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?

  • 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!


What do you think?

Trouble Sleeping During Pregnancy

Tell us what you think!


  1. Stephanie says:

    Pregnancy pillows are a must have!

  2. Moyo says:

    Now i get it! the cramps on my hip area.

  3. LIZ says:

    tnx god i didnt have any problems with the sleeping during my pregnancy

  4. mommy nhoj says:

    Lie on your left for good blood flow – as my OB advised. The last weeks were the toughest!

  5. LIZ says:

    tnx god i was able to sleep all night normally, i had heartburn but just during the day

  6. Samantha says:

    Can’t turn off my brain or get comfortable! I feel obese, plus my son feels like he is on my sciatic nerve and it’s painful. Going to try a few of these tips and see if it helps. Countdown to March 17th!

  7. Hilary says:

    I can’t get comfortable and tried it all :/ miss my sleep

  8. JaMeika says:

    UGH! None of this is working I toss and turn all night and usually don’t sleep until after 3am

  9. Teresa says:

    Lots of trouble sleeping…

  10. Jen says:

    The only thing keeping me up at night now are the bathroom breaks. Every hour or two I’m up making a trip. Can’t remember the last night I slept restfully, through the night. I suppose this is my body’s way of getting me ready for all of those nightly feeding/diaper changes. I’ll be able to sleep two hours at a time, no problem!

  11. Aurika says:

    Sleep… yep I miss it!

  12. Terra says:

    I can’t get comfortable! I’m in my second trimester, and I’m feeling a lot of pressure. It’s worse when I’m lying down, and then i toss and turn, and I have sharp pains!

  13. Crystal says:

    This is my last and final child. I have three other child and this one I can’t seem to sleep at all. I will be exhausted and I end up tossing and turning all night. The time I do fall asleep my little ones get up… I tried everything from no caffinee all day, sleeping on my side with a body pillow…. If anyone has any other ideas please let me know… I am at the end of my second trimester and I really want to get some sleep before little guy gets here…

  14. dulce says:

    I find it so hard to catch my breath..

  15. Flo says:

    The body maternity/pregnancy pillow has worked wonders for me and I just went to the spa and received a prenatal massage and that relieved a lot of my anxiety. I am 31 weeks and 5 days pregnant today and my Dr told me today that we will induce once I turn 38 weeks because I have PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension)

  16. Jen says:

    Good to know I’m not alone, between going to bathroom and shifting all night I’m exhausted

  17. Juana says:

    I would love to sleep early but I just can’t .

  18. jaime says:

    good to know..feel like between shifting positions and going to the bathroom , i don’t get any sleep

  19. Diana says:

    Have anyone try any of those maternity pillows, I got the one w/ the support for my head, a little one for my belly and one roll for between my legs, and these all Velcro together… Well the first couple night it was OK, but now it feel like to much, plus I don’t have much room to move… any suggestion ?

  20. samantha says:

    I always have to get up and do something. .. Finally when I get back in bed I fall asleep quickly

  21. Phammom says:

    I have a hard time because I’m always in the restroom.

  22. Phammom says:

    I’ve been getting less and less sleep. I would like to nap but it makes it worse at night.

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

  24. LadyTitan says:

    You and me both! It’s terrible!

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