Pregnancy Insomnia

Pregnancy insomnia is one of the most surprising symptoms of pregnancy. Wondering why you are wide awake? Having problems staying asleep? Especially in your first trimester of pregnancy? Waking up in the early hours and having trouble returning to sleep? Pregnancy insomnia can be quite a surprise. Having trouble sleeping at a time when you think you would most like to be getting a good night’s sleep.

Feeling Wide Awake at Night

During pregnancy, you spend your days feeling tired and sleep deprived. So many pregnant women experience insomnia during pregnancy and feel like they just want to fall asleep during the day to catch up on a bad night’s sleep.

However, when it is time to sleep, you have trouble sleeping and staying asleep. Waking up feeling wide awake. You lie in bed, willing yourself to fall asleep again whilst the minutes and hours seem to tick by.

What Causes Pregnancy Insomnia?

There are so many reasons behind sleep disturbance during pregnancy:

  • Hormonal changes during your first trimester of pregnancy are one of the causes.
  • Your thoughts can be in overdrive in your subconscious during the night; all of the pregnancy plans, expectations and worries playing on a loop can cause lack of sleep.
  • Anxiety during pregnancy; again your worries and fears come more to life in your subconscious during the night, causing intense and vivid dreams which wake you up – see Pregnancy Dreams.
  • Painful Leg Cramps can cause sleep troubles as you progress to the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Refer to leg cramps for tips about how to calm leg cramps.
  • Restless leg syndrome causes sleep disturbance because your legs seem to move uncontrollably, waking you up.
  • Heartburn is no fun and you can lie in bed for hours waiting for the burn to subside. Refer to heartburn for great tips on soothing pregnancy heartburn.
  • As your baby grows, they move more, which also triggers some weird dreams, plus the movements can wake you up.
  • During late pregnancy, baby movements during the night can be quite uncomfortable.
  • Poor sleep quality could be due to your bed and sleeping positions. A mattress that does not support you properly can cause you to feel uncomfortable.
How to Treat Pregnancy Insomnia

Luckily you can do a lot to get a good night’s sleep. Pregnancy should be a time of enjoyment and excitement about the baby growing inside of you. Create a bedtime routine where you combine some or all of the following tips:

  • Eat at least 3 hours before head to reduce the likelihood of heartburn keeping you awake.
  • Keep snacks next to your bed for nights when you wake up hungry. Choose snacks that are gentle on your stomach to avoid heartburn.
  • Use gentle relaxation techniques before going to bed, such as gentle exercising and stretching.
  • Try a sleep meditation to fully relax you and calm thoughts in your mind.
  • Some suggest chamomile tea as a relaxation technique before bed. I personally didn’t like drinking tea as I would wake up even more often, needing to go to the toilet.
  • Keep a journal next to your bed to write anything down which is perhaps bothering you during the night. Any fears, anxieties plus the dreams you are having.
  • Use a pregnancy pillow to improve sleep quality. Practice some comfortable sleep positions with it so you know what works for you.
  • Keep a diffuser in your bedroom and diffuse good quality essential oils (always choose good quality as they are toxin-free). Lavender essential oil is well known because it improves sleep. I also love Stressaway from YoungLiving.
  • Take a warm bath, if you feel comfortable doing it. A warm bath relaxes your muscles. Add some epsom salts to help relieve leg cramps and restless leg syndrome.
  • Check if you can adjust the bed slats underneath your mattress to allow for changes in your weight distribution during late pregnancy.
  • You can get medication to treat insomnia. It is always vital to discuss the risks and benefits of these with your doctor. Make sure you try all of the home remedies first.
Does Pregnancy Insomnia Go Away?

Trying a combination of or all of the suggested home remedies can really help with sleep troubles. Many women experience feeling tired for such a long period that it gets forgotten about because they get used to it. After giving birth, women experience lack of sleep due to feeding the baby during the night. Although lack of sleep after giving birth is completely different to insomnia.

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