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I am tired.

So very tired.

Fatigue is my constant companion, sleepiness my daytime shadow.

Right now I am feeding my people, doing a few loads of laundry a day, acting as chauffeur and mediator, but that’s about it. I have tons of ideas for blog posts and stories to tell, but I am just so tired.

My fit bit tracks my sleep at night.

One problem is my sleep. While I’m getting 6 to 7.5 hours of “sleep” a night, its extremely broken. I am a light sleeper so every noise, every movement wakes me up. I am “restless” according to my Fitbit 10-15 times a night.


So even when Apollo sleeps all night and when I “sleep” all night, it is not very restful. I have no idea what to do about it. I have no trouble falling asleep (I am sleeping within minutes of going to bed) nor do I have trouble (usually) going back to sleep, I am still a fitful sleeper and it is taking its toll on me. I have no idea how to get more or better sleep, short of moving out of the house and living alone.

I did go hiking three times last week which felt great. Sunshine, movement, activity.

But the tiredness. It’s a monster.

I’m tired all day and by 6 pm I can barely keep my eyes open. Literally.

Yes, I’ve had my thyroid checked (normal). I take vitamin D and my iron is fine. And every once in a while I have a day where I feel okay, but I haven’t had a single one of those yet this week.

So there you have it.

I’m tired.

Feel free to tell me your favorite cure for I’m Tired All the Time But I’m a Mom So There’s Only So Much I Cant Do. I’m completely open to suggestions.

ETA: I had a sleep study a few years ago that showed no apnea, but proved that I am a light sleeper. Yeah, kind of knew that.


  1. thissquirrelsnest

    I had a sleep study done because I was so tired all the time. Turns out I have “moderate ” sleep apnea. I’ve been using the CPAP since January and the improvement in my mood, motivation, and outlook has been profound. Best part was that the sleep study was just done at home with a monitor. I should probably blog about this…the restless spells could be apnea.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      I had a sleep study that showed no apnea…just that I was “easy to arouse”. Um, in the sleep sense. In other words, my sleep study showed I am a really light sleeper.

          • Julie

            HA HA HA. At least you have a sense of humor 😀

            My youngest (14!) and I try to get out for a walk, at least five days a week. Unfortunately, it’s not enough exercise to bring my weight down, BUT it has made a world of difference in many other ways. I wonder if it’s possible for you to get outside for “a brisk walk” even 30 minutes a day? With or without kids. Couldn’t hurt. Might help.

            Glass of wine before bed?

  2. Amber Edwards Hanshaw

    Right there with you. I average 20+ “restless” time per night. Always exhausted. Interested to see what others suggest.

  3. Taryn

    I am a really really light sleeper. I only have 8 kids but they are young and the bottom two are still night needy. My husband also had a tendency to snore or move a lot in his sleep. What work right now, short term is that I sleep with the nursing baby in one room with a floor fan on high speed for white noise while he sleeps in the room with our other night needy child and 4other kiddos also with white noise. The oldest two are on their own so to speak but they are teens and sleep through anything. I don’t get awesome sleep… But it’s the best sleep I’ve had since last summer. I’m a bit sensitive to caffeine so I really can’t do more than two cups a day without turning into a raving lunatic. So… The other thing that has been helping, I have no idea why… Is the “singing canary” drink from trim healthy mama… I do not follow the diet but that one drink I really like and something in it really helps me with the tiredness… The main ingredients are turmeric, lemon juice and vitamin C powder. I do use a stevia/xylitol blend to sweeten it a bit. Good luck. Being tired all the time really takes a toll.

  4. Heather

    I am actually quite envious of your sleep pattern. I get about the same amount of “sleep” but mine is generally around 3 or 4 times awake and restless somewhere between 26-35 times, usually adding up to over an hour of restlessness. This is with sleep sensitivity set to normal, not sensitive. Like you, I am a light sleeper and fall asleep immediately. My thyroid is fine as are my iron and D levels and I don’t suffer from sleep apnea. And yes, I am exhausted all day long. You are not alone.

  5. Tracy

    I have been exhausted for years and thought it was just part of being a mom. But I was still seriously struggling to stay awake years after my youngest had been sleeping through the night. Even with 8 – 9 hours of sleep I was exhausted when I woke up. I have horrible nightmares and wake often thru the night. They did the regular sleep study followed by a nap study (MLST) the next day. It turns out I have had Narcolepsy for years, most likely triggered when I had mono. I had no idea. It’s not like they show it in Hollywood. I’m on medication now and a strict sleep schedule and learning to manage it. I feel better and more functional, but still have rough days sometimes.

  6. roneydapony1

    How’s your magnesium? Most of us are deficient. The one thing I’ve found with the depth of my sleep (that feels like a weird phrase but you know what I mean) is magnesium/my multivitamin. I sleep better on the nights I remember to take it.

