Author Topic: being woke up and freaking out  (Read 5929 times)

Hedge_87

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being woke up and freaking out
« on: May 13, 2016, 08:25:05 PM »
I'm a pretty heavy sleeper and we have a new born at home. My wife gets up 2-3 times at night right now and I never even notice. There are times when she would like to "tag me in" in the middle of the night to take care of the baby. the problem is she is kind of scared to wake me up because I kind of freak out. I've swung at her and grabbed her a few times while being woke up. Just to be clear these are things I would NEVER do if I was in my right mind. It is more of a defensive reaction. I feel like I am being "attacked" or something and react accordingly. Does anybody else have this problem? or a significant other who has this and you have found a gentle way to wake them?

mozar

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2016, 08:54:39 PM »
So what time of night does she get up? If she feeds the baby at 11pm, 1am, and 4am, can you take the 4 am and start going to bed earlier so it's easier to wake up?

Jakejake

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2016, 08:59:10 PM »
Can she get a phone app that will fade in an alarm when she presses it, so she's not physically waking you, but instead you're being awoken more gradually by a noise - or maybe music?

bridget

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2016, 09:31:31 PM »
I'm a pretty heavy sleeper and we have a new born at home. My wife gets up 2-3 times at night right now and I never even notice. There are times when she would like to "tag me in" in the middle of the night to take care of the baby. the problem is she is kind of scared to wake me up because I kind of freak out. I've swung at her and grabbed her a few times while being woke up. Just to be clear these are things I would NEVER do if I was in my right mind. It is more of a defensive reaction. I feel like I am being "attacked" or something and react accordingly. Does anybody else have this problem? or a significant other who has this and you have found a gentle way to wake them?

What wakes you other than being physically shaken awake? Like, if she flipped the overhead light on from across the room, would it be bright enough that you would at least stir/come back to your senses? Would you wake up to a noisy alarm she could make go off from a safe distance? That would also disrupt her, but at least she could roll back over and get a little more sleep.

bobechs

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2016, 09:51:27 PM »


What wakes you other than being physically shaken awake? Like, if she flipped the overhead light on from across the room, would it be bright enough that you would at least stir/come back to your senses? Would you wake up to a noisy alarm she could make go off from a safe distance? That would also disrupt her, but at least she could roll back over and get a little more sleep.


Yeah, that's the ticket:  flip on the lights and make some noise --maybe banging on a shit-can with a stick--  from a safe distance of course.


Sailor Sam

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2016, 10:59:32 PM »


What wakes you other than being physically shaken awake? Like, if she flipped the overhead light on from across the room, would it be bright enough that you would at least stir/come back to your senses? Would you wake up to a noisy alarm she could make go off from a safe distance? That would also disrupt her, but at least she could roll back over and get a little more sleep.


Yeah, that's the ticket:  flip on the lights and make some noise --maybe banging on a shit-can with a stick--  from a safe distance of course.



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obstinate

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2016, 11:20:08 PM »
You should probably talk to a doctor or something about this reaction. It doesn't seem normal.

Get a stick that she can poke you with from out of range of any flailing fists. You need to be helping with the baby.

aFrugalFather

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2016, 11:29:51 PM »
She can squirt you from a water bottle at distance.

tthree

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2016, 12:10:57 AM »
Are you useful once you are awake?  Or are you completely night time useless?  If once awaken you are still incoherent and incompetent it's probably safer and easier for her to handle this herself.  Sounds harsh, but it's coming from an experienced mom of two with a nighttime useless DH.

Dollar Slice

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2016, 12:21:01 AM »
I'm not quite as severe as that (I don't auto-assault unless tickling is involved...) but I do get freaked when people wake me up in certain ways. Even very very gentle ways like when a former boyfriend tried to gently kiss me awake like I was Sleeping Beauty. That was the worst! I think it's a vulnerability thing - having something wet touch your mouth when you're unaware is really freaky. Having someone poke your shin with their finger, much less so. The further away the person is, the better (poking at arm's length > putting arm around you while laying next to you).

If you're worried about her safety, do something like people have suggested above - wake via non-up-in-your-face methods where she is out of reach of your hands. Not sure how heavy you sleep but what has worked for me has included - throwing a pillow at me from a distance, poking me in the lower leg (don't grab the foot, that is a surefire freakout), blowing air on my face, pulling the blanket off. Noise should work but I sleep in earplugs so that is harder for me.

And not to scare you, since you're probably fine and I'm not a doctor etc., but there are diseases where "violent sleep disorder" is a symptom (and IIRC there are drugs that can trigger it as well). My friend's husband has it. Wouldn't hurt to mention it to your doctor just in case.

Altons Bobs

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2016, 12:44:39 AM »
Get a very long stick for her, have her poke you from a distance to wake you up.  :D

pk_aeryn

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2016, 12:52:46 AM »
Can you get a Fitbit or other fitness tracker that can buzz your wrist at a certain time, or would that make you flail?  some of them like Jawbone will wake you within a window when it detects you're in a lighter sleep.

FreeAsADragon

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2016, 01:13:13 AM »
Have you tried thinking hard about not being violent every night as you're falling asleep? That's helped me.

Hedge_87

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2016, 02:18:43 AM »
thanks for the tips on keeping her safe lol. For now we have resorted to the pillow throw from a safe distance away. I still freak out but at least she is out of harms way. She has a fit bit and I was going to try and sleep with it but the wrist band is too small (sometimes it sucks being 6'6" with big bones). Luckily we only have four more days of work for her before summer break (school teacher). Then she will do the lions share of middle of the night stuff. I typically get the last feeding 10-11pm before we go to bed letting her go to bed a little sooner then let her get the the 1-2 am feeding and then I get up for the 4 am feeding and let her sleep in until normal time ~6:30 am. This seems to be working for us.

As part of my job I am on call a few weeks out of the year and am used to being woke up in the middle of the night by the phone (just got home from a call as I write this at 3 am). I am also a volunteer firefighter and am used to getting paged out at odd hours of the night as well. these don't seem to cause as much as a problem as being touched to be woken. Maybe I will just resort to having her call me from a safe distance a few times and see if that works.

I think this may be kind of hereditary. I can remember as a kid being charged with waking up my father and it was always kind of scary. He worked all kinds of different hours and sometimes would sleep all day but wanted woken up at a certain time on the weekends to spend time with us. i would like to get this figured out before our little guy gets big enough to start jumping in bed with us and causing me to freak out. Also I really don't like the whole freaking out feeling in general.


ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2016, 04:07:11 AM »
Phone call sounds like the right move for now, but also visiting a doctor. As you said you don't want your child to be afraid of you while you're sleeping.

Cassie

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2016, 04:04:15 PM »
My ex had this problem but it was caused by being in war.  I would wake him by an alarm or calling him but never touching him.  I frequently have violent nightmares where I think someone is attacking me so I punch or kick.  My current dh is not so fond of this behavior but I have had it most of my life and it has tended to run in our family.

jan62

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Re: being woke up and freaking out
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2016, 04:10:20 PM »
yes, I do this, I have PTSD from growing up in a domestic violence situation. My kids were taught from very young never to touch me to wake me up, hubby also. If they need to wake me they call me by name from the other side of the room. Its an automated defence reaction - fight / flight and not something that we're in control of when we're asleep. I won't share a room with other people when I travel for this reason and always tell staff when I'm in hospital Do Not Touch me to wake me up.  I hope you can work out something.