The need for proper sleep is a natural desire of the body. For a pregnant woman, full sleep is not only a whim but also an opportunity to replenish energy resources, recover and gain strength for a new day.

Insomnia during pregnancy, what is the problem 

The need for proper sleep is a natural desire of the body. For a pregnant woman, full sleep is not only a whim but also an opportunity to replenish energy resources, recover and gain strength for a new day.

During sleep, without tension, the nervous system rests, and immunity improves, contributing to fewer viral and infectious diseases.

By the time the child appears, the house needs to be revised; you will have to give up bad habits and change your lifestyle, pay special attention to rest, in particular, a must for good sleep – it is possible to change the mattress, pillow, and bed linen.

Now the expectant mother will be uncomfortable sleeping on her back or stomach.


On the stomach – due to the growing tummy, on the back – for medical reasons, the fact is that in this position, the entire mass of the uterus will compress the intestines and the inferior vena cava, which will disrupt breathing and blood circulation, back pain is not excluded.

A pregnant woman’s sleep should be full – calm and from 9-12 o’clock at night and 1.5 – 2 o’clock in the afternoon. As a result of insufficient sleep, a pregnant woman may develop cardiovascular disease, blood pressure disorders, premature birth, or miscarriage. 

Causes of insomnia during pregnancy

Insomnia can appear at any stage of pregnancy. A pregnant woman may be concerned about the following reasons that affect the quality and duration of sleep:

  • frequent urge to urinate;
  • iron deficiency anemia due to which a pregnant woman does not have enough oxygen;
  • fears and worries about pregnancy, appearance, health, and life.

Because the baby grows and puts pressure on the uterus, which in turn puts pressure on neighboring organs, after the 16th week of pregnancy, the expectant mother is recommended to eliminate the following causes:

  • Posture while sleeping or lying on your back. When a pregnant woman lies on the blue, the uterus presses on vital blood vessels: the aorta and the internal vena cava on the back of the abdomen. This position reduces blood flow to the baby and some parts of the woman’s body. Therefore, it is recommended to sleep on your side with a pillow under your leg;
  • Exclude products that cause heartburn (acid dispersion) and indigestion in pregnant women. By the second trimester, the size of the uterus increases and puts pressure on the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to discomfort when lying on your back. The work of the sphincter is disturbed, which leads to the release of food back into the esophagus. Influenced by hormonal changes, an increase in gastric juice affects the frequent manifestation of heartburn in pregnant women. Experienced doctors will help a pregnant woman cope with heartburn, individually select a diet and exclude the manifestation of heartburn.
insomnia during pregnancy

If a pregnant woman dreams of traveling through labyrinths, these are unconscious childbirth fears. This is natural, so there is no need to drive yourself; a woman needs to accept this as part of her inner life and be ready to change herself.

However, a pregnant woman needs to know which foods can cause heartburn:

  • chocolate, pastries;
  • fermented milk products (kefir, fermented baked milk);
  • fatty foods (meat, fish);
  • some types of fruits and vegetables, such as green apples, tangerines, kiwi, currants, tomatoes, and legumes;
  • carbonated drinks;
  • smoked meats;
  • some types of meat, fish.

As for good sleep, it is necessary to take care of special pillows for pregnant mothers, which support the whole body. The lack of a comfortable bed, orthopedic mattress, and high-quality, breathable pastel linen also affect the full sleep of the expectant mother.

An important factor is the psycho-emotional restructuring of the future mother’s body. Tearfulness, irritability, fatigue, and change in habitual lifestyle are stress factors for the body, and they can adversely affect the quality and duration of sleep.

Violation of the psycho-emotional state of a woman due to hormonal changes and lack of sleep can even lead to suicidal consequences.

Internal tension and lack of peace at home and work give rise to the restless sleep of a pregnant woman.

A woman’s habit of watching TV before going to bed – excessive emotional overload has a bad effect on the new state of the future mother’s body.

Some babies show their activity at night, not allowing mommy to rest; you also need to be prepared for this. A little secret for mommy – you can already learn to negotiate with a baby, gently and affectionately explaining how mommy is tired and needs to rest. It is proved that the baby already in the womb can hear and recognize sounds. Try it – experiment, establish contact and understanding with the future baby.

Insomnia at different stages of pregnancy

Most pregnant women rarely experience insomnia in the early stages; on the contrary, they want to sleep!

But at the beginning of pregnancy, the expectant mother may begin to be disturbed by insomnia, which manifests in difficulties with falling asleep, frequent awakening at night, and early morning rise. Such signs may indicate that a woman is pregnant even before a missed period starts. Since there is no full-fledged night’s sleep, the exhausted state of the expectant mother lasts all day. The production of hormones further enhances daytime sleepiness during pregnancy.


