Pregnancy insomnia causes and remedies

August 11, 2020 3 mins read
Pregnancy insomnia causes and remedies

Being pregnant can at times be bittersweet – on the one hand, there is a little miracle growing inside, but on the other hand, you might deal with negative side effects like pregnancy insomnia.

In this article, we will explore some causes of pregnancy insomnia and remedies you can try.

What is pregnancy insomnia?

Pregnancy insomnia occurs when a pregnant woman has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night. The quality of your sleep can drop significantly in early pregnancy, and sleep problems are also common in the last trimester.

What causes insomnia in pregnancy?

There are different causes of pregnancy insomnia, which include:

1. Hormonal changes

Pregnancy is synonymous with hormonal changes, which can trigger insomnia. Progesterone is high during the early stages of pregnancy, which can cause fatigue and frequent napping throughout the day and make it harder to sleep at night.

2. Nausea and Vomiting

Early pregnancy insomnia can be caused by nausea and vomiting at night. Having to go to the bathroom frequently can really interfere with sleep.

3. Leg cramps

Leg cramps can keep you awake at night when pregnant. Causes include changes in blood circulation, nutrient deficiencies, and extra pressure on your legs from carrying the baby.

4. Discomfort

Feelings of discomfort, such as back pain, breast tenderness, and swollen limbs, can cause insomnia. Discomfort is especially common in the third trimester when your baby bump has grown a lot more.

5. Heartburn

Chances of heartburn increase tremendously when pregnant, which can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.

6. Anxiety/Stress

Stressing about giving birth, becoming a parent, maternity leave, and life, in general, can cause insomnia when pregnant. Some women have nightmares about the baby or giving birth, which can make them wake up at night and then struggle to sleep again.

7. Frequent need to urinate

One of the top causes of pregnancy insomnia is the need to urinate throughout the night. This is a common (and annoying) problem during pregnancy.

What helps with pregnancy insomnia?

Luckily, there are quite a few tips for better sleep that you can follow while pregnant. They include:

1. Good bedtime habits

Good sleep habits and a good bedtime routine can help you get more sleep. Do things that will help you wind down, such as taking a bath, journaling, or meditating.

Reduce blue light exposure before bed. Turn off all digital screens and avoid lightbulbs that emit blue light like LED lights.

2. Adjust your sleeping position

Get into a comfortable sleeping position that is right for your baby bump. Sleeping on your side is your best bet. You can use a pregnancy pillow to support your body and make you feel comfortable.

3. Diet

A healthy, balanced diet is not only important for growing a healthy baby but also for helping you sleep. Avoid sugary sweets and drinks, as well as sources of caffeine, such as coffee and energy drinks.

Don’t eat just before going to bed, and if you must eat, only have a light snack. If you go to bed with a stomach full of food, then you will increase the chances of getting heartburn.

4. Stay active

Staying active will help you sleep better at night. Low-impact exercises like walking, yoga, pilates, and swimming are good options to try. Exercising will help you get rid of any excess energy and combat restlessness.

5. Environment

Manage the noise levels in your room. If the room is too noisy, falling and staying asleep will become much more difficult.

Set your environment to a cooler temperature. Feeling too hot can cause insomnia.

Does pregnancy insomnia go away?

Insomnia in early pregnancy typically goes away after the first trimester, however, if it persists, speak to a doctor or midwife.

Whether you are experiencing sleep problems early in the first trimester or in your third trimester, try the suggestions outlined here and see if they help you to get the rest that you need.