November 14th 2011 / 1 minute to read

Curious, any tips or tricks to assist me in going back to a diurnal sleep schedule? Granted, I suffer from insomnia, nightmares, inability to fall asleep, and I’ve always been nocturnal… but still.

It doesn’t help that my little one is JUST as nocturnal as me and has zero interest in sleeping at night!

Oh and if you’re going to suggest ANYTHING that requires I ingest it, keep in mind it needs to be safe to take while breastfeeding!

This post is over a year old which means the content may be outdated or no longer accurate.


Likes Instant Messaging by fLaMEd.

View All Notes




A friend of mine who is an insomniac swears by Valerian Root. Not sure about safety with breastfeeding but something to consider.

Reply to Sara

Doesn’t appear that valerian root is safe while breastfeeding, something to keep in mind though when he decides to wean (which will probably be in the next 2 years if he’s anything like his big brother).


Of all the supplements I’ve tried over the years, valerian root is definitely the stinkiest. It’s hard to overcome the gag factor and swallow that pill.

Reply to Jill

I’ve given up on having a diurnal schedule. I am nocturnal by nature and the advice a sleep specialist gave me was to schedule life around when I sleep naturally. I learned the hard way this year that even natural substances like valerian and melatonin should only be taken for very short periods of time or it can trigger depression. All of the things I would normally recommend for short term use (melatonin, valerian, tylenol PM, antihistamines…) are not safe while nursing either. :(

I do hope you find something to help you sleep. :)

Reply to Andrea

I need to avoid depression triggers AND make sure if I ingest something it’s safe while breastfeeding!

I have an easier time in all other seasons but when it’s pitch black at 5pm, I feel like I’ve “wasted” the day. Also, I’m only getting 2-4hrs of sleep a night so my mood isn’t the best heh.


I definitely can empathize. I’m only getting 4 hours of sleep on a regular basis too. I really just wish I could find something that wouldn’t cause depression but would help me sleep on a more normal schedule.

Reply to Andrea

Are you getting enough magnesium in your diet and/or multivitamin? Since I started taking it a month ago, I’ve had exactly one night of insomnia.

Reply to Jill

No? I’m going to start taking my vitamins again though so maybe that will help? A multi-vitamin that also has extra B12, Biotin (for my hair and nails and metabolism), and VitD so I don’t get bronchitis this winter lol.

Jodi Hall

Not sure if melatonin is safe while breastfeeding but it works great for me..

Hope you find something and get rest soon.

Reply to Jodi Hall

Thank you! Sadly it’s not safe while breastfeeding (researched that awhile back) but it’s something I’ll consider in the future when he’s older!


This may or may not help you, but it helps me; on the rare occasions when I have trouble sleeping, I listen to track 2 of Theta Meditation by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson. You can download it from the MP3 store on

There are a few other albums I listen to sometimes, but that one seems to work best for me. I’d also recommend Music for Healing by Steven Halpern and Music for Brainwave Massage by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson.

I also find that I sleep better (more soundly) on the nights when I listen to one of these albums for at least 30 minutes before bed.

Oh, another tip — I read that you shouldn’t use the computer for an hour before bedtime… something about the stimulation from the screen gets the brain fired up and makes it harder to sleep. I’m really bad about staying on the computer too long at night. :-

Reply to cheryl

I have insomnia too… it’s frustrating, not to mention exhausting the following day! I take Valarian Root and Melatonin… although since you are breast feeding these may not be options for you.

I also like guided meditations at bedtime…laying in bed,with the lights out; they will often times lull me to sleep.

AND I long HOT soak in the tub before going to bed helps too… as hot as you can stand it.

Reply to Keltikmystique

I think I’ll give the meditations a shot, any suggestions on which ones I should get?

I hope that didn’t sound like I was bragging! I get tired easily so it’s usually not a problem for me to fall asleep. (Getting up in the morning is the real problem.)

And of course after making my comments, I had trouble getting to sleep last night… stupid PMS.

LOL! Not bragging at all! I’m tired ALL the time, just… I think too much. About the past, the present, and the future. All of it. I think WAYYYY too much lol.

