Are you lacking substantial sleep during your pregnancy? You have practiced a good bedtime routine but still insomnia clocks in? It could be disturbing for new mums-to-be as they can’t get enough sleep. Studies have shown that not only does mothers experience sleep deprivation after delivery but also during the 1st trimester of pregnancy.

During pregnancy, one sleeps early but their quality of sleep is compromised. It turns out that pregnancy can make you feel exhausted all day long. Here are some techniques on how to handle pregnancy induced insomnia.

Insomnia means having difficulty staying asleep, falling asleep or even both. Women, during their pregnancy, can experience insomnia during all stages but it tends to be more during the first and third trimester.During the first trimester, the bathroom calls, changes in hormonal balance and heartburns causes one to have difficulty sleeping or stay asleep. On the other hand, during the third trimester as well, the baby has grown and it might get so uncomfortable to sleep well.

What causes insomnia during pregnancy?

There are many reasons why one will be awake at night during pregnancy. This includes:

  • Need to urinate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Back pain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Leg cramps
  • Shortness of breathe
  • Heartburn

Anxiety can also cause insomnia as one is worried about the progress of labor and delivery or how one will balance her work with being a new mother. Such thoughts can easily keep one awake through the night especially after the third visit to the washroom. Worrying and keeping these thoughts upfront won’t help; develop a work plan of managing your schedules properly.

Talking to your partner can be relaxing thus helping you fall a sleep faster.

Management of insomnia during pregnancy

Here are tips to help you conquer insomnia:

1.Develop a bedtime routine

One could set up good sleep habits by trying to go to bed at the same time every night.  Start your routine with doing something relaxing. Try reading a book, taking a bath that is not too hot as it may harm your developing baby especially during early pregnancy.

  • Avoid watching television, using a tablet or phone an hour before sleep as it affects the circadian rhythm.

2.Drink up

Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day but minimize drinking after 7 PM. Also one should avoid caffeinated drinks starting in the afternoon.

3.Eat healthy

Eat a healthy dinner slowly as you enjoy. Eating it slowly reduces the possibility of developing heart burns. Foods rich in protein can help one maintain constant blood sugar levels through the night. Taking a warm glass of milk before bedtime can also help one feel sleepy.


Stay active through the day. Do exercises that are light and friendly to your pregnancy. These exercises include; yoga, walking short distances and lifting light weights.

Remember the following points too:

Comfort is key

Make yourself and your bedroom comfortable. This will help in enhancing sleep.

Climate change

Keep one’s room cool, dark and quiet for optimal sleeping conditions


Practice meditation or try relaxation techniques and exercises.


It is expected to have pregnancy insomnia. For most women, insomnia during the first trimester will pass. One could practice day time naps so as to catch up on lost sleep. If insomnia persist and affects normal function, consult your medical practitioner so that drugs that are friendly to your pregnancy are prescribed.

Sources and references

  1. Sleeping problems during pregnancy (January 2016)

  1. Causes of insomnia during pregnancy (February 2017)

  1. Management of insomnia during pregnancy (July 2016)