Sleeping Problems in Pregnancy

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Sleeping problems during all stages in pregnancy are very common, but particularly in the first and last trimester and are caused by a combination of factors. Anxiety, hormones and physical changes can all lead to difficulty in falling and remaining asleep.

Reasons for your sleeplessness during pregnancy include:

  • Backache
  • Morning sickness
  • Difficulty in finding a comfortable sleeping position, particularly if you are used to sleeping on your front or back.
  • Frequent need to urinate during the night
  • Anxiety about your pregnancy, the birth or your baby
  • Frequent and vivid dreams
  • Hormonal changes
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Leg cramps

Surviving sleep problems in pregnancy:

  • Try to adapt to sleeping on your left side as soon as you can in pregnancy as this will help with indigestion and heart burn and is also this position is best for the blood flow and nutrients being delivered to your baby. You will not be able to sleep on your front as your bump grows and sleeping on your back can make you feel dizzy and is not recommended.
  • Drink plenty of water during the day but try to cut back in the hours before you go to bed so you have less urgency.
  • Meditate to relax the mind and body, switch off unwanted and persistent thoughts, ease anxiety and aid restful sleep.
  • Regular exercise can also aid restful sleep by promoting general health, tiring the body and releasing positive hormones for well-being. Do not exercise too close to bedtime as this can stimulate the body and lead to over-alertness.
  • Herbal teas and warm drinks can aid restful sleep however not too close to bedtime if you suffer from regular night time trips to the bathroom.
  • Taking a warm bath or reading a book to relax can help. Try to keep screens out of the bedroom at bedtime but instead choose relaxing music or reading.

The best thing you can do is to try and relax about the amount of sleep you are getting. Try to rest when you can and remember that insomnia during pregnancy is not harmful to your baby.

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