Pregnancy insomnia is literally the worst. You’re already wiped; now you can’t get a decent night’s sleep to save your life. And you know that this is only the beginning.
Insomnia affects approximately 78% of pregnant women, and is reportedly the worst in the third trimester. Some of us (oh, the lucky ones) experience dreaded pregnancy insomnia the whole freaking time. The good news is, researchers say we are probably getting more sleep than we realize. And, we’re getting some fantastic real-life experience for when baby arrives on the scene…Hooray?!
So what causes pregnancy insomnia? Culprits include hormonal changes, frequent trips to the bedroom (hello, full bladder the size of a pea), leg cramps, heartburn, the impossible task of getting comfortable with a bowling ball sized belly, and pre-birth anxiety. Yes, that’s a real thing. But what can you do about it?
Dealing with Pregnancy Insomnia
1. Stop worrying.
I know, easier said than done. But do what works for you. Maybe it’s practicing Yoga, or taking time to meditate or pray before bed. Try taking a warm bath, drinking a cup of hot tea (not too close to bedtime or you will be up and running to the potty all night), or reading a good book to settle down.
2. Enjoy a leisurely dinner, but don’t overstuff yourself.
Scarfing down your meal like a rabid dog can give you heartburn and indigestion. Eating too much or too late can also cause you to toss and turn. Be kind to your body.
3. Avoid chocolate and caffeine later in the day.
But for breakfast? By all means. Have at it, sister! You’re going to need all the energy you can get.
4. Get regular exercise, but not too close to bedtime.
Believe it or not, a post-workout buzz can keep you from getting the shut eye you so desperately crave.
5. Create a bedtime routine — much like you would for your kiddos.
You know, after they arrive. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day. Create your own ritual. Maybe it’s reading a book, taking a shower, or listening to some calming music. Find what works for you, and make it happen.
6. Is your bed comfortable?
If the answer is no, correct this situation immediately. A body pillow (specifically designed to meet the needs of an uncomfortable pregnant woman) can make a world of difference. Treat yourself to some new sheets and blankets if you need to — the really good ones. Oh, and try to save your bed for sleep and sex only. Keep your work out of the bedroom.
7. Try not to count the hours.
And if you can’t get to sleep in 20 to 30 minutes, get up and complete a small (preferably loathsome task like folding laundry) before heading back to bed.
8. Talk to your doctor.
This is probably the most important piece of advice. Insomnia during pregnancy can be a symptom of more serious health complications, so you should always consult your physician when you are experiencing any kind of pregnancy discomfort. Your doctor may be able to prescribe something to help you get some rest. Most will tell you that when push comes to shove, a low dosage of Benadryl will usually do the trick. But you probably don’t want to use it every night, or you may have trouble sleeping without it.
What remedies and solutions have you found to fight off insomnia? We’d love to hear! Feel free to share in the comments section below. Good luck, mamas!