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Being sleep deprived is a reward every new parent gets. No secret though, that the heaviest part of this reward falls on the shoulders of the new mom. But moms-to-be actually start to experience discomfort and inability to sleep long before the due date, and this is called pregnancy insomnia. Some say that this is nature’s way to prepare the mom for the upcoming sleepless nights, and if so, in our opinion nature is mean. Nonetheless, many expectant mothers will experience this, some more than others. Let’s dive into this topic to find out what causes insomnia during pregnancy and how to deal with it.

Baby sleep times for 3d ultrasound

How to sleep during pregnancy in first trimester

While early pregnancy insomnia isn’t very common, it does happen. In the first trimester, your body is not undergoing huge changes yet, and you might find it harder to sleep more due to hormonal changes. So as far as anticipating any trouble sleeping early pregnancy wouldn’t be the time for it. 

Most issues come about a little later, once you enter your second trimester and later when it gets physically hard to find a comfortable position to sleep in, while at the same time experiencing heartburn, nausea, and other effects of extreme hormonal changes.

Causes

Many obvious causes of pregnancy insomnia can be found. These may include the frequent need to use the bathroom, abdominal pains or discomfort, tender breasts, back, or leg pain. With the pregnancy anxiety setting in, one may also experience vivid dreams that may prevent a good night’s sleep, as well as lingering fear and thoughts about the upcoming challenges of parenthood. 

The good news is that sleeplessness doesn’t harm your baby, and apart from being disruptive to you, and causing fatigue during the day, it doesn’t have any long-lasting effects on the health of the baby.

What should you do?

For starters, keep calm and remember that this isn’t harmful and you’re not the only one going through it. In addition, all regular insomnia preventing tricks can help in this case, too. 

Bedtime routine
One thing you could try is to establish a bedtime routine. This may include reading a book, taking a warm bath, or even engaging in some very light yoga and meditation. Remember, the key is to let you mind wind down so don’t do anything too stimulating. 

Speaking of stimulants, one should avoid caffeine consumption way before bedtime. This includes coffee, of course, but also chocolate, caffeinated tea, and other stimulants such as energy drinks at least 4-5 hours before hitting the sack. 

You should also reduce any fluid consumption a couple of hours before sleep to avoid having a frequent urge to urinate. 

Limit screentime
Plenty of apps and smartphone features let you do just that, by limiting access to many apps and distracting elements on your device. You can even customize this routine by adding a meditation app or playing relaxing music.

Feed the baby
Many also suggest eating a snack before bedtime, as hunger can be a powerful stimulant to get out of bed. Again, avoid eating too late and too much, in order to minimize bathroom visits. 

Excercise
One of the more effective ways to ensure a good night’s sleep is to be active during the day. Let yourself get tired. Exercise, do some work around the house, etc. Exercising regularly isn’t only very healthy for you and your baby, but also generates good hormones that can ease your mind and help you fall asleep. 

If you still find it hard to sleep, try to get up and taking up some light mundane tasks, such as researching a stroller online or paying bills. 

Make your bed comfortable
If you are already uncomfortable due to carrying another human being inside, you will want to ensure that there are no external factors making you uncomfortable as well. Starting from your pajamas and down to your mattress, make sure everything is just right. There is evidence that pregnancy pillows are very effective in achieving an optimal pose during sleep while supporting your body the correct way. Make sure that the temperature in your bedroom is neither too hot nor too cold, as well. 

Medical help
If everything else fails, and insomnia gets too bad, speak with your doctor and get some recommendations for the available medication that can help you fall asleep and that is safe during pregnancies. Many exist, but our suggestion is to try the other ways first and use medication only as a last resort. 

Final Thoughts

Anxiety and physical discomfort are by far the most common issues resulting in a lack of sleep during pregnancy. By eliminating those, it is possible to achieve a good night’s sleep, at least relatively. Remember, this does not mean that anything is wrong, and put your mind at ease through some relaxation methods, herbal remedies, etc. will help you quite a bit.

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