    • Stacy

      Another vote for a magnesium supplement. I’m an absurdly light sleeper but magnesium helps considerably. I’ve tried time release melatonin and that also helps but it triggers night terrors for me. I think that’s unusual though.

      • bemis

        I’d never thought of magnesium, but my mom (who is very skeptical about supplements) just started taking it for stress (my dad has sudden serious health issues), and she’s never had problems with stress before. She says it has made a big difference.

        For myself, I’ve found I can’t do any caffeine after 2 pm or I have trouble going to sleep, wake up regularly at 2 am and have really restless sleep. At times I’ve had the same problem with sugar.

        • bemis

          …added on…

          When I’ve had trouble with sugar, it has been any form of sugar including in fruit.

          I also have a terrible time sleeping anytime I have any sort of conflict with someone. I literally don’t sleep at those times (thankfully they’re rare). I have to deal with conflict before going to bed.

  7. Amy Brannan

    Adaptogen herbs. They can give you energy or calm you, whichever your body needs at the moment. I use to have a tea that I found years ago for energy (can’t remember what it was called) that I liked. I now use the Isagenix adaptogen herb tea every single morning and it really helps boost me, or at least not feel so drugged fro being so tired. Also, Vit B12 levels – have they been checked? That was my culprit years ago as well – so very low. Feel better…

  8. abedabun dawn

    So sorry you are having that problem. I cant sleep either. I get really tired but cant sleep. I have found that if I do some stretching exercises and take an asprin about 10 minutes before bedtime, I do not sleep longer, but I do sleep better. Not everyone can take asprin. And I do not take on but once or twice a week.

  9. Bethany Geraci

    So sorry you are having problem. I was in the same boat you are with sleep. My almost 4 year old daughter as always struggled with her sleep and I am often up with her several time at night. All my blood levels were coming back normal but I was completely fatigued. A few months ago I found a naural supplement, Protandim, which has been helping me immensely. My energy level is better and I am not chronically tired.

  10. Kris

    I don’t know how open you are to medication, but I have had pretty good success with trazodone. I started with melatonin, and when that didn’t really work, my doc recommended trazodone– it doesn’t come with all the crazy side-effects of some the newer sleep meds (no sleep eating or driving!), nor does it have a ‘lights out’ effect (I still hear the kids if they get up in the middle of the night, etc). It’s classified as an anti-depressant, but is used to treat insomnia (I don’t have a problem falling asleep but easily awaken, and once I’m awake it’s ‘game over’). I’ve also started taking a supplement – 5-HTP (available at Costco) which has helped with my generally low energy levels — I may nap once a week vs. once a day sort of thing! I know you’ve had a sleep study, but not sure how long ago. Hubby had one recently and it was found he had obstructive sleep apnea. Maybe another study is in order? He is a lot like you, would fall asleep but was restless throughout the night and never felt rested. He’s been feeling a lot better since getting a CPAP. Any chance of restless leg? That was another thing they looked at during hubby’s sleep study, though in his case turned out to be a non-issue. Good luck, and hope you find a solution — feeling tired all the time sucks!

  11. LlamaMama

    So sorry to hear about your sleep troubles! Your blog has always been such a source of encouragement to me. If it’s not too personal do you have a PO Box or some address I could send something to? (Nothing crazy, gross or alive I promise).

  12. Christine

    My suggestions are: white noise to block out at least some of the disruptions. If your husband snores, get HIM checked for sleep apnea. I slept much better once my husband got a CPAP machine and stopped snoring. Cut back on caffeine in the afternoons and evenings. Recruit a teenager to sleep with Apollo. (Maybe not possible.) Get your female hormones checked. I found out when I went through pre-menopause that too much estrogen interfered with my sleep. I sleep much better when I put on a little dab of natural progesterone skin cream every day.

    Like you, I am also a very light sleeper. My own snoring used to wake me up!

  13. Melpub

    My dear, you have a five-year-old. Not to mention the other eleven children, who are in your thoughts even when they are not trouncing on your toes. Case closed. When the five-year-old gets to be fifteen, you might feel better. I was a mid-life Zombie with a five-year-old who never slept through the night and his younger brother and sister . . . now I am nearly sixty and we’re enjoying simultaneous puberty and menopause and my husband snores, too. Earplugs!!! I use them when I go to tap class and the music gets too loud, but they’re great for snoring husbands, too.
    P.S. Dare I say they might be good for blocking out teenagers?

  14. Carrie

    I have found much better sleep from custom made ear plugs. They are not inexpensive, but worth every penny. (You have to be fitted at an audiologist’s office.). My husband is a terrible snorer and travels a lot. I started out with “nice” disposable ear plugs and they are good, but would hurt my ears after a few nights. It’s amazing the difference in sleep quality when I am wearing the custom made ones.

