Ever since you got pregnant, people have be warning you about the lack of sleep that a baby brings, but in the meantime, you’re pregnant and you can’t fall asleep. What gives?! Pregnancy insomnia is, unfortunately, super common —about 78 percent of pregnant women reportedly suffer from it.
Why do pregnant women get insomnia?
If, like many a pregnant person, you’ve spent your first trimester hiding a pillow and blanket under your work desk and falling asleep on your living room couch, you may be surprised to be suddenly unable to fall asleep. Especially if your partner is happily snoring next to you.
You could be missing out on shuteye because of the changing hormones in your body that are screwing with your sleep cycles. Plus, there’s a host of pregnancy symptoms, that, if you’re unlucky, are already keeping you uncomfortable in the day and at night. Suffering from headaches, heartburn, or terrible nausea could definitely be keeping you awake. Also, stress. Because having a baby is super stressful.
Some pregnant women suffer from restless leg syndrome, that could also be jolting you awake in the middle of the night. If you’ve got restless leg syndrome, it might be connected to low iron or folic acid levels. Check with your doctor to see if you need any extra pregnancy supplements.
You may also be struggling with the fact that you had to change your normal sleeping position. If you’re used to sleeping on your belly or back, your growing bump may be making that hard, if not impossible.
What can I do to deal with pregnancy insomnia?
- Upgrade your pillow situation: Prepare to fall in love and get intimate with the softest and most supportive bed partner you’ve ever had: a pregnancy pillow. Seriously, your aching body will thank you.
- Get yourself a bedtime routine: Yes, we know, pregnancy may not feel like the best time to finally fix your habit of falling asleep to Netflix shows, but we have faith in you. Try to have a set bedtime and sleep routine, and try to limit or eliminate screen time from that routine.
- Set the mood: Sometimes, when sleep won’t come, you gotta romance it. Turn down the lights down low, take a nice (but not too hot) bubble bath. Make sure the room is comfortably cool. Maybe get a humidifier or a nice smelling essential oil.
- Treat yourself to a massage: Time to get naked in front of a total stranger and let them rub your tired muscles. Because you are a gorgeous pregnant goddess and you’re worth it. Your newly relaxed muscles (and mind) could help you fall asleep.
- Try meditation: We may be the 500th person to “helpfully”suggest meditation to you today. We know, it doesn’t work for everyone. But it can help with anxiety and sleep. Plus, we’ve got an f-word ridden guided mediation that you need..
- Exercise: Even 30 minutes of exercise could help you get better shut-eye. That’s one episode of a podcast. Or a Taylor Swift album. So go for a brisk walk with your headphones on.
- Try not to drink a lot before bed: It’s generally advised to stay hydrated during pregnancy. But if you’re on the verge of making your bathroom your second bedroom, you might just want to curb your liquid intake before bedtime.
If you can’t fall asleep, don’t force it:
If you just can’t fall asleep, lying in bed and lamenting your sleeplessness for hours is just gonna make you feel like crap. Trust us, we’ve been there. So instead, read a book, have a small snack, or drink a glass of warm milk. Be nice to yourself.
Can I take sleeping pills and other sleep aids when pregnant?
You may be tempted to take “natural” medications like, Melatonin, to deal with pregnancy insomnia.However, it hasn’t been proven as safe for pregnant women. Benadryl is generally considered safe for pregnant women to take. However, you should always consult your doctor before regularly taking any medication. Talk to your doctor if pregnancy insomnia is too much to handle.
Written by Lior Zaltzman.