I understand that COMPLETELY. I worry about the future a lot. Some nights I’ll wake up at 2am and I’ll lie awake and worry for a while before I finally go back to sleep. The music does seem to help with that problem… it sort of calms my brain and keeps my thoughts from getting out of control.

Hi. I had some pretty bad periods of insomnia in college, and still have issues falling asleep at night because my mind goes into overdrive and I just think about every and anything. The one thing that helps me is reading a novel before bed. The stories take me out of my life and into the characters’ lives, which is much less stressful to think about while trying to fall asleep. You could give that a shot. I also always have a fan or humidifier on for white noise, which helps too. Oh, and while I was a complete insomniac in college, I read a really boring book (it was the Lord of the Ring trilogy for me) and that once in awhile put me to sleep.

Oh I love to read! Problem is I can’t STOP lol! I have HAVEEEE to finish the book because I get so engrossed!

I used to use Valerian frequently. I know it says not safe while nursing, but I wonder what Dr Newman says about it. I started using melatonin this year with my 5 year old, and sometimes I use it too. I find that 3mg is not quite enough for me.
I also find that I get to sleep quicker when I use ear plugs. Even when there’s no noise, it just seems to shut my brain down quicker.
Pumpkin seeds and sour cherry juice are some other natural remedies I heard about on the Dr Oz show. I’d check his website for more info.
Magnesium is also a sleep aid (and can help with PMS cravings!).
Making sure the room is dark, not even the red light from a digital clock. We use blue night lights.
I also changed when I drink my afternoon coffee; now I have it much earlier in the day. I found that I can NOT drink/eat caffeine from 3-7:30pm, but if I wait till 7:30pm to have some, I still fall asleep (if I get in bed by 10:30), AND I actually get up easier in the morning! Many foods/drinks have a shocking amount of caffeine!

Do you like to take baths? I have taken Epsom salt baths with some lavender essential oil added in to help make me sleepy. The Epsom salts are magnesium and will be absorbed by your body.

Definitely look into your diet and be sure you’re getting enough whole foods and not as much processed (esp soy – estrogen dominance can cause insomnia). As you said, take a good multivitamin – I use my prenatal (Two ‘n’ Only by pure essence labs – they aren’t giant horse pills) – so you benefit from the various vitamin Bs, magnesium, calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D is super important and, like vitamin B, can help with depression and anxiety.

A lot of post partum and breastfeeding women have malfunctioning thyroids, which can vastly effect mood and the ability to sleep. This is where whole foods are important, again. Perhaps consider adding coconut oil to your diet – either cook your veggies in it or add a little to a smoothie. A happy thyroid also leads to good progesterone balance in your body – another thing that contributes to mood.

Bach flower remedies are also good. Rescue Remedy is an all-over remedy that helps a variety of issues, but you can also see if a single remedy meets your needs.

Badger Balm makes a Nighty Night (or some variation – I forget the exact name) balm that is safe for breastfeeding. Just rub some on your temples and it should be soothing.

Insomnia is horrible. It ends up causing a whole cycle of sleeplessness, crappy moods and then more sleeplessness. I hope you find some relief soon and get a good rest. :-)


I find breastfeeding makes me sleepy if I am prepared and relaxed – I try to feed in bed so that I don’t have to get up afterwards (thus waking myself up again). I make sure I’m in my pj’s, teeth brushed etc before the late night feed is due. It is my nightly ‘sleeping pill’ – even works with an acrobatic 2 yr old, she’s usually half asleep at that point mind you :)

My mum also has trouble sleeping, she swears by her ‘hypnotist tapes’, as she calls them. She has some 30 minute long recordings by a hypnotist about going to sleep (sorry, no idea who or where to get) and listens to them on her iPod. Didn’t work for me when I tried him but she swears by them.

Reply to Anna

Leave a Comment

Thank you for your comment!
Please Read the Comment Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

To respond via your own website, enter the URL of your response which should contain a link to this post's permalink URL.
Your response will then appear on this post.