In late pregnancy, insomnia can be caused by such reasons as:

  • drawing pains in the lumbar region;
  • The pressure of the uterus on the diaphragm due to which the inability to take a full breath, while there is shortness of breath that prevents you from relaxing during rest;
  • Varicose veins of the legs in the later stages lead to unpleasant cramps;
  • Fetal movement, sometimes active, interferes with peaceful rest.

The appearance of insomnia in the third trimester of pregnancy indicates the preparation of the body of a pregnant woman for motherhood and sleepless nights – these are also hormonal manifestations of the future mother’s body.

At a later stage, pregnant women mistakenly think that this is a normal physiological condition at such a time and do not turn to specialists – this is an erroneous opinion. Healthy sleep is necessary for a woman at any stage of pregnancy! 

In the later stages, training contractions may begin – these are contractions of the uterus muscles. A pregnant woman should also be ready for this and be calm, as these are harbingers of the appearance of a baby.

How to deal with insomnia during pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is important to make changes in the daily routine: increase the time at night and be sure to introduce daytime sleep.

The most comfortable sleeping position during pregnancy will be the position on the left side, with the right leg bent at the knee on a small pillow; this position is called the “crocodile position.”

In this position, the flow of blood with nutrients to the placenta will be facilitated in a pregnant woman, and kidney function will improve.

The expectant mother also needs to pay attention to the quality of pastel linen. It is better to use linen bedding or use other natural fabrics. Sleeping on such underwear is useful in that skin massage occurs; this improves the general condition and mood of the expectant mother. It will be great if a pregnant woman has an orthopedic pillow, after resting on which there will be no pain in the neck, and the mood will be just wonderful.

Pillows are also suitable – transformers, which consist of several parts, connected by bridges made of soft materials. The pillow blocks can be moved to a comfortable position depending on the body’s position. Stocking up on a pillow under the neck or head made of sheep’s wool will be good.


It is necessary to ventilate the room where the pregnant woman is before bed. The need for oxygen during pregnancy increases, so sleeping with the window open would be better.

It is not recommended to cover yourself with a blanket on your head; this reduces the sufficiency of the body in oxygen and disrupts cardiac activity.

The clothes should be light and warm. Blankets or blankets made of camel or sheep wool will do. In the presence of allergies, blankets with synthetic filler are suitable.

As for the mattress, only a comfortable mattress will allow you to relax fully. The mattress will also come in handy after the baby’s birth, as the load on the spine will increase, and proper rest will be necessary. It must be remembered that the spine during sleep should be straight and relaxed. A good mattress should have many springs and a good filler between them. An orthopedic mattress will help restore the musculoskeletal system after a busy day and take a comfortable physiological posture. Today, manufacturers produce double-sided mattresses: on the one hand, a cotton filler for summer, and on the other, a warmer one made of 100% wool.

In the last months of pregnancy, the expectant mother worries about back pain, so a hard mattress is recommended. A marital bed in the later stages is not recommended since the body does not breathe, and blood circulation is disturbed. The foot edge should be 15 degrees higher than the head edge; in this position, the load on the muscles is reduced, and the rest will be more complete. With varicose veins and edema, the height of the leg edge may be even higher.

Since the hormonal background of a pregnant woman is changing, the expectant mother may experience dry mucous membranes and discomfort during sleep. It is very important during this period to ensure optimal humidity in the room with the help of special humidifiers.

As for the psycho-emotional component of a pregnant woman’s sleep, before going to bed, it would be preferable:

  • Listen to calm classical music;
  • Read a pleasant book, perhaps re-read your favorite fairy tale;
  • Take a walk, breathe fresh air;
  • Ventilate the sleeping room – a sufficient amount of oxygen should enter the room since the need for it during pregnancy increases;
  • Massage of a kind, native hands will help to relax and calm down before going to bed (special attention should be paid to the soles of the feet, the collar zone, and the scalp);
  • Helps a glass of warm milk with honey, drunk before bedtime.

Interestingly, a woman’s visual sphere is activated during pregnancy, and dreams become meaningful and frequent.


A pregnant woman should not deny herself an extra hour of sleep since, at this time, the placenta is supplied with blood five times more intensively, which means that the child receives more oxygen and nutrients necessary for growth and development.

Pregnancy and the birth of a baby is an important and joyful period in a woman’s life; those around her should surround her with attention and warmth and take care of the comfort of the expectant mother, in particular, to take care of her healthy sleep.


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