Women's Healthcare Topics

I’m have trouble sleeping during Pregnancy. What can I do?

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

Tips For Reducing Insomnia During Pregnancy

Many women suffer from intermittent or chronic insomnia during pregnancy. There are many reasons you may have trouble drifting off to dreamland during pregnancy. Some of the more common problems include frequent urination, an unquiet mind, stress, leg cramps or the inability to get into a comfortable position.

Fortunately there are simple strategies you can adopt to overcome any of these problems.

The most important step toward sleeping well during pregnancy is relaxing. Too much stress and too much anxiety, whether centered around your inability to get comfortable or your concerns over labor and delivery, can dramatically affect your ability to catch some quality zzz's. It is important that you take steps to improve your ability to sleep throughout your pregnancy.

Learn about the Tips For Reducing Insomnia During Pregnancy

There are many ways to do this. Many women find meditation and yoga helpful for relieving stress during pregnancy. A warm bath prior to bed may also help. Be sure to adjust the temperature of your room so it is comfortable, quiet and slightly warm. This often helps induce a sleepy state.

If you feel anxious or find yourself running through your to do list before bed, take some time to journal before going to sleep. This will help you get your thoughts out on paper so you don't have to dwell on them after your head hits the pillow.

If you are having trouble getting comfortable, try using a whole body pillow or pregnancy pillow to support your growing abdomen. You should always rest with a pillow between your legs and one under your belly to support your uterus when sleeping. Many women find it comfortable to lie on their right or left side during pregnancy. If this is not the case you can try propping yourself up on multiple pillows to help get into a comfortable sleep position.

Need to pee? Join the club. Most pregnant women have to urinate much more frequently due to the increasing pressure the uterus places on the bladder. You can help the situation out by drinking as much of your daily intake of fluids as early in the day as you can. If you consume too many liquids right before bed you'll find yourself rushing to the bathroom every hour or so.

Trouble moving about in the bed? Try some silky pajamas or silky sheets. This can make life much easier when you are trying to alternate between one side of the bed and the other.

Last but not least, remind yourself that nothing is worth stressing out over so much that you lose sleep over it. Once you are asleep there is little that you can do to solve the problems of the world. You might as well let your troubles float away the moment your head hits the pillow. You'll have plenty of time to obsess about life's little struggles in the morning. Your job at night is one thing...to get some sleep.

Here are some other tips that parents find helpful when trying to catch some late night zzz's:

  • Try a noise maker or sound machine. You can get one inexpensively online or at Target. This helps tune out distracting noises. Alternately you can turn a fan on to tune out traffic or other disturbances.

  • Try some ear plugs if you are really sensitive to outside sounds.

  • Make sure you have dark curtains or try an eye pillow to block out disturbing light.

  • Create a bedtime routine that coaxes your body into dreamland.

  • Try a glass of warm milk with some honey and a light, carbohydrate filled snack that will keep your tummy full so you don't wake up in the middle of the night hungry. The milk will help you drift off to sleep.

  • Play some light and gentle music (without words). That can help you drift off to sleep.

  • Avoid working anywhere near your bed, as this can increase your stress or anxiety.

  • Ask your partner to give you a foot rub before bed.


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