Trouble Sleeping During Pregnancy

trouble-sleeping-during-prengnancyIf you are currently experiencing the fatigue common in the first trimester of pregnancy, it may be hard to believe that as your pregnancy progresses, sleep may become more and more elusive. Getting enough sleep is important for pregnant women and sleep disturbances are not untreatable. Below, you will find some common causes and effective treatments for sleep problems during pregnancy.

What makes sleeping so difficult in the last two trimesters?

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  • Weight Gain – As you gain weight to support your baby’s growth, it can become increasingly difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in.
  • Anxiety – It can also be difficult to slow down your thoughts down when you lay your head down on your pillow at night. With all the changes about to occur to your life once your little one arrives, it’s easy to let worries keep you up way past your bedtime.
  • Bathroom Trips – The amount of blood in your body has increased by almost 50%. Your kidneys need to work extra hard to filter this extra blood, which produces more urine than you are probably used to. Your growing baby can also press on your bladder, increasing your need to urinate, which sometimes interrupts your sleep.
  • Leg Cramps and Backaches – Pregnancy hormones, such as progesterone and relaxin, which help prepare your body for labor and delivery by increasing the flexibility of ligaments, can also result in hip and leg pain which can interrupt your sleep. Also, your back may be hurting as your body adjusts its posture to compensate for your shifting center of gravity.
  • Shortness of Breath – As your uterus grows to accommodate your growing baby, it may also be pressing on your diaphragm, making it difficult for you to breath and get a restful night of sleep.
  • Heartburn – During pregnancy, digestion slows down resulting in heartburn, which can also keep you up at night and leave you tired during the day.

Good Sleep Hygiene

If it is becoming increasingly difficult for you to have a good night of sleep, here are a few tips to help you get the sleep you need!

  • Sleep on your Side – Lying on your side with a pillow placed between your bent knees is the best position for your body. This position takes the pressure off your vena cava, the large vein that carries blood back to your heart from your lower limbs. This can help with swelling as well as knee and back pain. A pillow in front of your belly and behind your back may help keep you in this position all night.
  • Keep a Routine – Getting in the habit of getting up at the same time every morning and going to bed at the same time every night, while avoiding unnecessary naps during the day, can do wonders.
  • Cut out Caffeine – Caffeinated drinks should be consumed in moderation during pregnancy, regardless of your ability to sleep. However, if you are experiencing any trouble sleeping, you should consider cutting out all caffeine. Be sure not to forget hidden sources, like chocolate.
  • Limit Bedroom Activities – Try to keep your activities in the bedroom limited to sleep and intimacy. Watching TV in the bedroom or catching up on some work before bed, in bed, may be causing your sleeping troubles.
  • Avoid exercise close to bedtime – Vigorous physical activity an hour or two before bedtime can give you a burst of energy instead of tiring you out. Exercise early in the morning can boost your energy earlier in the day without interfering with your sleep at night.
  • Avoid drinking a lot of fluids before bedtime – Extra fluids at bedtime may result in more bathroom trips in the middle of the night!
  • Just breathe! – Meditation and other relaxation techniques, like focusing on your breathing, can help your mind and body slow down and prepare for sleep.

If you have tried everything, and you just can’t seem to fall asleep, it may be helpful for you to get out of bed and move to another room. Instead of fighting to fall asleep for hours, switch your attention to something else, like reading a book in your favorite chair in the living room or finishing up a puzzle on the kitchen table until you feel tired. Once your eyes begin to feel heavy, head back to bed and you might just drift easily off to sleep!

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Trouble Sleeping During Pregnancy

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48 comments

  1. I tend to sleep on my right side or back it’s just more comfortable to me.

  2. Profile photo of LadyTitan LadyTitan says:

    You and me both! It’s terrible!

  3. Profile photo of LadyTitan LadyTitan says:

    It’s like we can’t lose for winning, huh? And just think…we forget about it all when baby arrives LOL!

  4. Profile photo of LadyTitan LadyTitan says:

    Me too and my vagina gets sore from sleeping with my legs closed together so tightly, as well my hips!

  5. Profile photo of LadyTitan LadyTitan says:

    It is so difficult for me to sleep on my sides. I am so accustomed to sleeping on my back and some mornings, I awake only to find my vagina sore from my legs being together during the night, and my hips are in pain from sleeping on both sides. It is horrible! Never thought pregnancy would cause a lack of sleep due to being uncomfortable!

  6. Profile photo of hannah83 hannah83 says:

    Thank you for the tips. Been having trouble sleeping the past week.

  7. I hate that I can’t sleep! I have tried everything. The only thing that really works is being so exhausted I can hardly make it to bed.

  8. Profile photo of ale ale says:

    oh my god same with me but im only having one i imagen how hard most be with two babies growing every day inside you.

  9. Profile photo of Faleshia Faleshia says:

    i seem to crave water when im trying to lay down. does anyone else have this issue?

  10. I know alcohol is a No No but I found 1 glass of red wine or what I drink Arbor Mist helps me sleep peacefully, well at least til my 11 month old wakes me up. I’m 27 weeks along .

  11. I have always slept on my stomach so now having 2 babies growing its hard for me to find any other sleeping position. I toss from side to side for hours before i fall into a good sleep.

  12. Profile photo of Julie Julie says:

    All of these are reasons I can’t sleep at the 37 week point in my pregnancy. These are some good tips though and I’m going to try them out. Not sleeping at night makes it hard to get through the day. I try to take a nap during the day, but my mind is running so fast thinking of all the things I need to do before the baby gets here.

  13. I tend to wake up in the middle of the night and stay up. It stinks! LOL

  14. Profile photo of DH DH says:

    i get really bad leg cramps all the time. Especially when i first wake up and stretch out. I have a very hard time getting comfortable as well. My fiance has spent over $200 on different types of pillows and things to aid in my sleeping, and the one works great, but minus the pee trips, i still have trouble sleeping.

  15. Profile photo of shi shi says:

    i cant sleep get woken up out of sleep and body hurts

  16. Profile photo of Lucky Lucky says:

    it doesn’t matter how i try to sleep-stomach, either side, back…on my head lol…j/k–i CAN NOT get comfortable or sleep for more than an hour at a time!!! ANYONE WITH SUGGESTIONS—PLEASE HELP!!!

  17. Profile photo of marichinno marichinno says:

    I have a hard time sleeping on my side. I am used to sleeping on my stomach.

  18. Profile photo of marylove marylove says:

    I just would like to know what their solution is for my sleep being inturupted by my other kids! lol I have a hard time to begin with then add and 4 year old and a 3 year old to the mix! lol

  19. Profile photo of elizabeth elizabeth says:

    how make sleep better at night hard for me to sleep.

  20. Profile photo of McKenzie McKenzie says:

    This is really great info thank you.

  21. Unfortunately have not been able to sleep on my side… I feel like my lungs are being crushed and I can’t breathe so I can’t fall asleep. It sucks!

  22. Profile photo of Sasoo Sasoo says:

    This is tough for me because I have been drinking so much water! Getting up once a night for me now is expected but still annoying :-/

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