  15. ssmazzon

    I too am bone tired all the time. I am going to try some of the suggestions in the comments. I too am a mom, work full time and a light sleeper.

  16. jess Nicholas

    Magnesium. Vitm d3. B12. But take those in the morning, as they are very rousing to the brain. Also, regarding thyroid testing, check out the website “Stop the thyroid madness” for ideas of the reality of thyroid results in the western mediCal world. Bellingham docs prescribe to a pretty standard idea of what a “normal” result is, which doesn’t correlate to patient experience.

  17. Réka

    Renee, I know you tried melatonin in the past for Apollo’s sleep, but have you tried it for yourself? If it’s external stimuli waking you up several times a night, then maybe some of the earplug/white noise suggestions may also work for you. But I think you’re not wrong about time away from kids as a possible cure. Any way that could be a mom treat for you – a night away from the kids?

  18. Patricia Stendal

    I have been there too. My solution — Get someone to replace you at home for at least 24 hours. Go to a motel. Rent a room, take a Tylonol PM or 2 if necessary, and SLEEP. Maybe one night will do it. If not, try it again. (Of course, the problem is to get the competent replacement.

  19. Amber

    I take a daily stress formula supplement.. By Pure encapsulations….good for stress and anxiety.. I don’t have much anxiety but I can’t seem to turn my brain off at night, plus my husband says I sleep with one eye open…lol sometime I hear things at night before they happen…:).one teeage son wore my fitbit a couple nights and wow his looked worse then mine…we are both taking stress vitamin morning ,noon, and night seems to be working but does need to build up in system so it could take a few days to see results….. Blessing Amber

  20. Tarynkay

    Do you exercise? My husband is a very light sleeper, but he sleeps much more deeply if he has gotten some physical exercise in. Also, how late in the day do you drink coffee? If you can, try to scale back to no coffee after lunch. I know that may be impossible. Another thing to try is no screens or overhead lights after sundown. That really helped me sleep better. Again, this may be impossible for you, just sharing what helped us!

  21. Heidi

    Is it possible that your body is trained not to sleep? With Apollo having so many health and sleep problems for so long, you always needed to be alert. It is likely that you rarely went into a deep restful sleep as it could have been life threatening. I’m not a doctor, but it would seem that with that kind of stress all of the time it would have a cumulative effect. I hope you are able to rest soon!

  22. Laurie Geschke

    No one has mentioned an article by Dr. Mercola on his website. Google him and then search his site for “35 tips to get a better sleep at night” or something like that. 35 things to improve in your sleep environment. Some are really simple to do and cheap, others more costly but all effective.
    Also, what is your blood oxygenation level while you sleep? I have a CPAP (and I need it), but I never go to sleep without drinking a glass of water with a few drops of a solution of “stabilized oxygen molecules” added. The product is called “Aerobic Oxygen” and it is made in Canada, but there is probably something you could get in the states as well.
    Without the drops but WITH my CPAP machine, my sleep profile looks like a still have moderate to severe apnea and my blood oxygen perfusion tumbles to 87. That is extremely low. My awake times are more frequent, and I stop breathing more often for longer periods of time before gasping for breath and waking up. With the drops and my CPAP machine, my sleep profile almost doesn’t look like I have apnea at all. My blood oxygen perfusion is up at 97-99 all night long. It shouldn’t go below 96, I understand.
    I think the thing that measures that is called an oximeter. It clamps onto your index finger and you wear it all night one night to let it measure your blood oxygen perfusion.
    Ask your mother-in-law (Jean) for a bottle of the “Aerobic Oxygen” to try. Just start by using it once a day, before you go to bed. Work up to the recommended dose. Jean didn’t like it, but I really believe that I shouldn’t go to sleep without it. Yes, it makes that much difference.
    The last thing I’ll mention is L-Theanine from a health food store. This will apparently help support the adrenal glands which produce cortisol and turn on the adrenaline. Ask a naturopath or a biochemist about how to use it. You don’t want to burn your adrenal glands out. Take it before bedtime if it makes you more sleepy during the day.

  23. Denise

    Not a solution, but a relatable funny story. I recently had surgery, and was confined to bed for two weeks. My husband was great, getting everything done with our active crew. Halfway through the second week he told me he thought he had mono.
    Me: you haven’t been sick, not even a fever.
    Hubby: but I’m just exhausted all the time.
    Me: well, you’ve been doing so much, all your stuff plus my stuff which is a lot.
    Hubby: no, this is not a normal exhaustion, I am wanting to just lay down by 6pm
    Me: oh honey, you don’t have mono… I’m afraid you have “Mommo”

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