NFP temping/lack of sleep question


Hi all.

First of all, I apologize if this has been asked and answered already, I didn’t do a very thorough search, I admit, because I’m just so tired! :sleep:

Little background: my youngest child is 15 and half months old, we have 4 little ones (7, 5, 3, and 15 and half months) and right now have serious reasons for avoiding a pregnancy. We’ve been doing the STM, based on since my cycle returned (I breastfed) about 4 months ago (we originally (after the birth of our 7 y/o) did Creighton, but then for some reason my mucus changed and I couldn’t always figure it out). It started out fine, cross checking between my temps and mucus (I haven’t been able to figure out my cervix, it always feels the same to me). However, I recently had to take a night job at Taco Bell. So, 3 or 4 nights a week I don’t get to bed until around 4:30 a.m., and it takes awhile even then to wind down enough to fall asleep. My temps have been all over the place. I know I need at least 3 hours of sleep for it to be accurate, but I’m wondering if it’s possible for them to be accurate AT ALL? Even on the mornings after I get a full nights sleep? I’m asking because the night before last (Saturday), I didn’t work, got 8 hours of sleep, and Sunday morning my temp was up. However, I didn’t work last night, either, got 8 hours again, but this morning my temp was back down. :confused: I was hoping I could just go on my temps taken the mornings after I sleep full night, but now I’m wondering if I need to find another method altogether? (Creighton would still be a no go, because my mucus is still confusing at times-and no, my instructor wasn’t able to help me on that-my experience wasn’t matching anything in the mucus instruction booklet).

Sorry this got so long and rampbling, but has anyone else successfully used STM while working parttime at night?


In Christ,



Ellen, I have no experience w/ temping (sorry I’m not of any help there), but have you considered just buying a fertility monitor? We do Creighton and I finally broke down and bought a monitor over a year ago since my mucus was sending me crazy. With breastfeeding it was continuous and TONS of it (I never felt I could ‘trust’ the method fully while nursing so that’s why I broke down and just bought a monitor, made life so much easier, lol). :rolleyes: Anyway, it was very accurate and I would highly recommend buying one, they are not cheap but VERY reliable. :shrug: Oh, wait, you can buy them on ebay for pretty reasonable prices I heard from a friend.


It may or may not have an effect - every woman is unique…
But here are some ideas that may help make the readings easier to interpret:

On the nights you work, leave a note on your chart so that you’ll know which temps may be inaccurate. Something as simple as the word “work” right below where you mark your temperature.

Do you take your temperature orally or vaginally? I recommend vaginally because sometimes you may randomly sleep with your mouth open and it can create “cold spots” in your mouth… temping vaginally (even though it sounds gross) is more consistent.

I highly recommend becoming familiar with the cervical position sign if you are not already. This is my clearest sign, personally, and I could most likely only chart that one sign and be completely accurate.

Remember that all three signs should correlate… meaning - the temperature sign is only useful for determining when you’re leaving the fertile phase 2 and entering the infertile luteal phase 3. That same transition should also be indicated by your cervical mucous drying up and your cervical opening closing tightly closed. All 3 signs will correlate - so don’t depend solely on the temperature sign.

Take your temperature at the exact same time every day, regardless of whether your worked the night before. If you want to get at least 3 hours of sleep, then temp at 7:30 (set an alarm - go back to sleep after if you need to!) each and every day.

Hopefully those hints will help make things a little easier to interpret. Remember you can’t solely rely on the temperature sign - it’s a secondary sign anyway…

HTH! :slight_smile:


I’m with you…I have trouble sleeping sometimes and often wake up before the alarm because some how my body knows I want to wake up. I temp at 5:30 and sometimes I wake up at 5:00! But Em is right - when I have a funky sleep destroyed temp, I just focus on the other two. Maybe figuring out how to detect the changes in your cervix better could help? We tried to just pay attention to the temps for the first couple months, but with the other two we get a much shorter fertile period figured out, so its worth the effort! Good luck!


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