you do manage to drift off, you’re even more tired than before.

Something that can help reduce stress is practicing yoga. There are many beginner level classes for moms who don’t necessarily know how to pose already.

Eighth week

Eight weeks is considered the norm for most people’s experience with postpartum sleep issues, but they can sometimes take longer to resolve. In fact, one study found that 38% of women experienced persistent insomnia beyond six months!

There are many factors that may contribute to prolonged sleep problems including stress, worries about your changing body (or lack thereof), or fears about having more children.

Trying to balance work, family life, and sleeping well takes time and energy, which can be difficult when you’re just coming back into working mode after having a baby.

Sleep deprivation also impacts maternal health-the way it affects hormones like cortisol can increase risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help get those nights of sleep back. And although it may feel impossible at times, sticking to a routine will make a difference. Here’s what you should do.

Ninth week

Nine weeks is the average length of time that women experience symptoms of PPI, according to the Mayo Clinic. This includes symptoms like sleep disturbances, irritability, mood swings and/or changes in appetite. While most moms will feel better and be able to return to work at this stage, it’s important to remember that your body isn’t always on schedule.

Some people struggle more with PPIS than others do, and what works for one person can’t necessarily help another. Just because you didn’t get much sleep last night doesn’t mean that tomorrow will be any easier. There are things you can do to manage your stress, but first you have to recognize that there is a stress factor.

If you think about all the things you were doing before bedtime, and compare them to what you’re doing now (laying awake thinking about everything), then you’ve got some stress going on. Add to that the worries of whether or not you’ll find a job soon, and you’ve got enough stress to make someone having insomnia tonight.

In fact, I’d say almost everyone has enough stress these days to cause insomnia at times.