Don't think about a pink elephant!
June 4, 2015 9:18 AM   Subscribe

How do I stop thinking about my legs?I'm late pregnant and a lot of my previous sleep restlessness (which I asked about here) has resolved... But each night, once I THINK about my legs, I can't stop thinking about them and afraid of feeling twitchy and eventually even if they felt fine before, they end up driving me mad.

My sleep isn't perfect, like any pregnant lady- I've come to terms with that...but to a degree this leg anxiety is in my head. Any tips or tricks? I wish I could count down to 0 or something... Or have an easy exercise I can do that will distract me.
posted by catspajammies to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
Can you eat a banana before bed?
posted by DarlingBri at 9:20 AM on June 4, 2015

You could try some simple meditation exercises. Here's an app that leads you through a 5-minute meditation. With some practice you will be able to do it on your own.
posted by three_red_balloons at 9:25 AM on June 4, 2015

To add on to three_red_balloons idea for meditation, I've found the "Body Scan for Sleep" from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center to be really effective. In fact, I'm not sure how it ends because I don't think I ever get that far.
posted by amanda at 10:10 AM on June 4, 2015

Also, talk to your doctor about a sleep aid. My friend (two healthy and robust children) had horrible insomnia during her pregnancies (and morning sickness) and she took unisom and b vitamin during her pregnancy. Sleep is good for your body and good for your baby. Please talk with your doctor about it.
posted by amanda at 10:13 AM on June 4, 2015

OK, this is a weird question and may not be relevant to you at all, but are you on any medications at all, even OTC ones? I had weirdness like this in my pregnancy and it stopped cold when I stopped taking Claritin. It had never affected me like that before I was pregnant, but there must have been a weird reaction between the med and my hormones.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:37 AM on June 4, 2015

(I switched to a different med, Zyrtec, I didn't just stop taking allergy medicine altogether. So if it's a med/hormone interaction there may be a different, better option.)
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:41 AM on June 4, 2015

It might just be hormones, but I agree that sleep-time perseveration is very often chemical (and Claritin was the worst, for weeeird rabbit brain before sleeping and creepy murder dreams once I got to sleep). The b-complex does a remarkably good job (find one with brewer's yeast in the ingredients, I find they work best), but there are other more powerful things that your doctor can advise on.

The Alphabet Game might work for pure distraction. You may already be familiar, but if not, you pick a theme (makes or models of cars, book or movie titles, fruit and vegetables, etc) and start with A: Accord, Bonneville, Camaro, Durango etc etc. Keeps your brain occupied, but it's not so compelling you can't fall asleep.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:49 AM on June 4, 2015

Seconding meditation; a big part of the process of learning to meditate is becoming aware of just how much wierd shit is going on with the body all the time, and getting the mental control to just let it go once you've noticed it.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:55 AM on June 4, 2015

Yes, the suggestions above are good including Unisom, but are you familiar with Hypnobabies? The tracks are meant for self hypnosis and to be used when you're falling asleep. You can listen to them with Sleep Sheep headphones from Amazon and it's very comfortable, alternatively, if you hate Hypnobabies or aren't likely to have a vaginal delivery for whatever reason, you could listen to podcasts or something else that's sort of mindlessly interesting but not too interesting or exciting.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:10 AM on June 5, 2015

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