Andriano_cz/Fotolia

Insomnia During Pregnancy Is A Thing & Here's How Experts Address It

By
Share
Ad failed to load

One of the first things people like to tell you when they learn you're expecting is how you can kiss sleeping goodbye. Though their foreboding warning may contain an element — okay, a lot — of truth, the issue of sleepless nights can occur long before your baby ever arrives. As it turns out, knowing about insomnia during pregnancy and how to address it properly might offer some relief. Thank goodness there are ways to cope with this restlessness because I know first hand how frustrating and exhausting insomnia is when you're pregnant. I truly wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

If you've ever been so deliriously tired, but not able to sleep, that you've pleaded with various gods and higher powers to help, you're not alone. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA) a whopping 78 percent of expectant mothers experience insomnia at some point during their pregnancy. Thankfully, there are quite a few ways to address this situation, starting with potential causes. "Hormone fluctuations can cause hot flashes and night sweats, creating discomfort during sleep," Sleep Train consultant Hilary Thompson tells Romper. "Keep the room temperature around 65 degrees, use a fan, or use temperature-regulating sheets and pillows." Luckily all three of those suggestions are relatively inexpensive fixes to a temporary challenge.

Giphy
Ad failed to load

Identifying the reason you can't sleep, like being too warm, means you can cope with it by modifying your bedtime habits. Checking your sheets and clothing for any signs of dampness can be a fairly quick and easy way to determine if getting too hot or cold was the reason your sleep wasn't very restful. During the third trimester of my pregnancy it was not uncommon for me to wake up to a drenched pillowcase and pajamas. Switching to a moisture-wicking fabric was a great way to combat the temperature issues that contributed to the insomnia I experienced while I was pregnant.

In addition to getting overheated, your ever-changing body can affect the quality of your sleep. "Discomfort in the bed [is a] reason why pregnancy leads to insomnia," clinical psychologist Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg tells Romper, and can be addressed by bringing in a wedge and body pillows, she suggests. Simple changes to improve your sleeping positions can make a big change with insomnia. "Pregnancy can cause frequent and vivid dreams, anxiety related to the pain of childbirth, or excitement for the arrival of a new family member," OB-GYN Dr. Craig A. Salcido tells Romper. "Try not to worry about falling asleep — this only increases anxiety — and make a point to focus on activities that can help you relax instead." Turning off your brain might be easier said than done, but creating a consistent bedtime routine brings stability to an unpredictable time in your life. As someone who has an anxiety disorder, I know that making an intentional effort to include calming activities definitely helped me sleep better.

Giphy
Ad failed to load

Besides temperature and comfort issues, your dietary habits can play a role, too. "Don’t drink caffeinated beverages four to six hours before bedtime and avoid spicy foods," sleep expert and founder of Sleep Fitness LLC Dr. Martha Cortés tells Romper. Ensuring that you're not upsetting your stomach or unnecessarily winding yourself up before you try to sleep can alleviate insomnia, pregnant or not. If heartburn or other digestive issues are keeping you awake at night despite a bland diet, you can try sleeping propped up on an incline. If nothing seems to help and you feel that your difficulty falling or staying asleep isn't improving or is significantly impairing your life, don't hesitate to reach out to your doctor just to be safe.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}